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, “Now that we have three drafts to work with, you are going to get feedback from your peers using the rubric for your final.”
Teach: I will say, “In order to get another person’s opinion on my writing, I am going to practice the skill of getting feedback on all components of an essay and the strategy of utilizing many peer reviewers. The process I will use is as follows:
1) Read over the rubric
2) Pick the draft I want to use for my final
3) Ask questions of my other peers in order to help them with their writing, but also my thinking
I will read over the rubric with students. We will review the types of high level questions I expect them to be asking of each other.
Active Engagement: I will say,”You will leave your draft with your rubric on your desk. You will switch seats every five minutes and look at a peer’s writing for a specific component of the rubric. Within the five minutes, you will write feedback in the form of a question on your peer’s rubric. I want you to think of a deep question that will help your partner’s thinking.”
I will check for understanding by reading the question of every level of learner (at least 3 students-one who is at standard, one is approaching standard, and one who is above standard). I will be looking to see if they are writing questions that will help their peers improve their writing.
Closing of Active Engagement: I will say, “Remember, In order to get another person’s opinion on their writing, writers practice the skill of getting feedback on the different components of their writing and the strategy of utilizing many peer editiors. They use the process of have a peer look for a specific component their writing and also give feedback to thier other peers in order to help them with their writing, but also their own thinking.”
Independent Practice: Students will then go through four more different rotations, going in the order of the rubric (directed by me). When they get to the part of the rubric about the conclusion, I will point out the anchor chart and have them think through their question with the anchor chart in mind. Conclusions are something they need to improve upon as a class, therefore I am specifically pointing that out.
I will say, “I should not hear talking, because if you do not understand a part of your peer’s writing, then write your questions on the rubric. Just like with real authors, if we don’t understand their stories, we can’t call them up and ask them.” In order to thoroughly read their partner’s writing and leave questions, this should take at least 20 mintues. 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 as they are rotating.
I will give then give them time to edit and revise their writing based on their peer feedback.
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: “Tomorrow you will start our last draft. What is an example a peer asked you today that helped your thinking about your draft?