Unit 3 Assessment: Writing to Show Understanding: Describing a Habit of Character | EL Education Curriculum

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ELA G1:M1:U3:L12

Unit 3 Assessment: Writing to Show Understanding: Describing a Habit of Character

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These are the CCS Standards addressed in this lesson:

  • W.1.2: Write informative/explanatory texts in which they name a topic, supply some facts about the topic, and provide some sense of closure.
  • W.1.8: With guidance and support from adults, recall information from experiences or gather information from provided sources to answer a question.
  • SL.1.6: Produce complete sentences when appropriate to task and situation.  
  • L.1.2: Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.

Daily Learning Target

  • I can write and draw to describe how I used a habit of character to make my magnificent thing. (W.1.2, W.1.8, L.1.2)
  • I can prepare for our celebration of learning by speaking clearly and using complete sentences about our magnificent thing. (SL.1.6

Ongoing Assessment

  • During Work Time A, circulate and support students only by prompting them to use the classroom supports, such as the Tools and Work Word Wall, anchor charts, etc. Do not provide additional supports, because this is an opportunity for students to show what they know. (W.1.2 and L.1.2)
  • Circulate to observe students speaking clearly and in complete sentence during Work Time B. (SL.1.6)

Agenda

AgendaTeaching Notes

1. Opening

A. Letter from Headquarters: Habits of Character (5 minutes)

2. Work Time 

A. Unit 3 Assessment: Describing a Habit of Character I Used (25 minutes)

B. Preparing for Our Celebration of Learning: Designating Roles (20 minutes)

3. Closing and Assessment

A. Introducing Effective Learners Anchor Chart (10 minutes) 

Purpose of lesson and alignment to standards: 

  • In this lesson, students complete the Unit 3 Assessment, where they write an information piece describing a habit of character they used to create their magnificent thing (W.1.2, L.1.2). Although this is a formal assessment of informational writing, students should experience the lesson as routine. Do not overemphasize the assessment; instead, use this as an opportunity to continue to gather meaningful data.
  • In Work Time B, students plan for their Magnificent Thing Celebration by practicing skills associated with speaking in complete sentences (SL.1.6). In order to prepare for the celebration, students will practice in small groups of four students each. Each student in the group will receive a colored paper to match the colors used to write about their magnificent thing in Lesson 8 (2 purple, 1 red, and 1 blue papers).
  • Students continue to build their knowledge about tools and habits of character. To allow for a volume of reading on the topic of tools and work, see the Recommended Texts and Other Resources list. Ensure that a variety of informational and narrative texts below, on, and above grade level for this topic are available during independent reading in the K-2 Reading Foundations Skills Block.

How this lesson builds on previous work:

  • Students have practiced writing a focus statement, providing information about a topic, and writing a concluding statement. For the Unit 3 Assessment, an on-demand writing assessment, students show what they know about writing an informational piece.
  • Students work together in their small groups established in Lesson 2 to prepare a spoken presentation of their magnificent thing for the class and the visitors, who will be present in the next lesson.
  • Continue to use Goal 1 and 2 Conversation Cues to promote productive and equitable conversation.

Assessment guidance:

  • Refer to the Assessment Overview and Resources for all supporting materials for this lesson.
  • If students receive accommodations for assessments, communicate with the cooperating service providers regarding the practices of instruction in use during this study, as well as the goals of the assessment.

Areas in which students may need additional support:

  • During the assessment in Work Time A, circulate to observe students working. It is appropriate to remind students to use the classroom resources (anchor charts, word walls, etc.), but because this is an on-demand assessment, do not otherwise support students.
  • This assessment gives students the opportunity to show what they can do on their own.

Down the road:

  • Informational writing is taught, practiced, and assessed in future modules. This is students’ initial learning and attempt at this type of writing. Use the information gathered from the students writing samples to provide further instruction down the road. 

