As the students enter the room, I ask them to get out their research and their graphic organizer from the previous day's lesson. We do a quick check of progress from yesterday- making sure that research is complete and graphic organizers are done.
I tell the students that this is their post test to compare and contrast and that this is their time to ask any questions they have about the structure of the paragraph or strategies we've learned to this point. After all questions have been answered, it is time to let the students work. I hand out the extra special spider paper and allow the students time to show their knowledge about compare and contrast.
While the rest of the students are working, I use this time to work with those who showed in the Cinderella project that they still need extra support. I love when I have the opportunity to help students build their understanding of a particular skill. The students enjoy this time too and it seems to help.
A note here: A lot of teachers use time to meet with students who "don't get it", but it is also important to think about the students who do "get it" and get it at a very high level. These kinds of times are good for meeting with them as well.
I've said this over and over again, but giving students the opportunity to share is so so important!! It develops so many skills that are essential for students as they mature. At the end of the time, I make sure to leave enough time for students to share. One thing I try to keep in mind is to not let the same students monopolize sharing time. Sometimes I use random means and sometimes I use volunteers.