Lindsey's Coaching Corner

Keeping SMITH Teachers in the KNOW

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Mini-Lesson Series

In the box below, each week, we will be thinking together about the structure of a mini-lesson----a mini PD if you will. Hopefully this will be a breath of fresh air when planning your literacy block. Be thinking also...how could this relate to math?

A Mini lesson: (noun)

Minilessons are meant as intervals for explicit, brief instruction in skills and strategies that then become part of a writer's ongoing repertoire to be drawn upon as needed. That is, every day in a workshop you gather the learners and say, "I've been thinking about the work you are doing, and I want to give you just one tip, one technique that I think will help with challenges some of you are having or may have soon." Then you DEMONSTRATE the new technique and help children get a bit of assisted practice trying the technique in a miniature way, all within a ten-minute mini lesson. After this, you send the learners off to continue their important work, reminding them that they can draw on the strategy they learned that day as well as those they've learned on previous days. Iv'e often said that the most important words of any workshop are the words that come at the end, when you say, "Off you go." In any workshop, it is important that the kids know how to do just that. They need to know that after the minilesson is over, they can resume the important work they were doing the day before, drawing on all they have learned all year long.


Usually for a mini lesson children sit in the meeting area alongside a partner, clustered as close to you as possible. This is not usually a time for children to sit in a circle, because conversations among the whole class are minimal. This is time instead for you to teach as efficiently and explicitly as possible. Teachers often worry over the content of their minilessons, the truth is that if you are teaching and learning alongside a classroom full of kids who are engaged in their own writing and reading, you'll soon find that your mind will brim with ideas for minilessons.

-Lucy Calkins

Stay tuned for next weeks': The Architecture of Minilessons...

Math Curriculum Updates:

5th Grade:

  • Upcoming Cluster 1 lessons on Patterns and Equations have been revised
  • MSTAR update from TEA: due to the technical difficulties the ESTAR/MSTAR system will be temporarily unavailable but will return the week of 9/28/15. All data accrued for the 2015–2016 academic year will remain in the system. The administration window is extended to Oct. 16th for the Screener and Oct. 23rd for the Diagnostic Assessment. For additional information, contact mathtx@esc13.net. ESTAR/MSTAR professional developments are available at texasmathsupportcenter.org.
  • Cluster 2 with overview video is all loaded.

4th Grade:

  • Cluster 2 Planner, number talks, and instructional videos are loaded. Lessons will be coming next week. Cluster 2 instruction does not begin until November 2nd.

3rd Grade:

  • The first week of Cluster 2 lessons are posted, and we will be completing the remaining lessons next week. The Cluster Planner, overview video and CBA are posted for BP4L.
  • October 1: Job-embedded PD (one math teacher per campus to attend) 12:30-3:30 at CTE. We will be sending an email to the ICs that signed-up for this PD.

K-2:

  • We will be working on curriculum for Cluster 2 next week.

Up the RIGOR

Many many lessons and parts of the curriculum have changed in ELAR from last year. Based on data, the district has embedded and reorganized much of what was in the past. The videos on eduphoria are vital in this journey. The depth and complexity of the TEKS have been studied and you will see the rigor in the mentor lessons that are provided. Hopefully much of what they provide is easy to imitate by replacing the text. Please try to stick to the order of the scope and sequence as much as possible. Please let me know if you have questions...I can find an answer for you!

ELAR Curriculum Updates:

Cluster 3 for grades 3-5 is now loaded. Please take time to watch the video's of Cluster 3 for grades 3-5. Many new insights and learning has transpired during this time. You will notice that many of the resources needed for the cluster are attached to the cluster planner. The documents are now linked within Eduphoria through Google Docs. K-2 Cluster 3 will be loaded soon.


3rd Grade
  • Cluster 3 starts October 12th.
  • This is a three week cluster.
  • Here is a link to the video overview of Cluster 3: Visualize to Experience
  • Please pay close attention to the process clarity, suggested student assessments, and suggested response.
  • Please notice the process coding strategies trickled throughout the cluster planner and mentor lessons. Explicit examples have been demonstrated throughout.
  • There are 3 new mentor lessons.


4th Grade

  • Cluster 3 starts October 19th.
  • This is a three week cluster.
  • Here is a link to the video overview of Cluster 3: Visualize to Experience
  • Please pay close attention to the process clarity, suggested student assessments, and suggested response.
  • Please notice the process coding strategies trickled throughout the cluster planner and mentor lessons
  • There are 2 new mentor lessons.


5th Grade

  • Cluster 3 starts October 12th.
  • This is a three week cluster.
  • Here is a link to the video overview of Cluster 3: Visualize to Experience
  • Please pay close attention to the process clarity, suggested student assessments, and suggested response.
  • Please notice the process coding strategies trickled throughout the cluster planner and mentor lessons. Explicit examples have been demonstrated throughout.
  • There are five new mentor lessons.

Science Updates:

Just FYI STEMscopedia is your textbook. Please do not send this textbook home as you will be using it throughout the year during the explain portion of their lessons.


When teachers assign students their codes to get into STEMscopes at home, the STEMscopedia is already uploaded for parents to see and use with their children.

What I am Studying...

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