This lesson actually takes 2 class periods of 50 minutes each. Each day is structured the same--5 minutes to set goals, 40 minutes to work, and 5 minutes to "close out" or "carry over" goals at the end of the hour. The lessons are combined here because students work on the same activity on both days.
To start the day, I ask students to set a goal--what needs to be accomplished today? Examples include:
Students write their goals on the board to hold themselves accountable.
For most of the hour, students work on their research project, finding information and taking notes. I meander to answer questions and keep students on task. Most questions are actually answerable by reading the assignment sheet; rather than repeating the information many times, I tell students to read the assignment themselves. This frustrates some of them (I'm right there, after all), but they need to learn how to solve their own problems rather than relying on me all the time.
At the end of the hour, I ask students to tell me how much progress they made. If they met their goal, we erase it from the board. If not, it carries over to our next work day or homework.