Each day, I begin my ELA class with Reading Time. This is a time for students to access a range of texts. I use this time to conference with students, collect data on class patterns and trends with independent reading and to provide individualized support.
Giving students time to work in class is one of the greatest resources I can give my students. It gives students a space to work, which is so important, since they have so many other things to do and worry about outside of school. They can work through their thinking during this time and I can also help them during this time. Since these projects are individual, I can conference with students to help them with their specific questions and areas they need to work on.
I begin the lesson by telling students they will spend the next two days working on this project. This will be the only time they have to work on this project before it's due. I remind students of the resources they have available. Students are able to refer back to the Final Book Project Explanation and the Using Direct Quotations Worksheet to use during this time.
This example shows a student work during this time as she works on creating these paragraphs: Student Example Paragraphs. I was also able to conference with this student and our notes are listed as comments on the document. Here is an explanation of the conference: Paragraphs Conference
During this time, I circulate around the classroom to make sure they are working and also try and conference with students. I don't necessarily reach out to students, unless it appears absolutely neccesarry, as I want students to try and make the decisions on their own. Instead I conference with students when they ask me.Here are some topics that come up in those conferences: Lists Of Conferences For Final Book Project Workshop Time.
This is a lesson where one needs to embrace the chaos. There is going to be a lot going on. Some students will be working on their paragraphs, others will be working on their art pieces, and some will be finding passages to go along with their project. It's okay that students are working on different parts of their project. Just make sure they are working. If students are able to make productive decisions, they are going to learn so much in the long run, so embrace the chaos. Just make sure it doesn't get too loud.