I'm a rather harassed and inexperienced student teacher and I've been bullied into asked to do a small teaching session on Mini Plenaries. I teach a MFL. I've only got 10 minutes to talk about the importance/effectiveness of MP's and the Headship team are attending <cue small stifled scream>
Hi there, from what I understand a mini plenary is simply a quick way of assessing the progress of the students mid way through the lesson - so for example a quick quiz , Q & A, or using something like mini-whiteboards with the whole group, getting them to do a quick peer assesssment - e.g. for MFL they could bounce questions around the room in French -.. just thinking on my feet! It is a useful way of judging how the lesson is going, and seeing if they are making progress - or seeing which ones are struggling and need more help etc. Good luck!
Also good to pre-warn them and give them an active way of replying, e.g. in two minutes exactly I am going to ask your group to tell me 3 adjectives you have used. Using fancy whiteboard timer good for that!
from the many times I have been through the pre-Ofsted panic SLT panic that is! always reflect to your objectives in the mini plenary; especially if you are being observed as it shows that you are assessing progress towards them.
I think it would even count if you just said, "OK, let's stop there for a moment, remember we are learning a, b and c today and so far we've covered x, y and z. Show me with fingers to five how confident you feel with what we've done so far."
(Obviously you do then have to react, so if you get a load of 0 or 1 fingers you have to do a swift recap!)
In my experience (and my school) 'mini-plenary' is just a posh name for addressing any issues arising in the lesson. I use for those times where the children start working and obviously haven't got the concept. Or if I want to share some really good ideas. I also find it really useful when I want the children toexplore a concept without a long introduction. So today in maths we did an investigation. I set the task, gave them 10 minutes to explore it in pairs, then used a MP to discuss their ideas and check they could all identify a starting point.