Shared Devices

6 Class Periods with ThinkCERCA


Session 1

With shared devices, set up stations in your classroom so students can rotate through stations during each session. Explain to students that each session will include different stations and they will be responsible for working at their own pace to complete all the steps of the lesson.

Introduce or review a key skill or concept using a Direct Instruction lesson. Using a smartboard or projector, watch the lesson as a whole group, pausing frequently to elaborate or expand upon the skills and concepts being taught. Students can take guided notes using a worksheet that you have prepared ahead of time so they are actively following along with the lesson.

At the end of this Direct Instruction lesson, have students answer the five multiple choice items as a comprehension check. Ask them to rotate through available computers, spending 5 to 10 minutes to answer the comprehension check.

While students are waiting to access computers, have them read the topic overview of the Writing Lesson that corresponds to the Direct Instruction lesson.

Next, have students think about a personal connection to the topic and share their thoughts with a peer. Time and schedule permitting, have them write about their personal connection in Step 1 of the Writing Lesson (on devices or paper).

Session 2

Introduce vocabulary related to the Writing Lesson to bridge the personal connection to the content students will be reading about. Use one of ThinkCERCA’s Vocabulary Routines as a way to support all learners, especially those who may be at various levels of acquiring English.

Have students sit with a peer who is reading the same article and ask them to read the text together in Step 2 of the Writing Lesson.

Session 3

Have students re-read the text in Step 2 of the Writing Lesson with a peer.

Next, ask students to break out into stations for the following activities. (Tip: If possible, set stations up before class to save time.)

  • Comprehension Check Station (online) – Ask students to complete the five multiple choice items in Step 2. Time permitting, encourage students to look back at the multiple choice questions they got wrong and ask, “Why was my answer incorrect?” (Refer to our Error Analysis guide for tips and downloadable resources.)

  • Vocabulary Station (offline) – Students will work in small groups to deepen their understanding of the vocabulary words critical for comprehension in the article. Use one of the ThinkCERCA Vocabulary Routines for this.

After 20 to 25 minutes, have students rotate to the other station.

Session 4

In Session 4, ask students to break out into stations for the following activities.

  • Summarizing Station (offline) – Have students work in small groups to develop their summary of the article offline (Step 4). Ask them to use our built-in sentence stems for scaffolded support. You can project or write these frames out on the chalkboard.

  • Analyzing Station (online) – In groups of 2 or 4, have students use the highlighting tools in Step 3 of the Writing Lesson to analyze the text closely and identify evidence that can be used in their final essay. Model for students how to find evidence in the text and set explicit expectations for how much highlighting they should do. For example, ask students to highlight three pieces of aqua evidence and three pieces of pink evidence.

After 20 to 25 minutes, have students rotate to the other station.

Session 5

Ask students to take a position on the writing prompt by outlining their essay in Step 5 using our Argument Builder tool (online) or paper-based CERCA graphic organizer (offline). 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.

Time permitting, 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!

Session 6

In the final session, after hearing other perspectives, students will use the outline they developed in the prior session to draft a formal argument in Step 6 (on paper). 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.

Depending on available classroom, have students rotate through stations to work on their essay online.

Finally, Ask students to submit their final piece of writing.