Today it is time to get down to work! We are writing the entire rough draft of our papers today. Because we have worked hard with our Theme Analysis PreWriting, the task is rather simple. However, students have a tendency to panic at the thought of writing the essay. To give them some confidence, I am going to begin class by reading the Rhetorical Theme Analysis Assignment together. I want the assignment to be fresh in their minds when they write their rough draft. I'm also going to ask them what parts of the graphic organizer/prewriting were most successful. This will remind them that they have already done most of the hard work. I won't spend very much time with the warm up today because I want students to have plenty of time to write.
In this video students discuss being ready to write their rough draft, and explain how using the graphic organizers for prewriting makes them feel about writing their final draft.
During today's Writer's Workshop time, students will be writing in silence. The only exception to this rule, is if students need peer assistance, they will head to the writing center. The writing center is a table in the back of my room. This is where students go if they are stuck and need a peer's help. Sometimes I sit at the writing center, sometimes I use a senior tutor, sometimes it is just classmate peers. For the brief mini lesson, I will remind students to use the writing center and the rules.
Writing center rules:
Have a seat and wait for a classmate to join you.
Set the timer for five minutes
At the end of five minutes, return to your seats.
I will also make sure students have reviewed their I Can Statements for their rough draft.
I Can maintain an objective tone throughout my analysis. (W 9-10.2e)
I Can use well chosen details to provide evidence for my thesis (W 9-10.2b)
I Can strengthen my writing by revising (W 9-10.5)
While these aren't the only things students are focusing on, they have been a very specific focus throughout this writing unit.
During student work time, students are writing and writing and writing (W.9-10.2). It is always difficult for me as a teacher to decide who I'm going to help during this time. I always carry a timer with me. As I'm stopping by to conference with a student, I start my timer and don't stay longer than five minutes. I tell myself I can always come back that particular student. I also take quick notes on a Post-It and leave it with the student. I write things like "Add more voice" "Your evidence isn't clear" "Fix formatting issues" "Add strength to your 2nd body paragraph". These notes help the students as they continue to write, but they also help me to remember what that student was working on when I come back to him/her. Here is a Conference Example.
By the end of the class period, students should have a completed rough draft. I will instruct students to come to class tomorrow with their completed rough draft so we can revise.