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, “As we start our rough draft of our fantasy fiction story today, we are going to revise the scenes in our notebooks for redundant and precise words in order to make our story seem more like a fantasy. Then we will write our rough draft by keeping specific word choice in mind.”
Teach: I will say, “In order to make sure our writing truly sounds like a fantasy story, I am going to show you how to recognize redundant and simple words by using the skill of reading out loud to a partner strategy of using feedback. The process I will use is as follows:
1) Read my scene to a partner
2) Have my partner write down words I hear more than once
3) Have my partner write down words that I could improve
4) Revise my writing.”
I will show students how I look for redundant words (see video below). I will have the students turn and talk about how they would revise my sentence. I will then take their advice and revise my writing for at least two sentences.
Active Engagement: I will say, “Read your first couple of sentences to your partner. Partners, I am going to listen in to the feedback I am hearing you give your partner for word choice. I will listen in to the student’s conversations (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 successful writers know how to recognize redundant and simple words by reading their writing out loud and taking feedback from their partner. They then revise their writing before writing their rough draft and then keep word choice in mind as they complete their rough draft.”
Independent Practice: I will say, “You will continue your partner work with all of the scenes you have drafted so far, after you share, make sure you listen to your partner’s story, then start writing your rough draft. I will walk around and confer with students using Possible Conferences for Drafting a Fantasy Draft.
Partner Work: Students will be directed to turn and share their rough draft with their partner when I see that most of the class has completed at least a page. I will say, “I want you to share your rough draft with a partner. “Decide who will be partner A and who will be partner B. Partner A I want you to share what you have written so far. Partner B, I want you to listen if Partner A has continued to pay attention to not being redundant and has used high level words that make their fantasy story come alive. If not, give them feedback; tell them an idea of what they could add or let them know what your favorite sentences were. Then you will switch.” I will then give students time to revise, or have them make notes and revise for homework.
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 ticker in which students write down the response to a question.
Closing: Students will turn in their best two sentences that show revision. I will ask them to write their old sentence and their revised sentence.