I want to maximize the time students have to work on their essays today. As a result, as soon as they arrive, I instruct them them to get a computer. I have the COW (Computers on Wheels) today so that students (in groups of five) can pull up their laptops next to each other and begin to collaborate!
As the students log in, I review the directions for the Maus collaborative essay. The directions take them through the process of moving from independent writing to collaborating with their group. Although I am assessing the students on the literary analysis they produce, they are also working on their speaking and listening skills. They chose the prompt as a group and researched the the text for homework. Now they have to discuss the material with their peers and create an essay through the exchange of their ideas (CCSS.SL.9-10.1a).
Writing time--the bulk of class today is designated for collaboration and writing. I remind the students that when writing a literary analysis, they can assume that their audience has read the book. The focus of the essay is to develop a clear and concise claim and support it with relevant details and in-text citations when appropriate (CCSS W 9-10 2b). The students can follow the steps in the collaborative essay at the pace necessary for their group. The type of collaboration will depend on the group. However, they will revise and edit each group member's section (CCSS W 9-10 5). Additionally, they will collaborate to develop the introduction and conclusion of the essay (CCSS SL 9-10 1). Each group has to complete an essay. Therefore they have to use appropriate transitions to smoothly incorporate each group member's contribution into the essay(CCSS W 9-10 2c).
My job is to step back and let them write their group essay. I move around the room giving feedback and helping students stay focused.
I give the students periodic time warnings throughout the class. Now it is the five minute warning, one member of the group has to turn in the literary analysis for the group to Edmodo.
The computers are shut down. Essays are complete. High fives around the room.