In Advance

  • Set up a document camera to display the Letter from Headquarters: Habits of Character and other documents throughout the lesson (optional).
  • Prepare:
    • Unit 3 Assessment (see Assessment Overview and Resources).
    • Ways We Share Our Work and Effective Learners anchor charts (see supporting materials).
  • Determine seating arrangements for Work Time A and set up student writing materials in these areas.
  • Gather colored paper (purple, red, and blue) for Work Time B (see materials). Each group will need 2 purple, 1 red, and 1 blue paper.
    • Label the first purple paper with "#1 focus statement"
    • Label the red paper with "#2 first detail"
    • Label the blue paper with "#3 second detail"
    • Label the second purple paper with "#4 concluding statement"
  • Review the Think-Pair-Share protocol. (Refer to the Classroom Protocols document for the full version of the protocol.) 
  • Post: Learning targets, Collaboration anchor chart, Initiative anchor chart, Responsibility anchor chart, Perseverance anchor chart, Ways We Share Our Work anchor chart, Performance Task anchor chart, Working to Become Effective Learners anchor chart, and Effective Learners anchor chart. 

Tech and Multimedia

Consider using an interactive whiteboard or document camera to display lesson materials. 

  • Opening A: The Letter from Headquarters: Habits of Character could be an email.
  • Closing and Assessment A: Create the Effective Learners anchor chart in an online format, for example a Google Doc, to display and for families to access at home to reinforce these skills.

Supporting English Language Learners

Supports guided in part by CA ELD Standards 1.I.C.9, 1.I.C.10, and 1.II.A.1

Important points in the lesson itself

  • The basic design of this lesson supports ELLs through the opportunity to demonstrate growth in language skills fostered throughout the unit.
  • The Unit 3 Assessment may be a big leap from the heavily scaffolded classroom interaction for some ELLs. Before they begin, encourage students to do their best and congratulate them on the progress they’ve made in learning English. Point out some specific examples.
  • Make sure that ELLs understand the assessment directions. Answer their questions, refraining from supplying answers to the assessment questions themselves. See additional support in the lesson.
  • After the assessment, ask students to discuss what was easiest and what was most difficult on the assessment, and why. In future lessons and for homework, focus on the language skills that will help students address these assessment challenges.

Universal Design for Learning

  • Multiple Means of Representation (MMR): During Work Time B, students are encouraged to write a complete sentence. Support comprehension by rephrasing the meaning of "complete sentence" in different ways.
  • Multiple Means of Action & Expression (MMAE): This lesson involves a written assessment. To help students express their ideas, offer options for drawing and writing tools. 
  • Multiple Means of Engagement (MME): Students have a significant amount of time to work on the written assessment and may get restless. After 5–7 minutes of work on the assessment, facilitate personal coping skills by asking students to join you in a stretch break. 

Vocabulary

Key: Lesson-Specific Vocabulary (L); Text-Specific Vocabulary (T); Vocabulary Used in Writing (W)

  • effective, prepare (L)

Materials

  • Document camera (optional)
  • Letter from Headquarters: Habits of Character (one to display)
  • Unit 3 Assessment: Writing to Show Understanding: Describing a Habit of Character (one per student and one to display; see Assessment Overview and Resources for Module 1)
  • Collaboration anchor chart (begun in Lesson 2)
  • Initiative anchor chart (begun in Lesson 3)
  • Responsibility anchor chart (begun in Lesson 4)
  • Perseverance anchor chart (begun in Lesson 6)
  • Think-Pair-Share anchor chart (begun in Unit 1, Lesson 1)
  • Ways We Share Our Work anchor chart (new, teacher-created; one to display; see supporting materials)
  • Performance Task anchor chart (begun in Lesson 8)
  • Performance Task Model colored papers (one set for small group of students)
  • Classwork display sign (from Lesson 7; one to display)
  • Colored paper (purple, red, and blue)
  • Working to Become Effective Learners anchor chart (begun in Unit 2, Lesson 1)
  • Effective Learners anchor chart (new, teacher-created; see supporting materials) 

