Students as Teachers – Designers of Weekly Activities

 
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Start this month by discussing with students your Do Now questions and make explicit your daily goals.  Shift the responsibility to your students while supporting them as they create the check-in activity.

Goals

  • Start class with an engaging activity.
  • Empower students to design, evaluate and reflect about a student check-in activity.
  • Foster a more collaborative student centered classroom.



Activity Plan: Students as Designers

  • Organize your class into pairs, then assign each group a week and topic during the fall term. 
  • Meet early each week with 1 pair and discuss their preliminary design for a 2 or 3 question entrance ticket. (They could asynchronously co-construct the questions using a Google Doc)
  • Explore their goals for the activity and finalize the questions by Wednesday.
  • Create the Quiz for their Do Now activity. 
  • Initiate the activity in the latter part of the week.
  • Analyze the results as a class and the effectiveness of the questions.
  • Discuss where the questions would fit on Bloom’s Taxonomy.
  • Finally, task pairs to submit a reflection on the experience.

What are Do Nows?

Since your last class there have been numerous opportunities for students to improve their understanding or make false connections and lose track of where you left off.  There are after school sessions, online videos, parental involvement, sports, music, social activities filling their minds…I could go on and on!

So how do you gauge what your students understand at minute zero of class?

As students trickle into class have them log into your Socrative room and engage in an entrance activity of two to three questions.  The activity may:

  • aid in focusing students on your subject matter
  • re-engage in and review previous material
  • gain feedback on the homework
  • introduce new material
  • raise the energy level with fun questions.

Examples Do Now activities:

  • Write 3 sentences on what Holden means by “phonies”.
  • Conjugate these verbs and write a sentence using each one.  Use a different form for each sentence.
  • Write a brief summary of yesterday’s panel discussion.
  • Briefly explain 2 ways in which you can improve your project.
  • Solve these three problems.
  • Explain what was most challenging about last night’s homework.

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