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, “We have been gathering our evidence for our topic, today we are going to draft by thinking deeper about the evidence we have gathered. I will give the class a definition of analysis: A detailed examination of something. A breakdown of smaller parts of an overall big idea.
I will ask them, “How does this fit within your essay?” I will ask at least 3 students (one who is at standard, one is approaching standard, and one who is above standard). I am hoping one will say, "how we explain or prove our claim." If not I will guide them through the teaching point.
Teach: I will say, “In order to plan out our last draft we will practice the skill of completing a third draft and strategy of taking all of the evidence we have gathered and analyzing it. The process I will use is as follows:
1) Review my planning organizer (boxes, bullets and brackets)
2) Read over the Evidence and Analysis handout
3) Place my evidence into my essay by using a sentence starter
I then show the students how I think through my second paragraph (the first paragraph will already be written, although I will point it out). I will use the evidence and analysis paper to point out the structure of the paragraph and how I use the sentence starters.
I will say: ”You will now take a piece of paper and quietly write down your introduction and then go on to your second paragraph.” I will check for understanding by quickly reading the first one or two sentence from every level of learner (at least 3 students-one who is at standard, one is approaching standard, and one who is above standard). I am reading to determine if they understand the different parts of the sequence and if I need to re-teach a particular part.
Closing of Active Engagement: I will say, “Remember in order to draft an explanatory essay, successful writers practice the skill of completing a third draft and the strategy of taking all of the evidence they have gathered and analyzing it by reviewing my planning organizer, read over the evidence and analysis handout and placing my evidence into my essay by using a sentence starter.
Independent Practice: I will say, “Now you are going to write out your third draft. They should write for at least 25 minutes if not more. They should be adding all of the components of a research essay. As they are working independently and quietly, (I like to play classical or smooth jazz for“writing”music(I just create a play list on Pandora Internet radio) I will confer with them about their writing using the "Possible Conferences for Creating a Third Draft.docx."
Partner Work: Students will be directed to turn and share an example of how they have used analysis in their essay after about 15 minutes of drafting. I will say, “Decide who will be partner A and who will be partner B. Partner A you will share one paragraph where you have tried out analysis. Partner B, I want you to listen if Part A is showing analysis. Then you will tell them if you heard it. If not, give them feedback; tell them an idea of what they could add or let them know that you liked their analysis. Then you will switch.” Here are some examples of students trying out analysis in research essay.
Closing: For today students will turn in their drafts to me as they are walking out the door. I want to see if they added all the components of an essay and check on the volume of their writing. I am looking to see what revising or editing strategy most students need for the next draft. If they are not completed with this draft, they will complete it as homework, but before they leave and while I am conferencing I am taking notes about the aforementioned for tomorrow’s lesson.
If a majority of students are not done I will ask them; “What are you having success with in your essay writing? What would you like help with?” I will take five minutes off their writing time if this is the case.