I start the class by asking the students to write down 1-2 questions they have about MLA formatting, citation, or other related issues. We use these questions to facilitate a short table discussion to answer them, and then any remaining questions are covered whole group. I feel the students need continued opportunities to support and learn from one another. This also helps me to efficiently respond to their needs.
Once the students have prepared their questions, I ask them to take turns asking them in their table groups. I set up the discussions by telling students NOT to guess or answer questions if they are not absolutely positive of the correct answer/response. I assure them that any remaining questions will be answered by me, whole group, following this time.
As the students discuss, I listen in on conversations and only interject to ask groups to table certain topics for me to cover shortly. Sometimes, students truly believe they have the correct answer, but they do not, so it is crucial that I am paying pretty careful attention to the discussions going on.
The timing for this section can certainly vary, as it did very much so from one of my class periods to another. I just listen for the topics to start shifting to more social things, and then pull the class all back together. Once we are all together, I ask students to share with me any remaining questions and/or concerns that were not resolved during table talks.
Most of the questions that still remain at this point are more for clarification, or in reference to whether to quote or paraphrase.
We spend the next thirty minutes of the class period reviewing the MLA-Format-Work-Sheet homework assignment and looking at other examples to ensure that all students have accurate information to utilize as a resource in the future if needed. To make this more engaging, I have the students take turns filling in the information on the Smart Board, which helps everyone to be sure their information is correctly inputted.
To wrap things up for the day, I pull up Citation Machine, which is a website that allows you to input the necessary information and provides you with the correct in-text citation and citation formatting for the Works Cited page as well.
I want the kids to be able to refer back to notes as needed, for times when they do not have access to the computer and web, but I also want them to be familiar with web-based resources that can make their lives much easier as well.