Strategy

Mid-Workshop Interruption

Mid-Workshop Share, Mid-Workshop Announcement

UDL 3.3

A Mid-Workshop Interruption is an intentional announcement used to communicate a brief pointer, reminder, or compliment halfway through independent practice. While students are working on an independent task, the teacher makes a brief interruption using a signal that gains everyone's attention (e.g. a bell, a patterned clap). Once everyone is attending, the teacher uses the moment to reinforce a teaching point, share an observation, address a misconception, or highlight an exemplar. Afterward, the teacher uses another signal to return students' attention back to their independent tasks. Giving a planned Mid-Workshop Interruption increases students’ ability to maintain focus on a challenging task by allowing the brain to refresh and refocus, and is an opportunity to provide a framework for how students can continue working diligently for the remainder of the workshop.

Implementation Tips

Implementation
Implement a Mid-Workshop Interruption during any workshop lesson that requires students to work independently for an extended amount of time (e.g., Reading Workshop, Writing Workshop, Math Workshop). Give students time to engage independently in their task before the interruption begins (i.e., at least 6-8 minutes for lower grades and at least 10-15 minutes for upper grades) and conduct the interruption for only 1-2 minutes.
Build A Routine
Build a routine by developing a signal, such as a hand signal, chime, simple call and recall chant, to notify students that it is time for a Mid-Interruption. Students should be expected to stop what they are doing upon hearing this signal and to provide their full attention to the announcement (e.g., pencils/books down, eyes on the speaker). Practice this routine with students before implementing an actual Mid-Workshop Interruption.
Choosing a Mid-Workshop Teaching Point
Circulate and use observations and interactions with students during the first half of independent practice to choose a teaching point to highlight in the interruption. Choose interruptions that support the most students (e.g., choosing an exemplar writing piece that highlights descriptive details, reminding students during partner reading to refer to the buddy reading anchor chart for support).
Accommodations
Incorporate a quick whole-class stretching activity into a Mid-Workshop Interruption to help reenergize students during rigorous independent work, or to support students that demonstrate frustration with the task. Make the short movement activity simple and relaxing (e.g., arm stretches, palm pushes, head rolls).
Student Shares
Invite predetermined students to share insight during a given Mid-Workshop Interruption. Students use their own words to describe the implementation of their skills, how they clarified a misunderstanding, or share their work to provide a model for their peers. (e.g., “The story problem had multiple steps and I needed to figure out which step to do first, so I set up my paper with 3 boxes to help me organize my thinking.”).

Examples

Reiterating A Teaching Point
During independent writing, a teacher confers with several students and notices that there is confusion with applying the new skill (e.g., incorporating dialogue). The teacher initiates a Mid-Workshop Interruption to dispense clarifying information (e.g., “It’s great to see some of you have started to include dialogue into your writing pieces! If you haven’t tried it yet, remember to look back at the examples we used on the lesson anchor chart to guide you.”) The teacher addresses a few questions, keeping the interruption short so that student momentum is preserved. After, students resume independent work using the anchor chart for reference.
Highlighting An Exemplar
As students engage in social studies centers, a teacher highlights a specific group’s management techniques using a Mid-Workshop Interruption. The teacher states, “I wanted to share the impressive work that was happening with this group. They were using kinds words and sharing materials, and they also decided to create some guidelines (e.g., analyze one artifact at a time, take turns recording information, etc.”). The teacher invites other groups to quickly share additional techniques, then asks groups to considering applying this to help organize their research. Students continue to work in groups, implementing the suggested structure to make collaboration successful.
Providing A Compliment
A teacher monitors student work during independent reading and notices that many students have composed a variety of “stop and jots.” The teacher signals the class to listen to a Mid-Workshop Interruption, and compliments how students have applied the newly learned skill (“I’m so impressed by how many students are “stopping and jotting” while they read! Give a thumbs-up if you wrote about what you are reading.”). Several students briefly describe how they wrote about their reading (e.g. made a prediction, summarized, tracked a character change, inferred) to provide ideas for how others can actively engage in the task.

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