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 you researched issues that matter to you using print resources. Today you are going to continue that research on the Internet.”
Teach: I will say, “In order to build upon our research skils, we are going to practice gathering information from the Internet.I am going to continue to practice the skill of gathering different kinds of evidence about my topic and the strategy of using questions I have generated from yesterday. The process I will use is as follows:
1) Review my questions from yesterday
2) Go to the portaportal website*
3) Jot down evidence that can answer my question and label the type of evidence or make up a new question when I see an interesting piece of evidence
We will review the four types of evidence gathering sheet from yesterday. I will model for the class how I take my questions I have about an issue I chose and read an Internet site. I will stop and jot by using the stem, "_________evidence for....For example I would write “Anecdotal evidence for, “Why do people bully?”
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...."
*I have created a portal for students to go that lists websites for this particular research. I will only allow to students to use these websites but will allow to them to go out of the portal on a case by case basis. This portal is open for the general public to use as long as they have the portaportal access information.
Students will start their internet research using Portaportal (here is an Portaportal Explanation.mp4). I will seat them next to other students who are researching the same issues 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 labeling the different kinds of evidence they are finding. I will confer with them as they research.
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.”
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 organzing their central ideas in order to come up with an overall claim. They will contine togather their evidence under their central ideas for homework.
For tomorrow’s activity I want them to come up with one claim and three central ideas.