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: “We are almost ready to write our final draft, but before we do, I want you edit your sentences. Today we are going to talk about how commas save lives.”
Teach: I will say, “In order to ensure we are using a variety of sentences and are using commas correctly, I am going to practice the skill of ensuring I am communicating effectively in my writing and the strategy reading my my writing backwards and editing for sentence structure.The process I will use is as follows:
1) Remind myself of simple, compound and complex setences.
2) Read through comma examples.
3) Read through my writing backwards and edit my sentences for clarity and commas.*
4) Edit my own writing for the three different types of sentences and commas.”
I will read over over examples of funny comma mistakes. I will show them how I read through a draft I have picked backwards (the fifth and fourth draft) for my published essay and think through sentence structure and commas.
*I mean read the last sentence of the essay first. If writers learn to edit this way, the sentence is isolated instead of within the context, thus it makes it easier to find mistakes.
Active Engagement: I will read over a the third, second and first paragraphs of my essay and students will tell me where they see . I will check for understanding by asking each level of learner (at least 3 students-one who is at standard, one is approaching standard, and one who is above standard).
Closing of Active Engagement: I will say, “Remember in order to ensuring they are communicating effectively in writing, successful writers practice the skill of using resources to remind them of what types of sentences they should be writing and the strategy of reading their writing backwards and editing. The process they use is read their resources, read their writing backwards and edit their own writing for the three different types of sentences and commas.
Independent Practice: I will say, “Now you are going to read through your writing and edit for the three types of sentences and comma usage.” They should read and edit about 15 minutes. If they are done with one draft, I will ask them to start editing on another draft for more practice. As they are working independently and quietly, (I like to play classical or smooth jazz for “writing” music (I just create a play list on Pandora Internet radio) I will confer with them about their writing by using the attached conference chart.
Partner Work: They will then switch writing with a partner and the partner will put a second check next to each sentence they read on one or more drafts. They will be given small post-its and write to their peer how they can edit a sentence if there was one their partner did not edit correctly.
I believe that the end of the lesson should be an assessment of the days’ learning; therefore it should be independent work. I always end class with an “exit ticket” in which students write down the response to a question.
Closing: Jot down an example of how you edited one sentence. Write down your old sentence and then your new sentence. Then answer; “What did you change?” (this last question was added after I looked through my exit tickets).