Sometimes my background as a science major leaks out. Today, allow me to share my “litmus test” for minilessons:
Is this lesson relevant for students to use again and again and again in their lives as writers and communicators?
This is one of the biggest differences in my teaching now that I’ve embraced Workshop philosophy. I’m incessant about delivering lessons (via whole group instruction, in conferences, or during share sessions) which are applicable outside of the classroom, outside of a particular piece of writing.
As Lucy Calkins teaches, we should be able to say to students, “Try this now in your writing and then do it again . . . forever-the-rest-of-your-life.” The cool thing about getting older and gaining experience is that I get closer to meaningful lessons and conferences and share sessions which meet this criteria.
Are there any other “litmus tests” out there for solid writing instruction? Wanna share?