Opening

OpeningMeeting Students' Needs

A. Letter from Headquarters: Habits of Character (5 minutes) 

  • Gather students together whole group.
  • Remind them of the habits of character and how much they have learned about collaboration, initiative, responsibility, and perseverance in this unit.
  • Tell them that they have received another letter from headquarters! Invite students to do a drumroll with their hands as you open up the letter.
  • Using a document camera, display Letter from Headquarters: Habits of Character and read it aloud.
  • Invite students to turn and talk to an elbow partner:

“What does headquarters want us to write and draw about?” (how we used a habit of character to make a magnificent thing for our classroom)

  • Direct students’ attention to the posted learning targets and read the first one aloud:
    • “I can write and draw to describe how I used a habit of character to make my magnificent thing.”
  • For ELLs: Briefly review the Working to Become Effective Learners anchor chart to provide context.
  • For ELLs: Remind students that if they do not have family attending, it is just as exciting to welcome visitors.

Work Time

Work TimeMeeting Students' Needs

A. Unit 3 Assessment: Writing to Show Understanding: Describing a Habit of Character (25 minutes) 

  • Display the Unit 3 Assessment: Writing to Show Understanding: Describing a Habit of Character and read the directions aloud as students follow along.
  • Invite students to turn and talk:

“According to this, what do we need to do?” (Write about how I used collaboration to make the pencil holder. Write about how collaboration helped me make the pencil holder.) 

  • To reinforce the task, model by thinking aloud. Say: "How should I describe a habit of character that I used while creating my magnificent thing? I know! I can use the habits of character anchor charts to help me do this!"
  • Direct students’ attention to the Collaboration anchor chart, Initiative anchor chart, Responsibility anchor chart, and Perseverance anchor chart.
  • Tell students that now they will use the Think-Pair-Share protocol to talk with a partner to help them plan their writing. Remind students that they used this protocol in Lesson 8. Review as necessary, using the Think-Pair-Share anchor chart. (Refer to the Classroom Protocols document for the full version of the protocol.)
  • Invite students to Think-Pair-Share:

“What habit of character did you use?”

“How did you use this habit of character to make a magnificent thing?”

  • Transition students to their seats to complete the Unit 3 Assessment: Writing to Show Understanding: Describing a Habit of Character.
  • Distribute the Unit 3 Assessment to each student.
  • Invite students to begin working.
  • Circulate and support students by directing them to the classroom supports such as the anchor charts, Tools and Work Word Wall, etc.
  • After approximately 15 minutes, collect the assessments and give students specific positive praise on the drawing and writing they completed to show headquarters how they used a habit of character to make a magnificent thing for the classroom. (Example: "I noticed many of you looking up at the anchor charts to help you as you wrote.")
  • For ELLs: Ensure that ELLs are clear about all assessment directions. Rephrase directions for them. Monitor during the assessment to see that students are completing the assessment correctly. Stop students who are on the wrong track and make sure they understand the directions.
  • To help students express their ideas in the assessment, offer options for drawing utensils (examples: thick markers or colored pencils) and writing tools (examples: fine-tipped markers, pencil grips, slant boards). (MMAE)
  • After 5–7 minutes of work on the assessment, facilitate personal coping skills by asking students to join you in a stretch break. Invite students to stand up and stretch their hands and fingers before sitting back down to complete the assessment. (MME)

B. Preparing for Our Celebration of Learning: Designating Roles (20 minutes) 

  • Remind students of their groups from the first half of the unit.
  • Transition students to their designated work areas. Tell them they are going to celebrate and share the work they have done with visitors! First, they have to get some things ready.
  • Direct students’ attention to the posted learning targets and read the second one aloud:
    • “I can prepare for our celebration of learning by speaking clearly and using complete sentences about our magnificent thing.”
  • Using a total participation technique, invite responses from the group:

“What does it mean to prepare?” (get ready)

  • Tell students that they are going to get ready to share their work by speaking about it and writing about it.
  • Direct students’ attention to the posted Ways We Share Our Work anchor chart and read each description aloud, inviting students to echo you:

“Use a loud and proud voice.” (Students echo this description using a loud, proud voice.)

“Say our words clearly so others can understand them.” (Students echo, saying the words clearly.)

“Use a complete sentence.” (Students echo, saying, “I can use a complete sentence.”)

