Magic Circle: One-Minute Lessons

Direct Instruction

One Minute Lessons

Whether you are delivering content or giving directions for an activity, this much is true: the more we talk, the more students we lose.

Break your lesson down into one minute chunks. Think about what you want students to know or what you want them to do in one minute increments. What do you want students to know or do first? Once they understand that, what's next? What's after that? Break any lesson into bullet points, teaching only one new point at a time.

Using memory gestures for concepts powerfully engages a student’s motor and visual cortices, thus helping to build stronger memories. Each bullet point is taught with gestures. For example, when you say "fraction" hold one fist on top of the other. Waggle the top fist when you say, "numerator", waggle your bottom fist when you say, "denominator." To access hundreds of gestures and illustrations for core concepts, explore our Power Pix.

When you're finished delivering your lesson, say, "Mirrors Off" and students repeat "Mirrors off." Now you're ready for some collaborative learning and formative assessment with the next step in the WBT Basics Cycle.

To see examples of lessons broken down into one-minute chunks, click here.


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Put your lessons on 3x5 index cards.  To change lessons plans, simply replace card 4.   (Repeat every new point on card 4 twice).   


Below are some examples of how to break your lesson down into smaller one-minute lessons. Note, the examples below do not include Manners in the images. Manners should always be included as necessary throughout the entire lesson. 

Active Verbs