As students begin work on their paper, I remind them that there is a "hard" due date for this rough draft in two days, so the drafts can be peer edited. I also remind them the objective of for students to craft their arguments in MEL-Con style, using valid reasoning and relevant evidence, addressing Writing Standard 1 "in toto" (W.9-10.1).
As students write , I circulate the lab, reading over shoulders, offering advice, and asking questions as students need.
This "lesson" is part of an ongoing unit on crafting a persuasive paper. Today's focus is putting into practice what was covered specifically in a previous look at MEL-Con paragraphs. By the end of this unit, students will have:
As far as teaching strategies go, the focus is on one-on-one coaching, as noted in the "Drafting Time" section of the lesson. Students have crafted an outline at this point, and as I circulated the room, we discussed organizing and transitioning their thoughts. That outline has their thesis statement, the main idea of each of the paragraphs for this paper, and the specific evidence they use (the "E" in MEL-Con). In one-on-one conferencing, as I circulate, the students are asked to explain why they chose the support they did, how that support backs up their overall point, and then how to word that "back up" to fit the academic tone of the paper.
We take time in class to draft in order to accommodate students' pace and needs as writers, and to allow for any technical glitches that occur. We are writing in the lab in order to provide needed, direct feedback, and to ensure students are focused on and working on their paper.
With two minutes remaining in the period, I remind students of the "hard" due date for their drafts, and that we will be back in this same computer lab, tomorrow. I also note the peer edit in two days will have a specific set of questions, taken for a grade, to ensure they will be providing accurate feedback for their peers.