Jan 12, 2016

Small Changes in Teaching: The First 5 Minutes of Class (2016) by James M. Lang

Pages:  6

Selected Quotations:  "Another favorite education writer of mine, the cognitive psychologist Daniel Willingham, argues that teachers should focus more on the use of questions. "The material I want students to learn," he writes in his book Why Don’t Students Like School?, "is actually the answer to a question. On its own, the answer is almost never interesting. But if you know the question, the answer may be quite interesting."

"Take advantage of that fact in the opening few minutes of class by asking students to "remind" you of the key points from the last session. Write them on the board — editing as you go and providing feedback to ensure the responses are accurate — to set up the day’s new material. Five minutes of that at the start of every class will prepare students to succeed on the memory retrieval they will need on quizzes and exams throughout the semester."

"Asking students to tell you what they already know (or think they know) has two important benefits. First, it lights up the parts of their brains that connect to your course material, so when they encounter new material, they will process it in a richer knowledge context. Second, it lets you know what preconceptions students have about your course material. That way, your lecture, discussion, or whatever you plan for class that day can specifically deal with and improve upon the knowledge actually in the room, rather than the knowledge you imagine to be in the room."


Post a Comment