Category Archive: minilesson

Minilessons: Writing Workshop Fundamentals

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Everything students are asked to do in writing workshop builds on effective teaching during the minilesson. It’s important to understand the basics of writing minilessons so we can write them quickly and teach our students to become stronger writers every time we bring them to the meeting area to teach them something new.

Structure: Writing Workshop Fundamentals

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Writing Workshops have important structural components.

Connecting Through Story

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“Story is the basic unit of human understanding.” – Drew Dudley, Day One Leadership. We have been learning through story for thousands of years.  Our innate fascination for wanting to know what happens… Continue reading

Finding Time: With Craft Moves on The Poem Farm

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Poetry month in my opinion (and my students’) is a celebration of writing! It’s a time when we writers welcome new beginnings and hone the art and crafting of our writing skills. I watch my students take wings and write with grace and confidence during poetry month.

Showing Not Telling: Demonstrations Matter

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We’ve all likely taught ‘show, don’t tell’ lessons in our narrative units. But showing not telling can have instructional meaning, as well…

Keeping the ‘Mini’ in Mini Lessons for the Middle School Writing Workshop

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Katie Kraushaar, a middle school teacher, has six tips for keeping minilessons mini during writing workshop.

A Step Back, A Leap Forward

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Sometimes the most effective way to help writers leap ahead, is to slow things down and take a step back.

Writing A Teaching Point

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A formula for writing clear teaching points

Instant Minilesson Follow-Up

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A strong active engagement, and a routine for informally assessing student work during the minilesson can give you the tools you need to be sure that no student leaves the meeting area completely confused.

Sometimes It’s Actually Not a Choice: Accountability in the Writing Workshop

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My goal for the next few weeks is to pay close attention to kids when they leave the meeting area to start working. How many are actually trying out the new strategy? How many are going right back to their old habits? And what can I do to coach them to try new things?

A Short & Sweet Minilesson Formula

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There is a formula that I use, time and time again, to adapt my own minilessons. Yes, this formula helps me keep my minilessons to about ten minutes and makes planning more streamlined, but more importantly this formula helps me with one of my personal goals as a teacher: student engagement.

A Peek Inside Modeled Writing

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Are you always telling your students to add detail? To write more? Here is a sample minilesson to show them how.

What should I teach next?

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There are a few weeks left in the school year. Here are some tips for working through the If… Then… books if you’d like to plan your own unit of study.

Quick Tips for Writing Teaching Points

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A guide to crafting your own teaching points for 1:1 conferences, strategy lessons, minilessons, mid-workshop interruptions, and share sessions.

Throwback Week: How To Read A Unit of Study

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Learn some tricks for reading the Units of Study, whether you’re new to the units or have been using them for many years.

Demonstration Texts, Part Deux

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Thinking about your demonstration texts this way can give you some inspiration for multiple ways to teach the same minilesson, to the whole class, or to small groups as follow-up.

Minilessons: It’s All About the Link

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It’s all about the link. Make sure your minilessons link to ongoing work. Link to making choices. Link to all the other minilessons. Link to the charts and resources in the room. Most of all link your minilesson always to problem solving and independence.

There Are More Ways Than One To Teach A Minilesson

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Last week I wrote a post titled How To Plan A Minilesson From Scratch, and I outlined a very simple way to plan minilessons, based on the work of my wonderful colleagues at the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project. Now, I am going to backtrack a bit and revisit just a teensy weensy bit of what I said. I wrote, “Every minilesson can pretty much go the same way.” And this is absolutely true, most of the time. Except for those times when it’s not true.

How to Plan a Minilesson from Scratch

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Minilessons are actually really easy to plan, and fun to teach. What? You don’t believe me? Let me show you, right now, how to do it.

How To Read A Unit of Study

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As the school year comes to a close, many of the schools I work with are launching into a week or so of in-service, summer institutes, and other professional development. It’s “curriculum season”… Continue reading