To see a complete list of the reflection activities and for an explanation of the program, visit my Day By Day Main Page.
Mini-Lessons Cycle 1: Meaningful Mini-Lessons
Day 6: Strong Connections
Challenge: Work toward crafting stronger connections this week. Do this by thinking about what inspires and invigorates you so that you can think about ways to tap into that same power when you stand up before your students.
I’m hoping this focus on increased connections will work well with our author study this week of William Steig. I’m researching more about Steig’s biography to find out how it impacted his writing and his plots. I’m also connecting Steig’s use of fables and traditional stories to talk with our students about universal themes they may approach in their writing.
Look back on the mini-lesson connections you delivered this past week. Were they inspiring and invigorating for your students or were they boring?
We actually just started mini-lessons this week and I’ve been pretty militant on keeping them under 10 minutes, so I think they’ve been pretty invigorating.
Rate them and think about how you could’ve strengthened them, or consider what made them great.
I’ve been so afraid to get started that I’ve been super-specific and almost maddeningly clear. The upside is that for what they might lack in dramatic flair, they seem to make up for in being immediately useful for my students to use right away.
How did your students respond to your stronger connections?
My students who are looping up from last year could hardly contain themselves when we talked about the books we were using this year along with the books we read and used last year.
Were they more engaged while you taught?
Compared to last year, absolutely.
Did they produce better work?
I’m not sure — we’re still at the stage of producing work consistently so we have a range of writing to select from later.