Beacon Lesson Plan Library

To Whom It May Concern

Sharla Shults
Bay District Schools

Description

Students produce and peer edit typed rough drafts of the business letters following the guidelines illustrated in the Eight Essential Parts of a Business Letter and save to disks. Students complete the Where's the Math? Scavenger Hunt on the Web.

Objectives

The student refines vocabulary for interpersonal, academic, and workplace situations, including figurative, idiomatic, and technical meanings.

The student drafts and revises writing that: is focused, purposeful, and reflects insight into the writing situation; has an organizational pattern that provides for a logical progression of ideas; has effective use of transitional devices that contribute to a sense of completeness; has support that is substantial, specific, relevant, and concrete; demonstrates a commitment to and involvement with the subject; uses creative writing strategies as appropriate to the purpose of the paper; demonstrates a mature command of language with precision of expression; has varied sentence structure; and has few, if any, convention errors in mechanics, usage, punctuation, and spelling.

The student produces final documents that have been edited for: correct spelling; correct punctuation, including commas, colons, and common use of semicolons; correct capitalization; correct sentence formation; correct instances of possessives, subject/verb agreement, instances of noun/pronoun agreement, and the intentional use of fragments for effect; and correct formatting that appeals to readers, including appropriate use of a variety of graphics, tables, charts, and illustrations in both standard and innovative forms.

Understands concrete and symbolic representations of real and complex numbers in real-world situations.

Materials

-Sign-up Sheet from Day 2
-Computers with Web access and Microsoft Word
-Computer disks – one per student
-Extra copies of the Student Peer Editing Rubric (See Associated File of Day 2)
-Copies of documents in associated file (See Teacher Preparation Steps #4 and Steps #5 for list.)

Preparations

1. Have sign-up sheet ready for circulation throughout the class at the beginning of class.

2. Have folders ready for distribution at the beginning of class.

3. Secure enough computer disks for one per student.

4. Download from the associated file and duplicate copies of the following documents:
a) Criteria for Scoring Final Letters (Student Use)– one per student
b) Student Computer Skills Checklist – one copy for teacher use
c) Student Daily Log Day 4 – one per student, unless students are writing in journals.
d) Where’s The Math Scavenger Hunt – one per student
e) Where’s The Math Scanvenger Hunt Answer Key – one copy for teacher use
f) Comments Sheet – one per student as needed

5. Download and duplicate Student Peer Editing Rubric, one per student, from the Associated File of Day 2.

6. Prepare extra worksheets for students having difficulty with basic arithmetic skills. These reflect areas of difficulty as demonstrated on the diagnostic assessment.

Procedures

NOTE: Prior to beginning this activity, circulate the sign-up sheet throughout the class for students to identify the contact persons. If any student does not have the name of the contact person, keep reminding him that managing information in a timely manner is an integral part of Florida’s Goal 3 Standards for employability skills. Also remind students that Day 5 is the summative assessment for the business letters (Assessment available in Unit Plan Associated File) and only 45 minutes of class time will be devoted to finalizing the letters. Any students who do not finish during this 45-minute allotted time will have to come in before or after class to complete the assignment.

Day 4 of the unit [The Math Connection] – Part I
1. Select a student to help with the distribution of folders.

2. Distribute the folders and instruct students to take out the handouts Eight Essential Parts to a Business Letter, the hand-written rough drafts, sample business letters printed from the Internet, and the Requirements for the Body of the Business Letter. Review thoroughly the requirements for a proper business letter and instruct students to reread the rough drafts of the letters and check each paragraph for the required information. Remind students to return these to the folders at the end of class.

3. Tell students the main focus of today’s class period is devoted to producing the typed rough draft business letters as Microsoft Word documents and save on disks. Distribute computer disks and tell students to print their names on the label.

4. Review the fundamentals of Microsoft Word and continue to refer to the diagnostic computer skills check and seat students as necessary for peer mentoring. Emphasize the importance of saving properly to a disk and not on the desktop!

5. Encourage students to type the letters either in Arial, size 14, or times New Roman, size 14. Do not use “funky fonts” that are hard to read. The production of a business letter is a professional venture.

6. Distribute the Criteria for Scoring the Final Letters (see Associated File) and discuss thoroughly with students. Inform students that summative assessment of final letters is the next day.

7. Using the Student Computer Skills Checklist (see Associated File) through observation, continuously monitor student progress in basic computer skills, file management, and word processing.

8. Tell students to compose independently and to select a partner to peer edit the typed rough drafts of the letters as soon as they finish. Distribute extra copies of the Student Peer Editing Rubric as needed. This process is on going and students know the procedure by now.

