- Pop culture – references to sports, music, video game characters
- Metaphors, such as comparing the writer's revision process to how a gamer revises (p. 91)
- Keeping charts and other tools fresh by moving them to high traffic areas or simply taking them down when they are no longer being used independently by students
- Soliciting student feedback as to the usefulness or placement of the tools
- Co-creating teaching tools, as a class, in a small group or one-on-one with students
Sometimes, I stretch out a teaching point beyond the 10- or 12-minute time limit I've given myself because I worry that my mini lesson wasn't enough or my students won't have understood what I intended to teach. So, sometimes, I beat the lesson to a pulp one too many times, or forget to have the kids practice the lesson before they go off to read or write. (Asking students to practice a lesson after you teach it, with you right there to observe and help guide students through the process, is very effective. Try not to skip this step!)
Here's an example of a mini lesson that lasted less than 10 minutes and resulted in better learning.
My students are in the second round of historical fiction book clubs. In a couple of weeks, we will start …