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 came up with possible jobs you would like to research. Today you are going to research one of those jobs using informational texts.”
Teach: I will say, “In order to build upon our research skills, we are going to practice gathering information from print sources. I am going to practice the skill of gathering evidence about my topic and the strategy of using questions that I generated from yesterday. The process I will use is as follows:
1) Review my questions from yesterday
2) Annotate the text when I see evidence that can answer my question or make up a new question when I see an interesting piece of evidence
3) Gather my evidence under one central idea in my notebook.”
I will model for the class how I take my questions I have about being a chef from yesterday and read an informational text. I will stop and jot by using the stem, "evidence for...." When I find a piece of text that I did not have a question for I will stop and say, "Hmmm.....I question I have about this piece of evidence is...."
Active Engagement: I will pass out the informational text I have based on students choices (texts anywhere from models to veterinarians below) from the day before. I will have found informational texts either from the internet or books based on what my students wrote on the previous days exit ticket. “Now you are going to read a text with your questions in mind.”
I will conduct this active engagement in one of two ways. If students have a common job interest with another student, I will have them read the text together and annotate together or I will have students read individually. Since this may be a new skill for them, I want to them to feel successful with it, therefore for today’s lesson, I may ask them to work in partners.
I will check for understanding by looking over the shoulder 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 finding evidence that relates to their question.
Closing of Active Engagement: I will say, “Remember, writers practice the skill of gathering evidence about their topic and the strategy of using questions to annotate the text when they find answers to their question in order to gather evidence under one central idea.”
Students will be directed them to gather all of their evidence into one page in their notebook. I will model for the students how I take my annotations and place them under one central idea in my notebook. I will show them how I cite the author and title of the article/book in which I found the information.
As I write, I am also pointing out that I am thinking through my sentences as I am writing (even when generating). Writing while using a variety of sentences (simple, compound and complex) was something my students are still struggling with and I want to ensure, that every time we write, we are constantly practicing sentence structure.
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.
For today students will turn their one page of evidence gathering so that I can see what my next steps are for tomorrow’s lesson.