  • Explain to students that they are going to work together as a group to write for the celebration. Share with them that each person in their group will have a different part to write, and each person will have a different colored paper to help the group keep track.
  • Display the Performance Task anchor chart and read the prompt aloud:
    • "Write about the magnificent thing your group created, so they can learn about what you created and how you used tools to create it."
  • Invite four students to help you model. Distribute the Performance Task Model colored papers to the four students. 
  • Have Student #1 hold up the classwork display sign and model reading the sentences with a group:
  • Student #1: I used tools to make our classwork display sign.
  • Student #2: I used scissors to cut the paper.
  • Student #3: I used glue to make it stick.
  • Student #4: Tools are important!
  • Distribute the colored paper to each group. Be sure each group has two purple papers, one red paper, and one blue paper.
  • Explain what each color represents:
    • Student 1 (Purple): Focus statement
    • Student 2 (Red): One detail sentence about a tool
    • Student 3 (Blue): Another detail sentence about a tool
    • Student 4 (Purple): Concluding statement
  • Tell students that just like they wrote their own magnificent thing description in previous lessons, today they are going to write a group description to share and they will prepare their sentences from their performance tasks based on which color they have. Remind students that they have written sentences like this before when they wrote their magnificent thing description in previous lessons. As needed, draw students’ attention to the supports they used previously (teacher model, writing notebook, etc.).
  • After 10 minutes, invite students to practice putting the writing pieces together.
  • Indicate to students that the numbers are the order in which they will read the writing pieces.
  • Invite students to practice in small groups. Circulate and support as needed.
  • If time permits, do a run-through with each group.
  • Collect students’ colored papers, and stack them by group for easy redistribution in the next lesson.
  • For ELLs: Some students may not understand the meaning of a complete sentence. Review as necessary. Rephrase in different ways to help students understand. (Example: A complete sentence says who and what.) (MMR)
  • For ELLs: It may be stressful for some students to produce writing within a brief period of time, especially after the assessment. To alleviate stress, invite mixed proficiency partners to work on the focusing statement and concluding statements together. They can discuss how to say the same idea in different ways.
  • To help students express their ideas in the assessment, offer options for drawing utensils (examples: thick markers or colored pencils) and writing tools (examples: fine-tipped markers, pencil grips, slant boards). (MMAE)

Closing & Assessments

ClosingMeeting Students' Needs

A. Introducing Effective Learners Anchor Chart (10 minutes) 

  • Refocus whole group. Tell students they have a lot to celebrate and you are looking forward to tomorrow’s celebration.
  • Draw students’ attention to the posted Working to Become Effective Learners anchor chart, as well as the Initiative, Collaboration, Perseverance, and Responsibility anchor charts.
  • Using a total participation technique, invite responses from the group:

“Which habit of character did you write about in your letter to Headquarters? (Responses will vary.)

  • Say: "All of these habits that you’ve been using: initiative, collaboration, perseverance, and responsibility are all things that you used to make your magnificent thing for the classroom, but they are also really important to use when you learn new things. They help you be an effective learner!"
  • Direct students’ attention to the posted Effective Learners anchor chart and read it aloud.
  • Tell students that effective means to be successful.
  • Invite them to turn and talk with an elbow partner:

“How did you use initiative (or collaboration, perseverance, responsibility) to be effective with writing your part for your group?” (Responses will vary.)

  • Give students specific positive praise on all of the work they’ve completed for headquarters this unit, and remind them that they get to celebrate that hard work tomorrow.
  • For ELLs: If students worked together to create focus and concluding statements, prompt them to share how they collaborated. Commend them for successfully using habits of character. 
  • As you congratulate the class on the work they completed for headquarters, foster a sense of community and provide options for physical action by inviting students to give themselves a special applause. (Examples: Wiggle and jump, YES-YES-YES with fist pumps) (MMAE, MME)

Assessment

Each unit in the K-2 Language Arts Curriculum has one standards-based assessment built in. The module concludes with a performance task at the end of Unit 3 to synthesize their understanding of what they accomplished through supported, standards-based writing.

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