9. Distribute copies of the Student Daily Log Day 4 (see Associated file), unless students are recording in journals, and instruct students to make notes of the errors encountered in the peer editing of the writing of the day.

10. Tell students to take the typed copies home for editing by a parent, guardian, or other family member. Another option is to ask Language Arts teachers to review the letters. Inform students that signatures are required at the bottom of the letters as proof of editing by a person outside the classroom.

11. Remember, the letters are not mailed until the writing is right!

Day 4 of the unit [The Math Connection] – Part 2
Note: This may be conducted as a group activity working through the first page together (teacher and students). Incorporating the use of the Smart Board in the instruction enhances this activity.

12. Ready, set, begin the hunt as soon as the typed rough drafts are ready! The scavenger hunt is on! Where is the math connection?

13. Distribute copies of the Where’s the Math Scavenger Hunt on the Web. (See Associated File.) This is an excellent prerequisite to the upcoming math lessons!

14. Tell students that they have what time is remaining to hunt. Continue to formatively assess through teacher observation students’ abilities to use efficient search methods to locate information and lend assistance as needed. Use Student Computer Skills Checklist. (See Associated File.) If there is enough time, hold a class discussion on the findings from the scavenger hunts. Do not spend too much time in this area if the Web access is extremely slow.

15. Students who scored low in basic arithmetic skills on the diagnostic assessments continue to receive practice worksheets for homework. Include additional instruction with examples and an ample supply of practice problems addressing the inadequate skill(s) demonstrated. Allow students time to visit various tutorial Web sites for online explanations and extra practice. (See Weblinks below.)

16. Collect folders at the end of the class period. Today’s added documents include Criteria for Scoring Final Letters, Student Peer Editing Rubric, Student Daily Log Day 4 – Common Errors (unless students are writing in journals), Where’s the Math Scavenger Hunt, and computer disks with saved letters. Remind students that the typed rough drafts go home for additional editing and signatures!

IMPORTANT NOTE: It is possible that replies to the business letters could arrive at the end of Week 2 of the unit. Since the letters will be coming in to the school, be sure to make a teacher’s copy to keep in a separate folder. This is a backup in the event students’ folders or materials are misplaced. Also, keep a checklist as the letters arrive. Distribute copies of the Comments Sheets for When Are We Ever Going to Use This Math? to students to complete as they receive their letters. This document is found in the associated file to be duplicated as needed.

Assessments

Students produce typed rough drafts of the business letters following the guidelines illustrated in the Eight Essential Parts of a Business Letter and save to disks.

Students formatively assess each other’s letters using the Student Peer Editing Rubrics to edit for conventions and check for writing that is focused, purposeful, and reflects insight into the writing situation. (See Associated File.)

Vocabulary is embedded throughout the unit plan allowing students to refine vocabulary for interpersonal, academic and workplace situations.

Students are formatively assessed on the understanding of concrete and symbolic representations of rational numbers in real-world situations as demonstrated on the completed scavenger hunts on the Web. (Irrational numbers are not addressed in this lesson.) (See Associated File for Scavenger Hunt and answer key.)

Students’ computer skills in basic computer operations, file management, word processing, and Internet access are formatively assessed through teacher observation using the Student Computer Skills Checklist. (See Associated File.)

Students who scored low in basic arithmetic skills on the diagnostic assessments continue to receive practice worksheets for homework. These are supplied for continuous feedback and reinforcement and are not assessed.

The standards and Goal 3 Standards addressed will be modeled and formatively assessed throughout this unit and will be summatively assessed at the completion of the unit.

Extensions

This is Lesson 4 of 10 in the unit The Math Connection addressing [When Are We Ever Going to USE This MATH?]

The Beacon Unit Plan associated with this lesson can be viewed by clicking on the link located at the top of this page or by using the following URL: http://www.beaconlearningcenter.com/search/details.asp?item=2947. Once you select the unit’s link, scroll to the bottom of the unit plan page to find the section, “Associated Files.” This section contains links to the Unit Plan Overview, Diagnostic and Summative Assessments, and other associated files (if any).

Web Links

What You Need to Know About: Mathematics
Mathematics Tutorials

Basic Aspects of Fractions and Operations
Math Tutorials: Fractions

Basic Aspects of Decimals and Operations
Math Tutorials: Decimals

Interactive Math Lessons and More!
Understanding Percents

From Definition to Practice to Quiz
Math.com: Fractions

From Understanding Place Value to Operations
Math.com: Decimals

From Definition to Illustration
Math.com: Percents

Practice in Converting Between Scientific Notation and Normal Numbers
Scientific Notation

Examples, Explanation and Scientific Notation Generator
Scientific Notation

When Are We Ever Going to USE This Math?
The Math Connection

Return to the Beacon Lesson Plan Library.