Literacy experts Sharon and Phil Callen talk about how to maximise the Mini Lesson, delivering big literacy impact in less time.
Sometimes teachers feel like they struggle to get bang for buck from bigger and longer lessons.
But when it comes to literacy, Mini Lessons can be used strategically and effectively.
So, what is an effective Mini Lesson?
Mini Lessons are the time when we bring the whole class together, and then we reveal what we have noticed about our students as readers and writers. And when we fully understand our students, we launch into the ‘just right’ next actions/processes/strategies for them, letting them in on the secret of what good readers and writers do as we demonstrate the process/action/strategy for our students to take immediately into their reading and writing.
1. The Mini Lesson:
a. What to Teach - Good reader/writer goal shared with students
b. To & With - Modelling strategies/skills/processes/actions using Texts (Read Aloud and/or Shared Enlarged Text) and Think Aloud
2. Independent Practice by students with teacher Conferring/Supporting/Questioning/Leading.
3. Sharing - Thinker's Talking and Transforming Learning
The Mini Lesson needs to preface the reading or writing time, so that students can immediately practise what we have just explored in the Mini Lesson - less time teaching, more time reading. That’s the way to get impact.
Mini Lessons make total sense because they are an everyday tool - leading into the every day, independent practice (reading/writing) that students need. They need both - a third of the time is a good guide for the Mini Lesson, with two thirds on actual reading/writing.
Why are Mini Lessons important?
The Mini Lesson promotes a good reader and writer action - seeing it done, doing it together, being aware of the habits and behaviours of good readers and writers. The Mini Lesson without a doubt invites every child, every day to be an active and engaged member of the literacy club.
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The Teacher’s Tool Kit For Literacy is the free podcast for motivated teachers and school leaders who want the latest tips, tricks and tools to inspire their students and school community in literacy learning.
Hear from literacy experts and founders of Cue Learning, Sharon and Phil Callen, and special guests.
At Cue Learning, our literacy specialists draw on over 30 years of teaching and international consulting experience to deliver world-class learning solutions. We equip, empower and support teachers to become their authentic selves.
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