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, “Yesterday we drafted one idea for one essay, today are going to practice writing conclusions for our one draft.”
Teach: I will say, “In order to write a conclusion for my essay, I am going to practice the skill of trying out different kinds of conclusions and the strategy of using examples. The process I will use is as follows:
1) Read over my draft and ask myself, “How do I want to end my essay?”
2) Read through the conclusion handout while labeling
3) Try out at least three conclusions but always add my claim and reasons
We will read the different ways to conclude your essay together. I will show them how I use the examples to think through a different topic.
Active Engagement: I will say, “You will use the draft you started yesterday and use that claim and reasons to practice at least one conclusion.” I will look over the shoulder of at least three learners (at least 3 students-one who is at standard, one is approaching standard, and one who is above standard). I am looking to gauge their understanding of the conclusion they are writing.
Closing of Active Engagement: : I will say, “Remember in order to conclude your essay to your reader in a way that leaves them thinking, successful writers practice the skill of trying out different kinds of conclusions and the strategy of using examples. The process they use is as follows: read over their draft and ask themselves, “How do I want to end my essay? They then read through the different types of conclusions they can use and try out at least three conclusions but always add their claim and reasons.
Independent Practice: I will say, “Now you are going to write out at least three conclusions.” They should write for at least 25 minutes if not more. If they are done, have them try out the other two kinds of conclusions, or have them start drafting another idea of another essay using the planning sheet. 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 confer with them about their writing using the possible conferences for practicing conclusions.
Partner Work: Students will be directed to share their conclusions with their partner. I will say, “Decide who will be partner A and who will be partner B. Partner A you will share one of your conclusions. Partner B, I want you to listen if Part A leaves you thinking and not confused. Give your partner feedback as to how they could conclude their essay. I should hear, “Maybe you could try…” Then switch.” .
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 today students will turn in their best conclusion, the one they think leaves the reader thinking and has clear claim and reasons.