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 working so hard on our writing, so now it is time to celebrate! When authors publish their writing, they have publishing parties. Today we are going to do just that. *If students are not completed with their final draft, I set aside the back part of my classroom for them to work on their final while the other students are in this activity.
Teach: I will say, “In order to celebrate our writing, we will read each other’s essay I am going to practice the skill of giving and receiving feedback and the strategy of thinking through the rubric. The process I will use is as follows:
1) Have a peer look for a specific component of my essay*
2) Give feedback to my other peers in order to help them with their writing, but also my thinking
3) Reflect on my peer feedback
I will model for students how I read through a student’s final draft (I will use one from another class and redact the student’s name) and show the students how I give advice and ask questions. I want students to learn from their peer feedback but I also want to see how students are asking questions at this point in the year as well.
The will use the peer feedback column of the rubric they received yesterday.
Independent Practice: I will say, “Now you are going to read over each other’s writing independently and quietly. You will only travel with your pencil. You will move one seat in front of you when I say go. You have 10 minutes to read over your classmate’s draft. When you get to their writing, read only for the standards of the rubric I direct you to read (they read for two parts of the rubric).
During this time students will read over each other’s writing. They will go through three rotations of two standards each (7.5 and 7.7 are for teacher use only). As they are doing this I am either helping the students in the back who have not finished their essay or reading an essay with a student. The only conferencing I am doing with students is ensuring they are following the feedback format.
Here is our Writing Celebration.
Closing: For closing today I have students complete a reflection in their writers’ notebook. I will say, “Write a reflection stating what you think you did really well and that sets a goal for their next writing project based on what standard you want to keep working on.”
I have them turn in all of their drafts, their rubric and their final draft. I do not staple it because I will run their final draft through the copier for their hallway display.
When they are all completed I give them a treat. I usually buy them donuts or cookies.