To close a lesson, Amy asks her students to complete a quick write about what they think is the most important idea (the main idea) from their reading and to use evidence from the text to support their thinking. Students willl have discussed this question with peers prior to beginning their quick write and then have five minutes to construct their text-dependent response.
Now, it is time to write! Each person will be starting with the one idea that was the most important. If students agree with their group members, they can use their own idea at this point. Students will elaborate on the main idea by using evidence from the article along with their own ideas. Again, this will be a five minute free write where I encourage them to write for the entire time. This is an example of what CCSS refers to as readable writing. This a high quality piece of writing that is organized and thought out but not taken through the entire writing process. It will help students prepare for assessments like PARCC where they have to write a constructed response on the spot. This writing time promotes critical thinking and allows students to work on creating a range of writing tasks, which are both crucial part of the CCSS.
Regan and her class sing a song about the structure that they will follow as they draft a paragraph based on textual evidence. Students then apply this song as they compose a paragraph about an article they read as a class. Singing helps students to engage with and internalize the rubric, as well as addresses the needs of multiple learning types.
Amy teaches her students to use the RACE method to write a paragraph to cite evidence from the text. Amy first models for her students each part of the RACE protocol using a focus question. Students work together to find evidence within the text to support their answer to the focus question. Students share out their evidence and Amy projects it using the document camera. After whole-class practice, students try the strategy independently.