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 second of second idea we have generated. Before we go onto our last draft, we are going to edit our sentences in our first and second drafts.
Teach: I will say, “In order to ensure we are using a variety of sentences to signal relationships among ideas and make our writing appealing and animated, I am going to practice the skill of using my resources to remind me what types of sentences I should be writing and the strategy of peer editing my partner’s writing The process I will use is as follows:
1) Read through the sentence worksheet
2) Read through my partner’s writing and write down their examples and my advice about their setences
3) Edit my own writing for the three different types of sentences”
I will go over each type of sentence with them. I will show them how I read one paragraph of a published essay and find a simple, complex and compound sentence.
Active Engagement: I will read over a second paragraph of an essay and students will tell me where they see simple, compound and complex sentences. I will check for understanding by asking each level of learner (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 using resources to remind them of what types of sentences they should be writing and the strategy of peer editing a partner’s writing in order to help the partner and learn from their writing. The process they use is read their resources, read through their partner’s writing and write down their examples and advice about their sentences. They then edit their own writing for the three different types of sentences. Here is a video explaining how I used the sentence worksheet.
Independent Practice: I will say, “Now you are going to read through your partner’s first and second drafts and find the three types of sentences.” They should read and take notes on the writing for about 15-20 minutes.
They then will give the worksheet and writing back to their partner and then they will edit their own work. When it is time to switch I will remind them to edit their work based on their partner's comments.
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 conference sheet.
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.
Closing: Give an example of a simple, compound or complex sentence that you edited in your essay. Tell me what it used to say and how you changed it. Name the type of sentence you changed it into.