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, “Throughout this unit we have received feedback on our writing from adults and peers. Today you are going to take all of your feedback, your rubric and your resources to compose your final drafts.
Teach: I will say, “In order to complete formal or final drafts, I am going to practice the skill of using any all of my resources to complete my final drafts. I will use the strategy of using feedback, the rubric and my resources (all should be in the writing portfolio). The process I will use is as follows:
1) Re-read any feedback I have received from peers and adults
2) Re-read the rubric
3) Look through my resources in my writing portfolio when I need guidance
4) Have my the poems I have studied in hand
5) Have 1-4 in front of me as I write."
I will model for students how I start my final draft, but stop and think to myself along the way. I will say to myself for example, “Hmm….I should fix________based on my peer feedback? The rubric says I should…..I could add this here. Did I pick the best sensory details for my poem? Let me look back at my text annotations.”
Active Engagement: I will say,”Get out everything you need to be successful with your draft today. Read through all of the feedback you have received. Hold up your drafts with feedback (wait for everyone to hold their’s up in their hands). Hold up your rubric (wait for everyone to hold their’s up in their hands). Hold up your writing portfolio and point to the section in your notebook which holds your resources (wait for everyone to hold their’s up in their hands).”
Also try not to get mad when a child looks at me blankly and says, “What writing portfolio?” :) To this I say, share with your neighbor or check your drawer (where they keep their materials in my classroom).
Closing of Active Engagement: I will say, “Remember successful writers show their best skills as a poet by utilizing the skill of revising and editing their final drafts and the strategy of using their resources. They re-read any feedback they have received, re-read the rubric and use all their resources as they compose their formal or final draft.”
Independent Practice: I will say, “Now you are going to write your final drafts. 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 not confer with them about their writing. I want to ensure students are taking everything they have learned and are writing indepdently. If students have questions I can refer them back to the their resources, I am not coaching into their writing. Their final draft is a form of assessment.
They will have the rest of the period for writing and then I have them finish their drafts for homework. If their independent writing stamina is low, I may give them another day in class if it is their first unit. This will be something that will have to be built upon as writers in order to build independence.
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 closing today I will do a whole class share out. I will ask the class, “What is your plan for finishing your final drafts for homework tonight? What resources do you need to make sure you have at home? Turn and tell your partner.” I will check for understanding by asking every level of learner what they heard their partner say (at least 3 students-one who is at standard, one is approaching standard, and one who is above standard). I will tell students they must come tomorrow with their final draft published or it will be a minus ten for every day it is late.
Here are some of my favorite final stanzas.