1:1 Devices

5 Class Periods with ThinkCERCA

This video will guide you through using ThinkCERCA across five sessions.


Session 1

Introduce or review a key skill or concept using a Direct Instruction lesson. Ask the class to pull up the Direct Instruction lesson on their Student View and follow along on their device. Watch the lesson as a whole group, pausing frequently to elaborate or expand upon the skills and concepts and being taught.

Ask students to complete the five multiple choice items following the Direct Instruction lesson to gauge their comprehension of the key skill or concept. Review student performance to inform instruction and remediation.

Next, students will begin working on the Writing Lesson that corresponds to the Direct Instruction lesson. To build background knowledge, ask students to read the topic overview independently, think about a personal connection to it, and share their thoughts with a peer. Ask them to write about their personal connection in Step 1 of the Writing Lesson.

We recommend running a vocabulary routine with your class if any of your students are:

  • developing bilinguals
  • lower-level learners
  • unfamiliar with the vocabulary of the lesson
ThinkCERCA’s Vocabulary Routines resource includes a range of activities for helping students become more familiar with the featured lesson vocabulary. Additionally, our downloadable ELD resources include Spanish language vocabulary supports for developing bilingual learners.

Session 2

For Session 2, arrange students in small groups homogeneously by readiness level to facilitate easier collaboration throughout the lesson.

Have students read the text independently in Step 2. Be sure to set aside enough time for personal reflection and comprehension.

Next, ask students to discuss the text in their small groups. This is a great time to circulate the room, visit each group, and check for understanding.

Ask students to work together to determine the correct answers to the five multiple choice items in Step 2 of the Writing Lesson. Have students submit their answers to gauge their overall comprehension.

In pairs or small groups, have students engage with the text in Step 3. Model how to find evidence and set explicit expectations for how much highlighting they should do. For example, ask students to highlight and annotate three pieces of aqua evidence and three pieces of pink evidence that can be used in their final essay. During this time, rotate the classroom to provide additional support to students.

Session 3

With students still arranged in small groups by readiness level, have them work together to summarize the text in Step 4 of the Writing Lesson.

Ask students to take a position on the writing prompt by outlining their essay in Step 5 using our Argument Builder tool. Visit each student and provide any scaffolding necessary to help them structure their argument. Encourage students to use our built-in sentence stems if they need help getting started.

Session 4

In Session 4, have students engage in a speaking and listening activity using the Writing Module Class Discussion Question as the topic of discussion. During this session, students can be arranged in small groups (group discussion) or paired off (pair debates). Remember that a talkative classroom is key.

Check out our resources on Socratic discussion and ThinkCERCA's Debate Game for ideas on how to get started!

After hearing other perspectives, students will use the outline they developed in the prior session to draft a formal argument in Step 6. By hearing arguments from students who read different (although thematically similar) texts, students will have the opportunity to reflect and edit their claim before finalizing their argument.

Session 5

In Session 5, ask students to peer edit each other's essays using our built-in rubric as a guide for conversation. Using this feedback, students should spend the remaining class time revising and finalizing their essay.

Meet with individual students throughout the session to provide personalized feedback. After final revisions, have students submit their work.