AFT - American Federation of Teachers

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Mini-Lesson Tips

During mini-lessons, help students:

  • Articulate what they are thinking.
  • Tap into their prior knowledge.
  • Understand concepts behind processes.
  • Be able to articulate and discuss why a procedure or strategy is appropriate.
  • See multiple ways to solve problems.
  • Use objects, drawings and charts to clarify what is happening but explicitly help students see how these representations relate to mathematical notation.
  • Embed concepts and skills in situational problems to help students make sense of the ideas.
  • Explicitly connect ideas.

Actively probe their understanding.

Encourage and elicit more than one solution.

Ask questions to guide thinking and build memory instead of telling. Particularly helpful as students work with mathematics are questions that prompt them to:

  • visualize;
  • decompose or take numbers apart so they can more easily be worked with;
  • think back to something they have done previously that is similar and could help; and
  • identify information that will be helpful in solving the problem.