Today's lesson is easy in terms of teaching but today's focus is more on language conventions when writing as well as the editing process. I teach language conventions every day in our phonics lessons as well as our grammar block. So I didn't feel the need to teach grammar within the structure of this lesson. I also knew I could address individual needs with language standards in the student/teacher conferences. We are applying what we've been learning all along to our writing today.
The big standard we are addressing is W1.5 - With guidance and support from adults, focus on a topic, respond to questions and suggestions from peers, and add details to strengthen writing as needed. Here is what makes today's lesson rigorous for my students - I have always been a control freak when it comes to editing and I have always done all the editing work for them. This is brand new territory for them. I first went out on a ledge and tried peer editing with one of my reading groups on a lesson called Dinosaur Detectives. The lesson went so well I thought, " I really should be doing this with my whole class." I'm really glad I did and you'll see why after you see the peer editing video and my reflection on that.
The students are going to take their writing from the flow maps and write their sloppy copies. Then they will find a partner and peer edit with each other. They will use their five star checklists to make sure they have all the components on the checklist. The components on the checklist address all the Common Core language standards.
You can take the journal paper I have for you in the resource section and make a double sided copy. If you have students who really like to write, you can take the 2nd page and make a double sided copy of that as well. This way students only have to make 1 illustration. I also have copies of the 5 star checklist that students will need for today's lesson.
I brought up my Smartboard lesson and went to the flow map. A strategy I have found that helps the students is to number the order of the boxes. We have numbered our boxes and used the flow map for some other writing projects and most of the students understand the order they are to copy their boxes. There is one student who still doesn't understand this so I made sure to pass by their table and ask , What box are you going to copy first, then what, then what?" Then if they copy the order wrong again, they are going to have to learn the hard way that their writing doesn't make sense and they will have to start over. Sometimes we have to learn the hard way.
After I modeled numbering the boxes and the students had done the same I said, " You are going to copy your boxes and make a sloppy copy. Keep in mind everything you need to have on your 5 star rubric. Make sure you have those things. When you are done, you will find a partner and read each others work. You will edit one piece of work at a time. The reader will help the author to fix any mistakes and make sure the story makes sense. Does everyone understand what to do?"
The next part of the lesson is controlled chaos. Every student in my class works at different rates. My strugglers take a really long time and my advanced students get things done in no time flat.
The students make their sloppy copies and then they peer edit. When they are done editing each other's work they initial their partners rubric. Once they are done they can come to the reading table with me and have one last writing conference with me.
This is the time when you can really differentiate your instruction based on each student's ability level. I know each of my students well and I know what they need to focus on. You know your students too and you will know what to work on with each of them. For example, with my advanced students, I worked on correct comma use. I also challenged my advanced students to take 2 details from their tree map and do some sentence combining by using the word "and." One of my strugglers still has trouble with spacing, so I made sure this student was using their large craft stick I gave them as a spacer. Could this lesson possibly take more than one day? Yes. Based on how fast your class works or what their ability level is you could take more time with today's lesson. If everyone is on task and focused on creating a quality project definitely take more than one day to do this if you need to. I have a video of my student's creating their sloppy copies using their flow maps so you can see what this might look like in your classroom. I also have a peer editing video so you can see how they did with editing.
Could some of your advanced students finish, have a conference with you, and be ready to start their good copies all in this one sitting? Yep. If they're ready give them more paper and have them write, implementing the changes you've suggested.
At the end of today's lesson I said, "We are all at different points in the writing process. We are going to continue with our peer and teacher editing and writing our good copies tomorrow. By the end of tomorrow, everyone should be close to being finished with their good copies."
You may have high achieving students that finish their writing early and have done their peer editing. If this is the case you can hold a student/teacher writing conference. I have the "adult" rubric that I used for my conferencing. I read through the work and highlighted the points that I would give this student at this point in the conference. I talked about areas of improvement and how they can improve their work. At this stage you can really differentiate your conferences based on student's abilities and needs. You can demand more of your higher achievers and modify for your strugglers.
I send the student back to their seat to work on improving their work. When I do my final grades I will highlight the students score in a different color to show them that they've made improvements and that their grade has gone up.
I use the rubric that my district wants us to use. I have it here in the resource section if you would like to use it.