Unit 1 Assessment: Independent Writing about Weather | EL Education CurriculumTEST2

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ELA GK:M2:U1:L12

Unit 1 Assessment: Independent Writing about Weather

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These are the CCS Standards addressed in this lesson:

  • W.K.2: Use a combination of drawing, dictating, and writing to compose informative/explanatory texts in which they name what they are writing about and supply some information about the topic.
  • SL.K.6: Speak audibly and express thoughts, feelings, and ideas clearly.
  • L.K.6: Use words and phrases acquired through conversations, reading and being read to, and responding to texts.
  • L.K.1: Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
  • L.K.1f: Produce and expand complete sentences in shared language activities.

Daily Learning Target

  • I can use pictures and words to teach my reader a fact about weather. (W.K.2, L.K.6, L.K.1f)

Ongoing Assessment

  • During Work Time A, circulate and observe as students draw a picture/labels to show their weather fact. (W.K.2)
  • During Work Time B, circulate and observe as students write words to accompany their drawing of a weather fact. Collect students’ Unit 1 Assessment: Writing a Weather Fact sheet and use the Informational Writing Checklist to assess mastery toward W.K.2, L.K.1f, and L.K.6 (see Assessment Overview and Resources).
  • During the Closing, circulate and listen for students to share the information recorded on the class weather journal entry with their small group. (SL.K.6)

Agenda

AgendaTeaching Notes

1. Opening

A. Song and Movement: “What’s the Weather like Today?” Song (5 minutes)

2. Work Time

A. Unit 1 Assessment: Weather Fact Page (25 minutes)

B. Pair Share: Meteorologist’s Notebooks (15 minutes)

3. Closing and Assessment

A. Developing Language: Sharing Class Weather Journal Entries (15 minutes)

Purpose of lesson and alignment to standards:

  • Although this is a formal assessment of W.K.2, students should experience the lesson as routine. Do not overemphasize the assessment; instead, use this as an opportunity to continue to gather meaningful data (W.K.2).
  • The writing assessment is highly supported through focused teacher modeling, drawing and labeling, and oral practice. Providing this type of scaffolding to young writers supports the development of their writing skill and ability to record information in a developmentally appropriate way (W.K.2, L.K.6).
  • During the Closing, students prepare for the Celebration of Learning by rehearsing the sharing that will occur: several pages from their meteorologist’s notebook and one class weather journal entry. Practicing a share with a peer or small group of peers before sharing with a visitor(s) provides a safe, low-risk environment for students as they build oral language and presentation skills (SL.K.6).

How this lesson builds on previous work:

  • This lesson is the culmination of work in Lessons 1–11. As students have built content knowledge about weather, engaged in interactive experiences, and discussed the weather with their classmates, they now have the opportunity to communicate their knowledge through the Weather Fact page.

Areas in which students may need additional support:

  • Look for opportunities to support struggling students as they work to complete the Unit 1 Assessment. Consider allowing struggling students to move around the classroom to visit the various resources posted or use the Interactive Word Wall cards as a writing tool at their seats.
  • Continue to use Goals 1 and 2 Conversation Cues to promote productive and equitable conversation.

Down the road:

  • In Lesson 13, the classroom will host visitors for the Celebration of Learning.

In Advance

  • Prepare:
    • Unit 1 Assessment (see Assessment Overview and Resources).
    • Paper microphones (see supporting materials).
  • Distribute:
    • Materials for Work Time A at student workspaces. This ensures a smooth transition into Work Time A.
    • Class weather journal entries around the room for the Closing. Number entries and assign small groups of students to each numbered entry.
  • Post: Learning target, “What’s the Weather like Today?” song, Sun Facts chart, Cloud Facts chart, Rainbow Facts chart, Planning for the Weather Facts chart, Conversation Partners chart, and applicable anchor charts (see materials list).

Tech and Multimedia

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

  • If students were recorded singing “What’s the Weather like Today?” in previous lessons, consider playing this recording to remind students of the song.
  • Students complete the Unit 1 Assessment: Writing a Weather Fact using word processing software, such as Google Docs.
  • Students use speech-to-text facilities activated on devices or use an app or software like Dragon Dictation.
  • Video-record students sharing in Work Time B and the Closing to watch with students to evaluate strengths and areas for improvement. Most devices (cell phones, tablets, laptop computers) come equipped with free video and audio recording apps or software.

