The unit will use a variety of Best practices to deliver instruction. The unit is designed with the understanding that effective Language Arts instruction plans for instruction in reading, listening, vocabulary and grammar. The unit plans for each of these four major areas in varying degrees throughout each lesson. For example, the teacher may read to students or students may read aloud, depending on the learning task and the reading level of the students.
In planning effective instruction, all classroom routines will be consistent. The daily agenda of activities will be posted, along with daily learning objectives. Students will be expected to maintain a daily journal and working portfolio. The Essential Questions for both the year and the marking period will also be posted in the classroom.
Lessons will begin with a "Do-Now" activity to focus and transition students. Students will then transition into a "Modeled/Guided Practice" session. From that point, students will then engage in "Independent Practice" and/or "Group/Partner Work." Finally, classes will be brought to a closure using exit slips, "whip-around" checks for understanding, and wrap-up "share-out" discussions.
During "Modeled/Guided Practice" students will briefly practice skills in editing and revising, annotation, close reading, and response writing. Students will have opportunities to ask questions and receive specific feedback on discrete skills practiced. Students may sometimes work alone or with a partner to complete given tasks.
The "Independent Practice" section of the class is intended to be the longest section of the lesson plan. During this time, students have the opportunity to work independently of the instructor's direct assistance. Sometimes students work with peers to complete group tasks; at other times students work independently to complete an assignment.
Including "Group Work" and "Partner Work" is essential for grade 9 students. The developmental level of adolescents at this age is such that students need and crave opportunities to interact with one another. Not planning for these kinds of interactions in the classroom regularly will lead to behavior and management problems. Additionally, these activities allow students to refine their skills through seeing the work of intermediate peer models.
Students will have opportunities to engage fully in the writing process. Students will work with peers to review and critiques each other's writing. Students will give critical feedback, offering suggestions to fellow classmates to help to improve responses. The purpose of the "Writers' Workshop" is to allow students to work interactively to build a classroom learning community and to allow students to see additional examples of student work based on the task guidelines.
The elements of style used by individual students when writing responses will reflect the various styles of analysis used by the students to develop their interpretations. The language and stylistic choices necessary to develop this section of each essay will be provided in short mini-lessons at the introduction of each new style of analysis. This should provide students with the language and skills to successfully develop a well supported critical stance and interpretation of their own writing. Students will engage with the writing style in a revision of an already completed response. Students will utilize both self-assessment and peer assessment data to reflect on the mastery of a given style of analysis.
Differentiation for Advanced and Struggling Readers
While the material should be appropriate for all levels of readers, there is an opportunity to use additional reading resources, extension activities, and strategies to support both advanced and struggling readers. These resources will be discussed as an addendum to each lesson plan. These resources are not intended to replace the material chosen for the unit or alter the Essential Questions or tasks described. The conceptual and theoretical framework of the unit is both developmentally appropriate and academically challenging for all students.