Sunday, January 17, 2016

First 5 Minutes of Class

What do you do with the first 5 minutes of class?

James M. Lang, professor of English and director of the Center for Teaching Excellence at Assumption College, in Worcester, Mass., suggests that by making some small changes, we can grab students' attention right away.

Here are a couple of changes he outlines in a recent essay for the Chronicle of Higher Education.
  1. Start class with an interesting and important question about the material you are going cover and let students try to answer it.
  2. Ask students to review what they learned in the previous class.  Lang believes that by reactivating what they learned, students will be better prepared for the next lesson. You can write the key points on the board as students volunteer responses.
  3. Activate students' prior knowledge from other courses. Lang says that this is a good way to deal with preconceptions.
Lang suggests that students might write answers to the previous questions. He believes that frequent low stakes writing like this can increase learning.

Professor Lang has also written a book about testing and cheating as well articles about it, which you can see here.

Thanks to Joanne Fuchs for tweeting the link. 

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