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: I will say, “Yesterday we planned out our essays. Today, we will put all our components together into a first draft of one idea we have generated so far. This is the first of three drafts.
Teach: I will say, “In order to plan out my persuasive essay, I am going to practice the skill of completing a first draft and the strategy of taking everything we have learned and making a draft. The process I will use is as follows:
1) Remind myself about what I know about essay writing
2)Review my boxes, bullets and brackets
3) Read over a Example Lit. Essay.docx in order to see how to put it all together
4) Review introductions
5) Place the parts in a logical sequence in my draft using the reminders on the side
I will read through the sample essay with the students with the components I want them to remember color coded. I will show them how I and think through my own essay by looking at my boxes, bullets and brackets, use the text as a mentor and the introduction anchor chart and/or handout.
I will model just the introduction for them (since the whole class needs to work on this) and then show them how I put reminders for my personal goals on the side of my draft (in the column). Before class starts, I hand back their last essay so they can be reminded about what they know of essay writing and it will guide their goal setting.
Active Engagement: I will say,”You will now take a separate piece of paper, write down your goals on the side and then quietly write down your introduction.” I will check for understanding by quickly reading the first one or two sentence from every level of learner and their goals on the side (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 draft a literary essay, successful writers practice the skill of completing a first draft and the strategy of taking everything we have learned and making a draft. The process writers use is they review what they planned out, read over a sample essay in order to see how an essay is put together and then place the parts in a logical sequence.
Independent Practice: will say, “Now you are going to write out your first draft. They should write for at least 25 minutes if not more. They should be adding all of the components of literary essay that we have gone over so far, as well as what we have been taught in past units. 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 Possible Conferences for Drafting the First Draft.doc. One of the most important things I always try to remember is to have a follow-up conference with a student after I have conferred with them. Here is an initial conference and the follow-up conference.
Partner Work: Turn and talk #1:Students will be directed share the introduction after about I see that most students have written theirs (I usually give them a time limit of about 5 minutes). I will say, “Decide who will be partner A and who will be partner B. Partner A you will share your introduction paragraph. Partner B, I want you to listen if partner A has their logically put their hook, claim and reasons together. Give your partner feedback as to if they missed anything. I should hear you say, “Maybe you could…. OR I like how you…” Then switch.” .
Turn and talk #2: Students will be directed to share their second paragraph after I see most students have written them (I usually give them a time limit of about 10 minutes). I will say, “Decide who will be partner A and who will be partner B. Partner A you will share your second paragraph. Partner B, I want you to listen if partner A has their logically put their claim, reason, counter-argument and two pieces of evidence together. Give your partner feedback as to if they missed anything. I should hear you say, “Maybe you could…. OR I like how you…” Then switch.”
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: For today students will turn in their drafts to me. I want to see if they added all the components of an essay and check on the volume of their writing. I am looking to see what revising or editing strategy most students need for the next day. If they are not completed with the first draft, they will complete it as homework, but before they leave and while I am conferencing I am taking notes about the aforementioned for tomorrow’s lesson.