Supporting English Language Learners

Supports guided in part by CA ELD Standards K.I.A.1, K.I.A.4, K.I.C.10, and K.I.C.12

Important points in the lesson itself

  • The basic design of this lesson supports ELLs by inviting them to complete assessment tasks similar to the classroom tasks completed in previous lessons. Students have opportunities to draw directly from their experiences writing about weather facts.
  • The assessment may be challenging, as it is a big leap from the heavily scaffolded classroom interaction for some ELLs. ELLs will be asked not only to independently apply cognitive skills developed throughout the unit, but also to independently apply new linguistic knowledge.
  • Make sure that ELLs understand the assessment directions. Answer their questions, refraining from supporting them with the skill being assessed. 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, 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 practice sharing their meteorologist’s notebooks to get ready for their celebration. Highlight big ideas by modeling what students might share with a visitor.
  • Multiple Means of Action & Expression (MMAE): During the Unit 1 Assessment, students may benefit from options for drawing utensils (examples: thick markers, colored pencils) and writing tools (examples: fine-tipped markers, pencil grips, slant boards).
  • 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, facilitate personal coping skills by inviting students to stretch. 

Vocabulary

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

Review:

  • plan (L)

Materials

  • “What’s the Weather like Today?” song (from Lesson 5; one to display)
  • “Learning Target” poem (from Module 1; one to display)
  • Unit 1 Assessment: Writing a Weather Fact (one per student and one to display; see Assessment Overview and Resources)
  • Clipboards (one per student)
  • Pencils (one per student)
  • Sun Facts chart (from Lesson 8; one to display)
  • Cloud Facts chart (from Lesson 9; one to display)
  • Rainbow Facts chart (from Lesson 10; one to display)
  • Planning for the Weather Facts chart (from Lesson 11; one to display)
  • Weather Word Wall (begun in Lesson 1)
  • Meteorologist’s notebooks (from Lesson 2; one per student)
  • Conversation Partners chart (from Module 1; one to display)
  • Ways We Share Our Work anchor chart (begun in Module 1)
  • Class weather journal entries (one for teacher modeling and one per small group; see Teaching Notes)
  • Paper microphones (one for teacher modeling and one per small group)

Opening

OpeningMeeting Students' Needs

A. Song and Movement: “What’s the Weather like Today?” Song (5 minutes)

  • Gather students whole group.
  • Direct students’ attention to the “What’s the Weather like Today?” song and invite them to show a thumbs-up if they remember singing this song before.
  • Remind students that in the next lesson, they will have the opportunity to perform this song for visitors!
  • Invite a few students to the front to model the song’s motions for their classmates.
  • As a class, sing the song and perform the motions together.
  • Review the definition of plan (think of a way to do something).
  • Invite students to turn and talk to an elbow partner:

“In this song, which kind of weather is the hardest to plan for? Why?” (Responses will vary.)

  • Refocus students whole group and engage them in a brief discussion about this topic.
  • Share that today students will show what they have learned about weather and prepare for the visitors coming in the next lesson.
  • Invite students to return to their seats.
  • As students reflect on the idea of planning for weather with a partner, optimize relevance by inviting students to share how they planned for today’s weather. (Example: “I noticed that today it was a little chilly, so I planned for the weather by wearing this sweatshirt.”) (MME)

