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, you are going to pick the draft you want to publish. Before you publish it, you are going to get feedback from your peers.”
Teach: I will say, “In order to get another person’s opinion on my writing, I am going to practice the skill of getting feedback on the different components of an essay and the strategy of utilizing many peer editiors. The process I will use is as follows:
1) Pick the draft I want to publish
2) Have a peer look for a specific component of my essay
3) Give feedback to my other peers in order to help them with their writing, but also my thinking."
I will show the students my draft and ask them to look for the first component of the rubric we built yesterday. I will make sure my draft does not include the first component.
Active Engagement: I will say,”You will leave your draft with your rubric on your desk. You will switch seats every five minutes and look at a peer’s writing, just for that part of the rubric. Within the five minutes, you will write feedback in the form of a question on your peer’s rubric. I want you to think of a deep question that will help your partner’s thinking.” I will give them examples of when they practiced questioning with their partner’s first draft.
They will switch seats with the person next to them and read each others writing. I will check for understanding by reading the first question of every level of learner (at least 3 students-one who is at standard, one is approaching standard, and one who is above standard). I will be looking to see if they are writing questions that will help their peers improve their writing. This video explains how I organized the peer review process.
Closing of Active Engagement: I will say, “Remember, In order to get another person’s opinion on their writing, writers practice the skill of getting feedback on the different components of their writing and the strategy of utilizing many peer editors. They use the process of picking the draft they want to publish and have a peer look for a specific component of their writing. Also, writers give feedback to other peers in order to help them with their writing, but also their own thinking.”
Independent Practice: Students will then go through five different rotations, looking for a specific part of the rubric each time. I will say, “I should not hear talking, because if you do not understand a part of your peer’s writing, then write your questions on the rubric. Just like with real authors, if we don’t understand their stories, we can’t call them up and ask them.” In order to thoroughly read their partner’s writing and leave comments for every part of the rubric, this should take at least 25 minutes. 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 as they are rotating.
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: “Tomorrow you will start your final draft. What is an example of a question a peer asked you today that helped your thinking about your draft?