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 the Internet.”
Teach: I will say, “In order to build upon our research skils, we are going to practice gathering information from internet sources.I am going to practice the skill of gathering evidence about my topic and the strategy of using the questions and central ideas that I generated. The process I will use is as follows:
1) Review my central idea or questions I am anaswering
2) Cite the website I am using
3) Jot down pieces of evidence that fit the logical central idea or question.”
I will model for the class how I take my questions I have about being a chef from yesterday and use one of the websites from the websites for career searches information sheet (here is a handout explanation).I then show them how I think through what I am reading in order to find evidence for my question or central idea.
Active Engagement: Students will start their internet research using the information sheet. I will seat them next to other students who are researching the same jobs in order for them to work with partners.
I will check for understanding by looking over the shoulders 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 jot down information when I see evidence that can answer my question in order to gather my evidence under one central idea.”
Students will be directed to gather all of their evidence into into a page in their notebook that they started from yesterday or to start a new page if they have answered a new question. 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 web address 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 will confer with them as they write using the conferences sheet.
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.
“What are your central ideas so far?”
When I gather student responses, I am looking to see if they are ready for organizing their central ideas in order to come up with an overall claim. They will continue to gather their evidence under their central ideas for homework.
For tomorrow’s activity I want them to come up with one overall claim and three central ideas.