Work Time

Work TimeMeeting Students' Needs

A. Unit 1 Assessment: Weather Fact Page (25 minutes)

  • Remind students that over the past few lessons, they have learned many new facts about the weather. Remind them that they have written and drawn about these facts in their meteorologist’s notebooks.
  • Direct students’ attention to the learning targets and read the first one aloud:
    • “I can use pictures and words to teach my reader a fact about weather.”
  • Tell students that today they will draw and write another fact page. This page will include words and pictures to teach their reader a fact about weather.
  • Invite students to take out their magic bows and take aim at the target while you recite the “Learning Target” poem aloud.
  • Display the Unit 1 Assessment: Writing a Weather Fact and model how to draw a picture of the fact:
  1. Think aloud about the weather fact you would like to draw, using the resources on the classroom walls. (Say: “I remember that we learned about rainbows. I see the Rainbow Facts chart, and I remember that rainbows are made from rain and sunlight.”)
  2. Sketch a picture to show this fact (e.g., a rainbow arc shape with some raindrops and a sun). Keep your drawing simple and clear.
  3. Label the items in your drawing (e.g., sun, rain, rainbow). Model writing the sounds you hear and/or using the resources on the classroom walls as a spelling resource.
  • Direct students’ attention to the Unit 1 Assessment: Writing a Weather Fact, clipboards, and pencils already at their workspaces and invite students to draw and label pictures to show the information for their own weather fact.
  • Circulate to assist with drawing and labeling, prompting students to refer to the Sun Facts chart, Cloud Facts chart, Rainbow Facts chart, Planning for the Weather Facts chart, and Weather Word Wall as resources.
  • If students are stuck, prompt them with questions such as:

“What did you learn about weather?”

“How might you show your fact using pictures and labels?”

  • Conversely, if some students finish quickly, ask them how they might add some details to their pictures.
  • As students work, provide time reminders and encouragement.
  • Refocus students whole group and give them specific, positive feedback on their hard work drawing and labeling pictures to show their weather fact. (Example: “I saw students drawing pictures to show facts about many components of the weather.”)
  • Direct students’ attention back to the Unit 1 Assessment: Writing a Weather Fact. Explain that now you are ready to add a weather fact below your picture.
  • Model saying the fact aloud.
  1. Point to the pictures and labels you drew about the weather and slowly think aloud a clear sentence that expresses the fact conveyed in the pictures. (Example: “There are many ______.”)
  2. Point to the pictures and labels you drew of the weather and slowly think aloud the remainder of a clear sentence that expresses the meaning conveyed in the pictures. Say: “… different kinds of clouds.”
  3. Reread the full sentence fluently. (“There are many different kinds of clouds.”)
  • Invite students to turn to an elbow partner and use the pictures they drew to orally compose a fact with their partner. Circulate and support students in pointing to the appropriate part of their drawings and help them connect the information in the pictures with the words they are saying. As you circulate, identify one or two students who were able to compose clear and complete simple sentences.
  • Refocus students whole group and invite the students you selected to share their sentences with the group.
  • Using the Unit 1 Assessment: Writing a Weather Fact, model writing the orally composed sentence below the drawings:
  1. Think aloud as you repeat the words in the sentence and listen for beginning and ending consonants.
  2. As you complete one word, place your finger on the chart paper to model leaving a finger space between words.
  3. Think aloud as you use the labels on your drawing to write the words in your sentence.
  4. Model using the resources around the room to support writing the words in your sentence (e.g., Weather Word Wall, Cloud Facts chart).
  5. Read the full sentence back to students, pointing to each word as you read.
  • Direct students’ attention back to their Unit 1 Assessment: Writing a Weather Fact and invite them to write a sentence at the bottom of the page. Remind them that they are using words to show the fact that they have already put in their drawings.
  • Give students 5–7 minutes to compose their sentences. Circulate to support students in using the strategies you modeled, prompting them to use the resources around the room. If necessary, invite students to orally dictate their sentences to you.
  • Prompt students to improve their writing or drawings by asking specific questions:

“What component of the weather is your fact about?”

“Does your writing include any words from the Weather Word Wall?”

“Does your picture match your words and have labels?”

  • Gather students back to the whole group gathering area. Collect Unit 1 Assessment: Writing a Weather Fact and explain to students that these pages will be included in their meteorologist’s notebooks.
  • To help students express their ideas in the Unit 1 Assessment, offer options for drawing utensils (e.g., thick markers, colored pencils) and writing tools (e.g., 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 them to stand up and stretch their hands and fingers before sitting back down to complete the assessment. (MME)
  • For ELLs: Ask students to recall and describe one way that they worked toward the learning targets in the past five lessons.
  • For ELLs: Ensure that ELLs clearly understand all assessment directions. Rephrase directions for them. Monitor during the assessment to see that students are completing the assessment correctly. Stop those who are on the wrong track and make sure they understand the directions pictures.

