(This is a repeat of the section originally begun in Lesson: "Discussing Plot in Drama: Make Your Own Study Guide". For a reflection on the process, see that lesson.)
Today, and for the near future, we set aside ten (to fifteen) minutes of class to answer any questions students may have for their final exams. Students have been given a Final Review packet that has been based on the questions they raised as well as the areas in which they felt confidence (see Unit: "Literary Skills and Final Exam Reviews"; the posters students created for this review are hanging in the classroom. Students may draw questions from the posters created for out first review and use them to find or provide answers as well).
An open forum allows for a student-driven classroom, meeting the needs and answering the questions of each student. During this time, students are encouraged to ask questions regarding evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from both literary and non-fiction texts (RL.9-10.1, RI.9-10.1), the skills needed for participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (SL.9-10.1), and knowledge of research and citation skills and format (W.9-10.8).
I reinforce that there "are no bad questions" today, because someone else in class is probably wondering the exact same thing.
In order to meet the needs of more quiet students, I review their filled in (or not) final review packets as I circulate the classroom, and this time is also used for individual conferencing, either student-initiated or by me asking individual students what they may have questions on.
In particular, I take time to address questions regarding material early in the semester, especially the American short story: I ask students to summarize the plot points of the six stories, and build on each other as we review. When I student gets "stuck" with a plot point, I ask him or her to pass it on to another student, picking up the story to recap. In this manner we review not only the stories, but the elements of narrative plot as well. (We addressed narrative plot at the beginning of the school year, when students wrote their own creation myths. See unit: "Literacy: In The Beginning, There Was American Literature.") Given time, we also review the list of "Terms to Know," calling on volunteers to provide a definition and example of each.
In order to review strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text (RL.9-10.1), we hold a whole-class review of the students' homework, reading Act II, Scenes 1 and 2. Students have prepared by responding to a study guide that addresses textual evidence from Act II of the play, and today's review draws on, and expands upon, that preparation in order to hold a thoughtful exchange of ideas (SL.9-10.1a). Students propel the conversation by responding to these questions and relating the specific textual evidence to broader themes and ideas we have addressed (e.g.: home, family conflict, dreams) (SL.9-10.1c)
We are holding the whole-class review to check for students' understanding, but also to keep them engaged and motivated as the class winds down for the year--we are four days until finals at this point.
Students will not be graded on this assignment, but as we discuss, I circulate the room to keep tabs on the students that have completed their homework and those that have blanks. This allows me to check both for questions to specifically address, and students to call on in place of volunteers.
If any time remains, students are asked to read Act II, Scene 3 in class, and complete the study guide in order to identify strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis and inferences drawn from the play (RL.9-10.1).
Students are given reading time to be able to read independently, checking their own understanding of the material via the study guide they were provided for Act II. As students read, I circulate the room, checking study guides over their shoulders and providing any additional clarification for Act II as they work.
With two minutes remaining, students are reminded to complete Act II and the accompanying study guide for homework this evening.