Writers Ablaze: Final Copy and Beyond

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SWBAT use input from peers to create a complete, error free piece of writing to convey their opinion.

Big Idea

Editing one's work is essential to success at any level.

Flare Up: Introducing the Firestorm Choice Board

10 minutes

On this final day of writing, my students again find their papers passed out by stage.  They have to find their writing and sit with the students who are at the same stage as them.  These students will work on finishing up the writing process.  Whatever stage they will work through it and move to the group that represents that phase of the writing process.  All kids write at different rates, so I give them guidelines to finish each day, but due to absences, pull outs, writer's block, etc., sometimes kiddos don't get done.  It is what it is!!  

For my kiddos who are done, they get the coveted reading choice board.  My students will do anything to get to work on a choice board.  I guess it's something different and something they're in control of that makes it exciting.  Whatever it is, they L. O. V. E. it so I will use it!!

For the kiddos who aren't done, this is an excellent motivator.  It may motivate them to hurry through their writing and since I can't edit it, I won't know, but we've spent three days on it plus a WHOLE lot of prior practice so I think they'll be OK.  


Feeding the Flame: Independent Work Time

40 minutes

While most of my students are working feverishly to finish, I find that some of the kiddos who didn't manage their time well in the beginning are melting down. I feel the need to create a group to sit with and try to keep their heads together and on task. Sometimes what one finds when giving students independent work time is that not everyone uses their time wisely.  Like my own personal children, I have procrastinators in my class so on this day, they get my full attention to get them caught up to everyone else.  Most of the students who required accommodations are finished so that frees me up to provide some support for the ones who need it.  

Be prepared during this phase for a bit of noise because the students are so excited about the activities.  I will say that they ALL want to run for the computers to do the research because they love that the most so I get a list ahead of time of who wants to do research and then give students a 30 minute window to get their research done.  Also, because I only have three classroom computers, I ask my neighboring teachers if my guys can use their computers.  I am sure to only send my most independent workers to neighboring classes for computer time.  


Putting Out the Fire: Finish and Wrap Up

15 minutes

At the end of class, most of my students have finished their final copy and had a good chance to work on choice board activities.  I gather them back together and allow them to keep their choice board and incomplete activities in their desks.  I tell the students that when they have free time, they can work on their choice board and turn in any activities they finish.  We all give ourselves an enthusiastic pat on the back and class is dismissed.  

A Note Here:  I do grade the activities for completeness and as a gauge of how they are progressing with concepts being taught.