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, “Yesterday we read a persuasive text in order to understand the genre of the writing unit we will be writing in. Today we are going to generate ideas for something you want to persuade someone about.
Teach: I will say, “I am going to practice the skill of generating ideas for my essay by thinking about what I think people should or should not do. I am going to use the strategy of reading over my other writing pieces about issue that I have done in past units in order to give me ideas. The process I will use is as follow:
1) Read through my past writing pieces in writing notebook
2) Ask myself: How is what I wrote an example for what people should or shouldn’t do?
3) Jot down other experiences for one claim
I will show students how I re-read anecdotes I have written in my notebook and use post-its to annotate. For example I might read through an anecdote I wrote for the memoir unit (back in September) about being a bully. I will take post-it and write, “People shouldn't bully each other.” Here is an explanation of process.
Active Engagement: Now you are going to read through your notebook and annotate at least two ideas you have for what you think people should or should not do.” I will check for understanding by looking over the should 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 ensure that students are jotting down ideas that will turn into a claim with reasons and evidence. I will then have students share out their ideas.
Closing of Active Engagement: I will say, Remember, “successful writers practice the skill of generating ideas for essays by using past things they wrote about. They use the strategy of reading over their past writing pieces in order to come up with more idea about one claim.
Independent Practice: Students will annotate until they land on a claim that they can write more evidence for. I will show them how I pick one of my annotations, turn it into a claim) and write it at the top of my writer’s notebook, then start writing another piece of evidence. For example I would write, “People Shouldn’t Bully,” as my claim.
They should write for at least 25 minutes if not more. Their signal to begin writing quietly and independently is "writing music" (a smooth jazz play list on internet radio). They can write multiple pieces of evidence within this time if they get stuck on one.
As I write, I am also pointing out that I am always thinking through my sentence structures as I write. Sentence structure is something my students are still struggling with and I want to ensure, that everytime we write, we are constantly practicing re-reading our sentences.
I will confer with them as they write.
Partner Work: Students will be directed to turn and share one claim and new piece of evidence they have drafted. I will say, “Decide who will be partner A and who will be partner B. Partner A you will share your claim and your experience (your evidence) with it. Partner B, I want you to listen if Part A has a claim and evidence that logically make sense together. Then you will tell them if the claim and evidence made sense to you. If not, give them feedback; tell them an idea of what they could add. Then you will switch.”
Closing: Jot down the idea you want to continue to work on. Jot down your claim and at least two pieces of evidence you have thought of so far.