It's Friday, and so we begin class today by reviewing the vocabulary words identified in our readings and discussions throughout the week. This set of words are from two sources: "To A Mouse" by Robert Burns (timorous) and the article from pen.org, "On Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men" (tautological, euthanize, inevitable, predicate, stagnate, exploit, exalt, ambivalent, dubious). Both texts were required reading for our second Socratic Seminar.
Vocabulary homework is again student choice, from the options listed on the final slide of the powerpoint. My students know by now to choose the method that works the best for them, in terms of performing well on the vocabulary quiz next week.
After the vocabulary review, I distribute a copy of the rubric I will be using to grade my students' essays on a theme in Of Mice and Men. I generally distribute the rubric as a last installment in the writing process, as there should be no surprises on it. By the time my students receive the rubric for their final essay drafts, we should have already addressed the requirements of the rubric throughout the drafting process, so that it serves as a reminder for them as the complete their final drafts.
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The remaining minutes of class are devoted to any peer response that remained unfinished from this lesson, or to revising essay drafts as my students move towards creating their final drafts. This gives me an opportunity to spot check any drafts of students who request it, as I anticipate that some students will want me to read for their use of literary present tense and to check for proper in-text citation formatting.
I try to maintain the policy of making myself available as a reader only after a peer response workshop has occurred, in that I want my students to buy into the benefits of peer responding and not to automatically come to me for help as a first option. Because I am in the habit of guiding my students step by step through their processed essays, and in whole-group sharing and continuous feedback of student writing as it develops, most students who needed extra help have already received it from me throughout the process. At the final draft stage, I want my students to have confidence in their writing, to trust what they have decided to say throughout the process.
Before my students leave, I remind them that their typed final drafts are due our next class session.