Classroom Connection

Making Our Teaching Stick

Repeating and Coming Back to the Teaching Point

Students internalize teaching points better if they hear them repeated, in the same way, at a few key points during the lesson

  • Write the teaching point in a consistent location each day
  • Insert the teaching point at the end of your mini-lessons's connection to connect students' prior knowledge to the strategy
  • State the teaching point before and after your demonstration
  • If you have a minute or so left, summarize for your students and link the teaching point and how it can be used in writing

Lift the Level of the Structure of Mini-Lessons

  • Use phrases such as: Yesterday I noticed...; This is similar to the work we were doing...; or Today's lesson may remind you of...

  • Vary the way you teach writing: modeling, using mentor texts, or sharing examples of student work


  • Help students determine whether they need a particular teaching point that day or if they should "pocket" the teaching point to use later
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Brain-Based Mini-Lessons

The brain can process several activities at once
  • Physical activity, music, and visual aids can engage learning

The brain values meaning
  • Tap into the natural curiosity of brains by making making lessons relevant and meaningful

Every brain wants a challenge

  • When our mini-lessons present a challenge, students will be more engaged because of our natural affinity for challenges

Fear inhibits brain function

  • Creating safe, predictable environments will help students feel at ease

Learning is tied to emotion

  • Our brains do not separate emotions from cognition.
  • Generating emotional responses (humor, joy, or compassion) increases retention

The brain connects new learning to prior knowledge

  • Connecting the teaching point to prior knowledge helps learning stick

Anchor Charts in the Classroom

Anchor charts are effective teaching tools during lessons and for students to reference independently. They serve as a learning tool and are worthy of displaying when they have an authentic purpose for students.

Here are some tips to maximize anchor charts:

  • Create them with students so they internalize the charts
  • Refer to them in your lessons so they become a reference tool for students
  • Record teaching points to visually remind students of strategies they have learned
  • Hang them only as long as they're useful
  • Color-coding helps visual learners

Examples of Anchor Charts

Co-Teaching Mini-Lessons

Co-teaching is when two adults teach a lesson together.

Co-teaching lessons is a great way to model for students so they understand the types of accountable things partners might say to one another. Most teachers will instantly find their students' peer conferences to be more meaningful following a co-taught lesson. Your students will observe your vulnerability as your partner critiques your writing. Students will feel empowered to nudge one another toward becoming better writers.

Liz Epley, Instructional Resource Specialist

Meadowview & Edgewood