Podcast Episode 12: The Power of a TINY Lesson!

Lessons don't need to be long to be powerful!  In fact, the shortest lessons can often have the most impact!

Audio version: www.DecodingLearningDifferences.com


Welcome to Decoding Learning Differences with Kimberlynn Lavelle this episode is the power of a  TINY  lesson. I'm super excited to get into this because it's something I'm kind of passionate about. I feel like we spend way too much time worrying about like big lessons and we feel like language arts should be an hour alone and we miss out on those like tiny opportunities for instruction.

So think about what can we do? What can you teach with five minutes? Now, this first began like introduced into my head that I can remember when my very first year of teaching. I only taught at that school for one year, but it was a really great school. I loved it. It was just kind of a long drive. So I switched schools after that,

but it was a really great school, so many great people, so many great things happening. And one of the things that I remember them focusing on among many was think about how to teach in like your five minutes. And we did it did continue even in my next schools. It wasn't like, that was the only school that did it,

but they're talking like, what could you do with five minutes? If you just finished your math lesson and there's five minutes before recess, what are you going to do with those five minutes? Do you just let the kids talk or do you do something with it? Now? Of course you can just let the kids talk. There is value in that.

There's really powerful value in that. So I'm not saying that's bad, but sometimes it's not even the, at the end, that's not what I'm going to talk about today. It's not like, Oh, I have a few minutes. What could I do? It's more like, instead of the hour long instruction, can we do five minutes? Is that more powerful?

Think about the fact that most kids, most people, most adults at best have a 10 minute attention span, like where they can focus for about 10 minutes before they're starting to fade. If they really dig in, sometimes we can work for hours at a time super focused and like we're in the flow, right? Like that does happen. But when you're trying to like learn information,

usually you've got about 10 minutes of like direct instruction that you can attend to. And even that's a stretch and a lot of kids it's less than that to start with. So, and some are not even five minutes, but if you think about five minutes, 10 minutes that you, that your child can like really focus with you, then they go,

what can I teach for those five or 10 minutes? What can we do with those five or 10 minutes? And can I do something that sparks their interest that makes them want to keep working? Even beyond that, even if I step away, they're still working on something. So this, this can get a little, it's a bit much that I can't like.

I can't go into like too many examples, but some things through, like, if you had just five minute lessons that you did throughout your day thing, but how many of those you could do realistically? Like you're not going to do more than one an hour because it kind of loses its power. You're not go five, five, five, five,

five, five, five, five, five, five, five. Like if you're not filling your day with five minute lessons, your kid can't absorb all of that. Right. But if you only have to read about teaching for five minutes, especially if you have multiple kids think about this, you're teaching this kid for five minutes and then you're leaving the room and going and teaching that kid for five minutes.

And each of them only have to focus on what you're instructing for five minutes. And then maybe they have something that they're working on after that. So it might be that you are introducing a new concept and it can even be as simple as asking a question. It might be a math based question. Like, you know, I was noticing that you have these three boxes of Lego and they've got all these Lego pieces in them.

And I'm just wondering how many pieces that is altogether. So like, sometimes you're just sparking curiosity that way. And then like, yeah, I wonder how much that is all together. And then they go over and they're like looking at the information, how many pieces are in each box? And then they're adding them up and they're telling you what the answer is.

It can be something where you're introducing a new concept, like fractions. You're all sitting at the dinner table and you have gotten pizza for dinner. Like, Oh, the whole pizza is here right now. Let's see, eight out of eight slices are here right now. I would write that this way as a fraction. And you happen to have a whiteboard sitting there because you can plan this out and you write it down.

I would write eight out of eight. Like this that's a fraction, or you jot it down on a piece of paper because maybe you didn't plan it out. But now you're thinking about like, I could do this. I could teach this right now. It's right in front of me. So you're like, I would write it like this. Okay.

Now I give one away. Well, eight minus eight out of eight minus one out of eight, there's seven out of eight left. What's going to happen when I do another one. Oh, that's six out of eight. And now I wouldn't, I wouldn't go into equivalence at the same time. But another thought you can have is what else has that equivalent to,

right? Like if I didn't have these this way, and I only had them cut this way, what would that look like? And maybe you get like strings that are showing those other lines instead. How many pieces is that? Oh, three fourths is this EMA six eighths, four eights is the same as two fourths is the same as one half.

If cut all of those pieces up 16 out of 16, and then all of those equivalents, right? Like you can play with all of that stuff and just make it like part of your dinner, lunch lesson plan. It's funny that I'm using this as an example because I don't generally eat pizza and I can't really do dairy and gluten is a little rough.

So just, it's funny that this is my option. My, although I do eat like dairy free, whatever. Anyway, side note, thinking through how many lessons can you do? So those are both math lessons. You can do like a language arts lesson. Like if you think about like a grammar topic that you're thinking through, you can think about like the one that's actually coming to mind as sort of like a grammar turned to spelling.

So like the word said, if you think back it's like the past tense of say, right. I will, you know, I, I say this, I said this, and normally most words to turn it into past tense, we add ed. So you can kind of talk through like, Oh, so it was this. And then they did this.

And then why would it change to this? And you can help them, like, make that connection as to why say would have become spelled S A I D and then kind of talk through I'm assuming people just changed the way it was pronounced. Instead of saying sade, they started saying said, even though sade makes more sense with how it is originally as say,

and then how it is spelled. It all makes more sense for it to be pronounced Sade. But so you can kind of think through like, how can I just have, like, what's one little thing that I can teach them. That's gonna be powerful and memorable. And then I just walk away from it. Like I can spark their interest in something and then walk away.

So think through that one. All right. So I want to know what are you going to teach today? What is your big aha or whatever? Let me know at Kimberlynn@DecodingLearningDifferences.com. I cannot wait to hear what you have planned. I look forward to hearing from you.  Talk to you next week!



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Decoding Learning Differences