This year my school has decided to use mini-lessons as a way to increase our student’s comprehension. As a school we have been doing professional readings, watching video clips (both of good mini-lessons and not-so-good mini-lessons), developing and modeling them as well. I really got a feel for all of the components that must be in a mini-lesson: Connection, Teaching Point, Active Engagement, and Link. Because I am on my school’s Instructional Leadership Team, I was one of the first to begin piloting mini-lessons in my classroom. When it came time to actually try out my mini-lesson I was excited. I thought that my students would really enjoy it and I couldn’t wait to hear their discussions during the active engagement component.
I planned and planned and was finally ready for my math mini-lesson. I called my students over to the carpet, and the wonderful smooth transition that I envisioned in my mind was so different from what I was witnessing. I should have known at this point that this wasn’t going to be good, but I kept going.