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: I will say, “Now that we have three drafts to work with, before you pick the draft that you will publish, let’s go over the standards you will be graded on.”
Teach: I will say, “In order to ensure we understand how we will be graded, we are going to make a rubric as a class. I am going to practice the skill reviewing the components of an essay and the strategy of creating a rubric. The process I will use is as follows:
1) Read over the standards for the explanatory essay
2) Put the Common Core Standards in my own words
3) Read over all three of my drafts while editing and revising for the standards.”
I will show students how I read over a standard and put it in my own words. I will stop and think to myself while looking over my own draft and a published draft. This is how I organized the rest of the activity
Active Engagement: I will say, “Now you are going to read another standard with a partner and put it in your own words (the standards will be assigned beforehand). Then you will share out your standard with the class.” I will visit each group and help them understand their standard. I will point to their draft, an anchor chart or carry a published draft with me to help them think about the standard. Students will then share out as a class and we will jot down each other’s words on the standards handout.
Closing of Active Engagement: I will say, “Remember in order to ensure clear and coherent writing is being produced, writers review the components of an essay and the strategy of creating a rubric. The process they use is they read over the standards of their writing, they put the standards in their own words and then edit and revise their drafts for the standards.
Independent Practice: I will say, “Now you are going to read through your drafts while editing and revising for the standards.” I will show them an example of a student’s essay that has a lot of editing and revising on it. I remind them that I want to see their thinking on the page. They should write for at least 25 minutes if not more. They should be editing and revising for all the components of an explanatory essay (using claim, reasons, evidence, introductions with a hook, conclusions, sentence structure and personal goals).
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 chart.
Partner Work: Students will be directed to turn and share one example of where they edited or revised their writing. I will say, “Decide who will be partner A and who will be partner B. Partner A I want you to share one example of where you edited and revised your writing. Partner B, I want you to listen if Partner A is showing that they thoughtfully changed their writing. If not, give them feedback; tell them an idea of what they could add or let them know their writing showed a changed. Then you will switch.”
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.
“Write down an example of a piece of your writing you editied or revised today. Explain how you changed your writing after we created the rubric.”