Mad ramblings of a Literacy Specialist

Remember the Minilesson?? June 2, 2008

Filed under: Reading Workshop — madhotliteracy @ 3:20 PM

The Architecture of a Mini-Lesson (adapted, as always!)

  • Explain how today’s learning fits within the  current unit of study


  • State your teaching point.  Literally, say “Good readers……..”
  • Teach just one thing
  • Choose just one way to teach — there are always multiple ways to show kids something.  For a mini-lesson to remain “mini”, you need to select just one way of teaching.

Active Engagement:  Try it out

  • Give every student the opportunity to quickly try or discuss what has been taught.
    • Do not call on individual students.  Everyone must have a go at this.
  • This is NOT an assignment.  This is students talking and sharing together, right there on the rug.
  • Students do NOT go off and do something.  Everyone is trying this out together, right there in front of you.
  • Listen in on student conversations and comment/provide feedback.


  • Restate the teaching point and connect it to ongoing independent student reading work. This only takes 2-3 sentences
  • Students may or may not immediately apply this teaching point during their independent reading time.

Our Expectations for implementing the Minilesson portion of the Reading Workshop:

  • record the teaching point of your mini-lesson each day
    • plan book is fine
    • some kind of a log works too
    • some other daily record keeping
    • maybe even have the kids keep notes!!
  • reflect after each mini-lesson and rate the lesson
    • how “mini” was it?
    • was your teaching point crystal clear?
    • did it stick to just one tiny thing?
    • did you model it?
    • did all students try it out?
    • did you restate the teaching point?
    • did you encourage students to apply the teaching point during today’s reading

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