Monster Unit, Grade 8.doc - Monster By Walter Dean Myers...

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Monster By Walter Dean Myers First Quarter Unit, Eighth Grade
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Rationale for the Changes Prior to the revision of this unit, many teachers voiced a concern that all the units taught in the 2007- 2008 school year lacked a common structure that would add fluidity, a rhythm to the daily instruction and regular benchmark testing. Because of this, teachers of the Eighth Grade Literacy Cadre adopted four common practices that they hope will unite your instruction and will increase the academic success of all of our students. These new practices are described below. Literacy First Lesson Plan Template Every lesson plan will follow this common template. The lesson plan first starts with telling you what benchmarks will be practiced or assessed for that day, as well as the language objectives for each day. Some days you will find that there are numerous benchmarks being “practiced”; however, one must understand that in any given day a teacher may cover plot, setting, character, theme and vocabulary by simply engaging the students in a discussion of the reading. Each day will begin with either activating or assessing the students’ prior knowledge of a particular topic or benchmark term. This is simply the Bellwork for the day. Next, the lesson plan has a section titled, “Student Active Participation and/or Teacher Input”. This is the main portion of the lesson that lists the tasks to be completed each day. Lastly, the Identifying Student Success portion will allow you to quickly collect a mini-formative assessment from the student each day. This tiny assessment will allow you to find out what the students are still confused about, what made learning difficult or easy, or if they have grasped the basic concept of a new benchmark. Other parts of the Literacy First Lesson Plan Template are explained below. Walls that Teach Any time a new benchmark concept or other pertinent information is introduced, you will see a direction in your lesson plan to add this new concept to your Walls that Teach. Many will see that the practice of having “Walls that Teach” is a lot like having a word wall. However, the difference is that Walls that Teach not only help students reflect on their learning, but they help reinforce the learning being done in the classroom. They do this because they are meant to be interactive and USED, via interactive review activities you will see throughout this unit. Great Walls that Teach contain the benchmark terms written at least 3 inches tall, and either grouped by concepts, processes, categories, or vocabulary. Exit Slips As mentioned above, a Literacy First lesson plan calls for teachers to “Identify Student Success” at the end of each class period. They will do this via an Exit Slip activity. Everyday students will complete an Exit Slip of some kind. Usually, this slip will have them reflect on the day’s learning or content. It is meant to never take longer than ten minutes, and it requires no copies to make on your part. Simply have the students take out a piece of paper, tear it in half, and give half to their neighbor. They will
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