This Guiding Question was taken from our worktext, SpringBoard. It's one of two essential questions for the unit. Students are asked to answer the question at the beginning of the Unit, and then again at the end. Students were asked what internal and external factors influence one's self-perception. This student example of guiding question doesn't really answer the questions, but she's at least grappling with what internal and external factors are.
For the Mini Lesson, I read aloud from the Unit Overview and the Learning Focus. This is a really difficult unit and it was crucial that I emphasized its importance. As I read aloud, I gave the students lots of examples of writer's voice. I used the examples of our read-aloud's and presented the students with a scenario. If Jewell Parker Rhodes (who wrote Ninth Ward) wrote The Fourth Stall, how would it sound different? The students said that she would have probably been less funny and more descriptive.
I reiterated this point by saying if my students had really good voice when writing, I'd be able to recognize their writing (not handwriting), even without their names on their papers.
For the Work Time, students were unpacking the Embedded Assessment using these stop light directions. We do this at the beginning of the unit, so that we know what to concentrate and focus on for the whole of the unit. Here's a student working to show what it looks like in action.
During this time, I circulate to see if students are unpacking appropriately. For example, I have a student who consistently marks "green" for the concepts and skills. I checked in with him and quizzed him a little on things like "parallel sentence structure," and "thematic concepts." He conceded that he didn't know what those things were, and revised accordingly. Sometimes, when students get a highlighter, colored pencil, or marker, it seems that they want to color instead of mark their paper appropriately. I really have to watch for this.
The Reflection didn't use their regular sentence stems and, instead, asked them to synthesize what they had gathered from previewing the unit, and then kind of asked them to create a focus for themselves. This student example of reflection shows how one students knows she needs to wok on commentary and revisiting prior work.