“Broken Lesson”

We think that a lesson means one learning experience for the students.

I’m not asking, I’m stating. We may say we don’t believe that, but nearly all of the lessons I have taught & observed have students engaging in a single learning experience.

Two of the most memorable lessons I’ve seen sent the students to work in small spurts – no longer than 10 minutes at a time – and then brought the class back together multiple times. This happened 2 or 3 times in a lesson. Breaking up the lesson like this seemed to allow students to practice a discrete skill so that when it came time to conceptualize the big idea, they had schema which allowed them to make connections faster.

What are your thoughts? Have you taught a lesson recently where you broke it into a few mini-lessons? Is there a name for this type of lesson? Can I name it the “Broken Lesson” because it is broken up into multiple parts?

Example 1: 

In a science lesson, the teacher began by showing a video and connecting to prior learning.

Students were sent to do some independent writing, then share with a partner.

Back together, the teacher led a discussion about waves and gave some information.

Students went off in teams to investigate waves with rope.

Back together, the teacher led a discussion about waves and gave some information.

Students went off in teams again to investigate some more, scaffolded with academic language (and sign language!!).

Back together for a last time, the teacher led students to share their observations with 3 partners.

Example 2:

In a previous ELA lesson, the teacher gave students an image as a prompt.

Students were asked to describe to a partner what they think the story might be.

Back together, the teacher led a discussion about what adjectives are.

Students went off in partners to complete an activity sorting adjectives.

Back together, the teacher led a discussion about how the adjectives could help their story.

Students went off to brainstorm more adjectives in regards to the story with a team.

Back together, students shared out adjectives.

Students went off to write a paragraph independently.

Back together for a last time, a few students share out their paragraphs in the Author’s Chair.

Tell me your thoughts...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s