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, “Throughout this unit we have received feedback on our writing from adults and peers. Today you are going to take all of your feedback, your rubric and your resources to compose a final draft. You will be able to see that you know so much! If someone was to ask, "What do you know about persuasive writing, you would be able to say a lot, but you have to show it today."*
Teach: I will say, “In order to complete a formal or final draft, I am going to practice the skill of using any all of my resources complete my final draft. I will use the strategy of using feedback, the rubric and my resources (all should be in the writing portfolio). The process I will use is as follows:
1) Review everything we have learned in this unit with my classmates.*
2) Re-read any feedback I have received from peers and adults.
3) Re-read the rubric
4) Look through my resources in my writing portfolio when I need guidance
5) Review two new resources if I need them.
6) Have 2-4 in front of me as I write
I will ask the class to review all the components of persuasive essay we have learned. I will call on students to share out one thing they know about persuasive writing.*
I will model for students how I start my final draft, but stop and think to myself along the way. I will say to myself for example, “Hmm….I should fix________based on my peer feedback? The rubric says I should…..I could add this here. I wonder what word choice I should use….oh there’s my word choice handout.”
*For a fun way to review, I played the first couple lines of T.I's song. When he says, "What you know about that?" and had students tell me what they already knew about essay. The rest of the song is inappropriate, so I am only advocating for the first couple of lines! :) My students thought it was funny and it was a way to create joy in the first minutes of class.
**shout out to Dena Synder for her contributions to the word choice handout.
Active Engagement: I will say,”Get out everything you need to be successful with your draft today.. Read through the all of the feedback you have received. Hold up your draft with feedback (wait for everyone to hold their’s up in their hands). Hold up your rubric (wait for everyone to hold their’s up in their hands). Hold you your writing portfolio and point to the section in your notebook which holds your resources (wait for everyone to hold their’s up in their hands).”
Closing of Active Engagement: I will say, “Remember successful writers show their best skill as an essay writer by using skill of using all of their resources and the strategy of using their resources as they think through their final draft. They re-read any feedback they have received, re-read the rubric and use all their resources as they compose their formal or final draft.”
Independent Practice: I will say, “Now you are going to write your final draft. 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 not confer with them about their writing.
They will have the rest of the period for writing and then I have them finish their draft for homework. If their independent writing stamina is low, I may give them another day in class for the first unit. This will be something that will have to be built upon as writers in order to build independence.
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 closing today I will do a whole class share out. I will ask the class, “What is your plan for finishing your final draft for homework tonight? What resources do you need to make sure you have at home? Turn and tell your partner.” I will check for understanding by asking every level of learner what they heard their partner say (at least 3 students-one who is at standard, one is approaching standard, and one who is above standard).
I will tell students they must come tomorrow with their final draft published or it will be a minus ten for every day it is late. I will remind them about the next day’s publishing party as a motivator in which they will receive a treat (explained in the next lesson).
The day I taught this lesson we had a literacy night at school. Here are two of my students, Jeanna and Kaitleen sharing their writing to staff, parents and students. I always try to think of ways and give opportunity for students to share their writing with a broader audience than the classroom.