The students complete a short district assessment of adverbs, point-of-view, and prompt
The students will complete their pre-writing exercises (the brainstorming web and story
map, due at the end of the period for 50 points) and begin/continue their rough drafts
The teacher passes the formal writing prompt and the assignment checklist to the
students. The teacher explains each requirement to the students. The teacher also posts
and explains the directions for Writers’ Workshop on the overhead.
The teacher models the pre-writing activity on the overhead and how each aspect of the
requirements for a “well-written narrative” matches what they brainstormed.
Checking for Understanding
The teacher asks the students if they have any questions. Then she calls on students
randomly and asks them questions such as what certain requirements for their writing
assignment include. When the students move on to their independent practice, the
teacher walks around the room, checking on the progress of the students.
The students work independently on completing their pre-writing activities and begin or
continue writing their rough drafts.
The teacher collects their pre-writing worksheet and asks the students to tell her when the
rough draft is due.
Day One of Writers’ Workshop wasn’t the most successful class period. The
instructional input portion of the lesson went relatively well, and the students’ focus
remained on the lesson for the most part. When it came time to begin Writers’
Workshop, the rules for conducting Writers’ Workshop were disregarded by quite a few
of the students. I had emphasized that Writers’ Workshop needed to be a quiet
environment to encourage productivity, but many of the students chatted and were off-
task. I had planned to play classical music for the students, but that idea was vetoed
soundly. I also learned a very valuable lesson that day: never to turn my back on the
class. While helping one student, I had crouched down next to his desk to hear him
better. The classroom got so noisy that I didn’t notice one student loudly telling an
expletive-filled story. My cooperating teacher, who normally just observes, alerted me to
this and I quickly sent the student out. After I had settled the class, I went outside,
keeping the door open, and talked to the student I had sent outside. After class, Ms.
Hagelis and I discussed how to prevent the repetition of this mistake; tomorrow will be
another Writers’ Workshop, and instead of going to each student individually, I’ll set up a
desk in the back of the classroom where students can come up to me for help and I can
still keep an eye on the entire classroom. We’ll see if that set-up is successful.
The teacher administers a practice spelling test to the students.
The students will begin or continue writing their rough drafts.
The teacher gives the students instructions for Writers’ Workshop. The rules of Writers’
Workshop are projected on the overhead. The teacher also explains how each step of
their story map becomes translated to each part of their autobiographical narrative.
The teacher reviews how to students move from the pre-writing step of the writing
process to the writing of the actual draft. The teacher projects an overhead transparency
of the story map that she filled out herself pertaining to the example narrative essay that
she wrote. She also has a transparency of the narrative essay example. She marks the
essay’s different parts and underlines or circles elements such as dialogue and descriptive
language. She models how the outline of the introduction on the story map was
developed to become the introduction on the draft.
Together, the students and the teacher identify the other elements from the story map
within the example essay.
Checking for Understanding
The teacher asks the students questions such as what needs to be included in the narrative
essay and what needs to be included in each section of the essay.
The students participate in Writers’ Workshop and continue writing their drafts.
The teacher asks the students to tell her when the rough draft is due.
Hooray! Writers’ Workshop went swimmingly today! It was so much better than
yesterday. I decided to just play the classical music, and though there was a bit of
grumbling for a small group of students, that quickly quieted and the students worked
quietly at their desks. Whenever anyone began talking off-task, I would ask a student,
“Oh, so-an-so, what’s the environment supposed to be like during Writers’ Workshop?”
and he or she would answer, “Quiet!”. It was great. The lesson had gone well and their
independent work was very productive. It seems that the students take a bit of time to get
to new things, but when they understand them, they do very well.
The students are given 6 minutes to complete an adjective v. adverb warm-up.
The students will review elements of figurative language in poetry.
The students are given a fill-in-the-blanks note-taking worksheet on figurative language
in poetry. The worksheet is projected on the overhead and as the teacher fills in the
blanks, the students write them in their worksheets as well.
For each figurative language device, the teacher provides an example that she either made
up or found from within the context of a poem.
Together, the students and the teacher look for these figurative language devices in a
poem familiar to the students, Langston Hughes’ “Dreams” (which had been included in
one of their weekly homework packets).
In their homework packet, the students will complete an analysis of a poem, which
includes identifying these figurative language devices.
Checking for Understanding/Closure
The students play a game to review what they have reviewed in class. The students are
paired up to form teams and each team is given a white board. The teacher asks the
students questions about figurative language, such as defining terms and giving
examples. The students write their answers on their boards and are awarded points when
called on by the teacher and giving the correct answer.
The students work well taking notes and enjoy poetry and identifying elements of poetry.
However, the game is a disaster- I had not properly coordinated with Ms. Hagelis the
organization of the game. The game required the students to pair up to form the teams,
and they would write the answers to the questions posed by the teacher on white boards.
However, there was much resistance to the teams that I had formed (students wanted to
be with their friends, didn’t want to be with a certain person, etc.) so it took a really long
time to even begin. And the students were so wound up from getting ready for the game,
that we only had time to answer one question. All in all, it was chaotic, and too
complicated for a short day. I need better organization if I want the students to
participate in a game activity in the future!
The students complete a spelling assessment. The students will also complete a dialogue
The students will complete an evaluation of their experiences with the essay-writing
The teacher hands the students an evaluation worksheet. The teacher projects the
worksheet on the overhead. The worksheet contains eleven questions, which the teacher
reads and explains to the students. The teacher also talks about the importance of self-
reflection when writing and its benefits.
The teacher takes a few of the questions and models how students might answer them,
and what they should be thinking about when answering the questions.
The teacher reads another question and asks the students how they might answer the
Checking for Understanding
The teacher asks random students to clarify what the students need to accomplish with
The students are instructed to select five of the eleven questions and to answer them in
The teacher collects the rough drafts and writing process evaluation forms, and asks for
students to volunteer their thoughts and impressions on their writing experience so far.
The students did well with their self-evaluations. Most of the students also turned in their
rough drafts (if they had not turned them in yesterday for extra credit). There was the
usual off-task talking and I realized something. I have been so adamant about students
not talking during activities unless they are asking questions or working in groups, that I
don’t really do a lot of group work with the students because it does seem to lead to a loss
of focus on the activities and lessons. I want the students to learn how to work well with
their classmates, so I think I need to just let them work together more while also giving
their activities a lot of structure. It’s something that I need to work on.