Meet with MORE students when mini lessons are short & sweet!
When you are using the workshop model structure to learning, one of the challenges that often comes up is making sure we stay in that 10-15 minute range. Ideally, we want to be 10 minutes or less. It’s not always easy to do that, especially when you are trying to manage behaviors, or there’s a lot of interruptions either from your students or other staff members coming into your classroom, or some of your students come to the mini lesson without the materials you asked for. There is so much going on that can cause mini lessons to go LONG.
Why keep the mini lesson mini? Well…for starters:
You will have more time to meet with students either 1-1 or in small groups.
You will have the opportunity to meet with significantly MORE students than you would if your mini lessons goes 20 minutes.
Your students are more likely to stay engaged if your lesson doesn’t drag on too long.
There will be MORE time for independent reading or writing time; which means MORE time to practice the strategies you are teaching them in the mini lessons.
Now you have a better chance to incorporate a mid-workshop teaching point if you feel it is necessary to move your students forward.
Your students will have more opportunities to work in partnerships as well.
Let me share with you why I think mini lessons go longer than 10 minutes.
Here are 10 strategies you can use tomorrow that will help cut down your mini lessons:
I encourage you as you plan your next mini lesson to think about how your mini lessons have gone up to this point. In what areas could you make it faster. You could choose 1-2 of these strategies and try them out the next few weeks and see what impact it has on your mini lessons. See how more engaged your students are. Or see how quickly you are able to get them off the carpet and to their independent time. Or see how many MORE students you are meeting with because your mini lessons are now 10 minutes or less.
Get ready and prepared for independent reading or writing time because your mini lessons are going to be so QUICK; you will be shocked how many more students you will be able to touch,