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?
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.
Are you always telling your students to add detail? To write more? Here is a sample minilesson to show them how.
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.
A guide to crafting your own teaching points for 1:1 conferences, strategy lessons, minilessons, mid-workshop interruptions, and share sessions.
Learn some tricks for reading the Units of Study, whether you’re new to the units or have been using them for many years.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. … Continue Reading How To Read A Unit of Study
We’ve all been there. You’ve gathered your students into the classroom meeting area, nice and cozy, with the intention of doing just a quick l’il minilesson. Just a quick tip … Continue Reading Top Ten Ways to Keep Minilessons from Turning into Maxilessons
Now I know different. I know that all writers hear that voice. All of us. Here was my message to the 6th graders: All writers have an inner critic. Acknowledge yours. And KEEP WRITING.
Anna Gratz Cockerille provides tips for organizing and developing teaching toolkits you can use across the school year.
I met a fantastic educator, Susie Barcus, from Fort Worth, TX when I attended the August Writing Institute at TCRWP. We worked together in a small group where we shared … Continue Reading Using Illustrations to Trigger Memories
I’m a big advocate for writers to find a space that works best for them. I also think it’s important for students to learn to write anywhere. I’m productive as … Continue Reading Finding a Space to Write
So often, we run into students who say, “I don’t know what to write about.” We work to help them develop topics. We make lists of writing ideas. We encourage … Continue Reading Topic Choice
Maggie Beattie Roberts, my section leader for “Tap the Power of Technology and Media to Teach Higher Level Comprehension,” suggested using pop culture references as one way to engage students … Continue Reading Pop Culture References Make Minilesson Connections Come Alive
I’ve been working on a few sample minilessons to give my grad students next month when I start teaching “Children’s Literature in Teaching Writing.” I’ve been making tweaks to the … Continue Reading What do you think of this minilesson?
Yesterday Lori Hickman and I launched a poetry unit of study in her kindergarten classroom. Since we wanted to see what they already knew about writing poetry, we decided to … Continue Reading First Attempt at Poetry