B. Pair Share: Meteorologist’s Notebooks (15 minutes)

  • Tell students they will now practice sharing their meteorologist’s notebooks with a classmate to prepare for sharing with visitors in the next lesson.
  • Briefly explain that each student will share his or her meteorologist’s notebook with a visitor. After sharing, the visitor will ask the student a question about his or her work and the student will answer the question. This will give students the opportunity to share some information about weather.
  • Distribute meteorologist’s notebooks.
  • Referring to the Conversation Partners chart, invite students to partner up with their predetermined talking partner and sit facing one another. Make sure students know which partner is A and which is B. 
  • Direct students’ attention to the Ways We Share Our Work anchor chart and briefly review it.
  • Using a total participation technique, invite responses from the group:

“While your partner is sharing, what should you do?” (keep voices off, listen carefully, look at the speaker)

  • Using a total participation technique, invite responses from the group:

“When it is your turn to share, what should you do?” (use a loud and proud voice, read the words clearly)

  • Invite partner A to begin sharing. Remind students to make a bridge with their arms after partner A has shared.
  • As students share, circulate and offer guidance and support as necessary.
  • Refocus whole group.
  • Prompt partner B to ask a question about partner A’s work. Provide sentence starters:
    • “Can you tell me more about _______?”
    • “What is ______?”
  • If productive, cue students to listen carefully and seek to understand:

“Who can tell us what your classmate said in your own words?” (Responses will vary.)

  • Refocus whole group and repeat the sharing process with partner B.
  • Gather students back together and give them specific, positive feedback regarding their sharing. (Examples: “Chrisette, I heard you sharing your work using a loud and proud voice.” “Landon, I noticed that you asked Chrisette a question about her sun page to learn more about the sun.”) Use the Informational Writing Checklist to assess mastery toward W.K.2, L.K.1f, and L.K.6
  • Before students practice sharing their meteorologist’s notebooks, highlight big ideas by modeling what students might share with a visitor. (Example: “When I share my notebook with a visitor, I want them to know the big ideas I’ve learned about the weather. I will turn to the page I am sharing from my notebook and say one thing about what I drew and wrote.” (MMR)
  • For ELLs: Invite intermediate or advanced proficiency students to model the process of sharing for the class. Ask students to share something they noticed the partners doing as they shared.

Closing & Assessments

ClosingMeeting Students' Needs

A. Developing Language: Sharing Class Weather Journal Entries (15 minutes)

  • Tell students that in addition to their notebooks, they will also use their expert meteorologist’s skills to share a class weather journal entry.
  • Invite students to look around the room to view the posted class weather journal entries.
  • Refer to a posted class weather journal entry. Introduce the paper microphone and explain that this is a tool that a meteorologist uses when reporting the weather.
  • Model reading the information on the sample class weather journal entry aloud, pointing to each word/icon as you read. Speak clearly into the paper microphone. (Example: “Today’s date is November 6, 2016. Today the weather is sunny. It is chilly outside. The temperature is 52 degrees. We would be most comfortable wearing a jacket. It would be a good day to play at the park.”)
  • Invite a student to come to the front of the group and model sharing the information on the sample class weather journal entry. Invite students to look for the behaviors listed on the Ways We Share Our Work anchor chart as the student shares.
  • Using a total participation technique, invite responses from the group:

“When ____ shared, what behaviors did he/she show from the Ways We Share Our Work anchor chart?” (used a loud and proud voice, read the words clearly)

  • Move students into groups of three or four and invite them to move safely to their assigned class weather journal entry. Distribute paper microphones to one student in each small group.
  • Refocus whole group. Ask:

“While other students are sharing, what should you do?” (keep voices off, listen carefully, look at the speaker)

  • Explain that once the first reader has shared, they should move to the second reader. The microphone should be passed around the group.
  • Designate a first reader and invite students to begin sharing.
  • Circulate as students share and offer guidance and support as necessary.
  • Refocus whole group.
  • Tell students that as part of their weather journal share, visitors may also ask them:

“What do meteorologists do?” (share weather forecasts, observe the weather, record the weather)

  • Invite students to share their responses to this question with an elbow partner.
  • Gather students back together and give them specific, positive feedback regarding their participation in the sharing process. (Examples: “Ceesay, I heard you sharing using a loud and proud voice.” “Nahom, I noticed that you waited for your turn to share.”)
  • For ELLs: If some students are uncomfortable or unable to share the journal entry by themselves, allow students to pair up on the microphone and read their parts together.

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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