In my lesson openers I always have a "connect" in which I connect students' thinking about yesterday's lesson to today's lesson. I then have a "teach" in which I model for students the lesson of the day and also have them try it out. When I think about my modeling I use three categories; skill, strategy, and process. I model by stating the skill to the students, then giving them a strategy in which to use the skill, followed by the process to try out the strategy.
Connect: “Yesterday, we will put all the components together into a first draft of one idea we have generated so far. Before we go onto our next draft, we are going to goal set from our last unit.
Teach: I will say, “In order to grow from the last writing unit, I am going to practice the skill of setting personal goals for myself and the strategy practicing this goal with another draft The process I will use is as follows:
1) Set a goal based on the last writing unit using my handout.
2) Look through my notebook and pick another idea I have generated.
3) Plan out my another essay of another idea
4) Write my second draft with my goal in mind.”
I will show students how to look back at their memoirs (the last writing unit) and set goals for themselves based on the rubric and my feedback. Students will set up a portfolio that they will keep all year which includes a the goal tracking handout (link above), their writing, and resources. I will then show them how I go back into my notebook, pick another idea and start planning a new essay. Here is a Writing Standards Portfolio put together.
Active Engagement: I will say,”You will now take your planning handout and you will say to your partner, My writing goal is________, today I will work with__________idea. “ I will check for understanding by listening that each student has a new idea (at least 3 students-one who is at standard, one is approaching standard, and one who is above standard).
Closing of Active Engagement: I will say, “Remember in order to plan out an explanatory essay, successful writers practice the skill of setting personal goals for themselves and the strategy practicing this goal with another draft. The process they use is they set a goal based on their last project, they pick another idea and plan it out. They then start on a second draft with their goal in mind.
Independent Practice: I will say, “Now you are going plan out your second draft. They should write for at least 25 minutes if not more. They should be adding all of the components of an explanatory essay that are on the side of the rough draft sheet along with their personal goal.
As they are working independently and quietly, (I like to play classical or smooth jazz for “writing” music (I just create a play list on Pandora Internet radio). I will confer with them about their writing by using the attached conferences for goal setting for a second draft.
Usually they have partner work at the end of independent writing. Since they are goal setting, planning and beginning a draft today, I am going to give them more time to write and not have partner work today.
I believe that the end of the lesson should be an assessment of the days’ learning; therefore it should be independent work. I always end class with an “exit ticket” in which students write down the response to a question(s).
Closing: What is your personal goal? How did you work on it today?
Many students will not be done with their second draft. Their homework will be to finish their second draft and turn it in tomorrow. If students still need a lot of assistance with planning, I may use this lesson over two days. On the other hand, if I have them finish a draft for homework, I can see where they are at with their independence in writing essays.