“We’re done for the week!” announced Natalie Louis.
And I knew I had the first line of my blog post!
(To think I thought it was going to be, “I don’t need a roller coaster, I teach kids!”)
The questions Natalie had just addressed were:
How do I get better at the Mini-Lesson so it’s a super-duper imprint on the brain?
Like a tattoo instead of a sleep mark?
And the answer was,
Demonstrate LIVE how to get ready for a mini-lesson from the UoS
What will this look like? What are the steps?
- Read the teaching point out loud.
- Ask what it means? Bumble around
- Practice delivering the teaching point.
(Warning: It may take more “practice” before you are ready to say the teaching point out loud to your class.)
4. Go back and Read the connection (Tip: Read the bolds out loud)
5. Teaching – Read the bolds out loud (Ask questions as you think of them out loud)
6. Active Engagement – Read the bolds out loud
7. Link – Read bold out loud (Do you need any materials?)
How do you practice Mini-Lessons?
How do you check your time frames?
You can and should practice collaboratively. The “out loud Think Alouds” are critical because delivery of a quality Mini-lesson that sticks with the students takes more effort and thinking than merely reading from the spiral-bound page. That’s a good beginning! However, the point is to provide a short, focused intimate lesson. You don’t get that by reading the lesson word for word. You also don’t get that from whipping up power point / google slides. The whole group lessons are designed for delivery straight to students’ eyes, ears and mouths from your own eyes, ears and mouth!
Quality practice can involve rehearsing without students and actual instruction with a room full of students. You could video tape your mini-lesson and view it with a trusted colleague. This would require leaving out the “But . . .” commentary and just discovering some of the data that is easily observable:
- Were all 4 components observed?
- Was the entire lesson less than 10 minutes?
- How many times did you hear the teaching point?
- Was there a bit of engagement during the connection?
- Did you hear the teaching point in all four parts?
- Was the goal approximation or master?
- What key phrases did you hear for each of the parts?
- What were the last three words?
Audio-recording on your phone could be one step prior to the 21st century skill of video-recording your lesson and/or feedback.
How have you worked on improving your mini- lessons?
What are the parts of a Mini-Lesson at TC?
The architecture of a Mini-Lesson at TC looks like this:
Source of Session Information:
Bolstering Your Nonfiction Units of Study with Mini-Lessons,
Shared Reading and Read Alouds
This was just one small part of my August #TCRWP Reading Institute Workshop learning!
It was an 11 minute demo that was packed with both learning and laughter that will ever linger in my brain! A demo from a staff developer who was at TC when the architecture of Mini-lessons was developed. Tips. Gems to be treasured. Powerful learning!