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Knowing When The Lesson is STICKY

Updated: May 22, 2023

So, picture this...

You've delivered an intentional and purposeful minilesson to your readers. Your readers have moved into Independent Reading and are trying out the work. But, you are left I move on to my next planned lesson tomorrow or should I dwell here for another day? It doesn't matter what the district's pacing guide's all about the readers. We go where they NEED us to go!


Was the lesson "STICKY"

In other words, how do you know when the students 'got it'?

So, first, look back at your minilesson planning.

Remember what one thing you wanted your readers to gain.



Get in the trenches and watch students reading and working. Notice their behaviors and attitudes towards the work. Eavesdrop on conversations they are having with other readers.

Talk to your readers

Talk to your readers about the work they are doing. Find out their frustrations and struggles. Find out what they feel they are doing well. Confer with your readers.

Look at the reading work

Browse Readers' Notebooks to look for patterns and trends of student understandings. Look at the post-it notes they are jotting on and look at the organizers they are using while asking yourself, "Have they gained what I needed them to gain from the minilesson?"

Use Exit Tickets

At the end of Independent Work time, have students answer a reflective question about the minilesson work. Make the exit ticket a small piece of paper so the reader will have to analyze and choose his or her words carefully.

When students are given a small place to write in they are nudged to be concise with their thoughts.

A small place to write in could be a post-it note or an index card or a printed exit ticket. If you want to keep it all clean and cozy, have them jot their reflection inside their Readers' Notebooks.

Once you are in the trenches, observing, talking to your readers and browsing through their reading work, you will have a good picture of whether the lesson was "sticky" enough.

However, when you end the whole reading period with an exit ticket for students to think and write reflectively, you'll be clear about who 'got it' and who didn't!

Until next time,



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