As students enter the library, I note that it's Tuxedo Day, but, "I never bothered to look up if that means 'formal wear' or 'kitten'" (mostly for the humor and sense of community). After a quick note reminding students of the due dates and to stay focused, they are released to begin drawing information from whatever sources they can find. As with yesterday, I want to give students as much time as possible to begin their research, so I do not spend as much time as I would normally with the "Daily Holiday" and welcome. I will circulate the classroom talking to them then.
As noted yesterday, students have already located sources that they can use in their research, and the majority of these sources have been bookmarked online, printed, or set aside in book reserve for the students to come back to. Today, students continue to seek out the information they need to support their points.
Students are provided time in the library to do their research so that they can consult me or one of our librarians if they need assistance or clarification. By providing them this time, I can ensure they are on task, and while students work, I am circulating the library and computer lab, checking students are prepared, but also immediately clarifying any questions or concerns they may have; yesterday, many of the students struggled remembering where they put their resources, so I take time to check that they are using their source cards to help locate materials.
As students complete their information cards, I ask them to bring them to me so that we can look over them together, identifying any areas in need of development and providing positive reinforcement. The goal for the students is to complete their notecards in class so that I may provide direct feedback and that they have them to work independently. Feedback includes asking students to clarify their main ideas (and checking in on their progress), differentiating between ideas for support and tone, clarifying counter-claims, and providing support on citation format.
Students are actively looking of and assessing the usefulness of information that supports their persuasive topic (W.9-10.8). As they organize their work, I am reading over shoulders, getting their ideas, offering my own, directing them to different sources: whatever it takes to get the correct information to avoid plagiarism and follow standard MLA format. As students compile their information cards, they are wording their findings to develop their claims (W.9-10.1b) precisely, and distinguish their claims from counter-claims (W.9-10.1a).
With two minutes remaining, I track the students down and remind them we are back in the classroom tomorrow for emergency drill day, and remind them of the due date if the students do not complete their info cards. Despite having ample time both in and out of class to complete this assignment, students need to remember the set schedule and the importance of deadlines. Plus, I will not be in tomorrow, and students need to have clearly set a course; turning back/changing topics would be more of a challenge than effective option at this point.