Just popping in with my second post in the continuing series about the terms frequently used in Writing Workshop. If you missed last week's post Writing Workshop Glossary Terms Series: Part 1, I definitely recommend reading it first along with the post that started it all The Top 12 Glossary Terms for Literacy Models.
Now, this post is all about the Mini Lesson: what, when and why to use them. You’ll not only learn the lingo but when to use four of the most common types of mini-lesson instruction. I really hope this series of little posts helps to untangle some Writing Workshop terms and proves to be you little Writing Workshop lingo go-to.
Spoiler alert- these are not official “researched-based” definitions nor did they come from some literacy search engine data base. And honestly, there are probably others who may use these words entirely differently. But these are the words I find myself using frequently during Workshop instruction based on my own experience as a teacher, coach, consultant, staff developer and author.
Writing Workshop Glossary of Terms: Mini Lesson
Why: This whole group practice provides the foundation and preparation for transference and application to independent writing.
Methods: We may teach by demonstrating (modeling how and when writers use this strategy or concept in their work rather than simply telling what writers do); explaining and showing an example; involving the class in a shared inquiry; or taking them through guided practice.
Four Methods of Mini Lesson Instruction
Guided Practice Mini Lessons
What: Students are guided through an instructional experience.
Why: Guided practice gives an authentic reason to engage in an activity (that they might not have been able to do on their own) in which they will practice skills and strategies under the careful coaching of the teacher.
Explanation Mini Lessons
What: The teacher provides an explanation and often includes examples or anecdotes.
Why: Each explanation with example lesson provides an opportunity to learn more about a specific topic or content area. Linking content to a shared example, provides schema for students to make the teaching of the content more memorable.
Guided Inquiry Mini Lessons
What: The teacher poses a question and often is used in combination with methods of demonstration and guided practice.
Why: Guided Inquiry promotes student learning through investigation. This method of teaching requires students to use the higher level thinking skills of summarizing, analyzing and evaluating.
Demonstration Mini Lessons
What: Teacher directed lesson demonstrating (modeling how and when writers use this strategy or concept in their work rather than simply telling what writers do); explaining and showing an example; involving the class in a shared inquiry; or taking them through guided practice.
Why: Demonstration mini-lessons give students a chance to observe an example of targeted skill or strategy in a step-by- step process and so that they can try to apply it in their own work. This is often the most commonly used method of mini lesson instruction.
And that's all we have for this week, two posts down, three to go for this April series. Now, I’d love to know your thoughts and/or what literacy lingo have you wondered about? Share in the comment section here or write in at the Ask Anything section in the sidebar!
Tune in next week for answers to your questions and the next part in the Writing Workshop Glossary Terms Series!!!