You’ve just taught an incredible lesson, students’ brains are full of new ideas and they’re making connections like crazy to other concepts you’ve covered in class and they’ve learned elsewhere. You think... Why not affirm your thoughts and hold them accountable for the information they’re processing?
Sometime in the next week, pose a question at the end of class, have students answer on a slip of scratch paper (with their name for credit!) and, as they leave class, collect their answers (their passport out of class). This may sound like, “In a moment, you’ll provide your thoughts to a question I pose about today’s class. Be ready to hand it to me as you leave the room – it’s your passport out the door today. You’ll record your thoughts on a piece of scratch paper. The question is: "INSERT QUESTION HERE?" (see suggestions below)
Now you know where students stand and they’re continuing the learning process, even as they leave your room!
Some possible questions to pose for their passport entry:
· What piece of knowledge from today sticks with you most?
· What concept are you interested to know more about?
· How does what we learned today connect with our conversations last week on "INSERT IDEA HERE?"
· What concept do we need to cover more or in a different way to solidify your understanding?
This activity can become a tradition in your classroom with slight modification. Instead of having students hand you a piece of paper at the door each time, have them reserve a section of their class notebook for “passport” entries. Each time you’re looking to do a quick review like listed above, have students enter their answer in their passport section and you can “stamp” it for credit. Initials work just fine to stamp the entry. If you want to go crazy, use a fun stamp you find at the store! This version of the passport, of course, takes more time than collecting papers quickly at the door, but students are able to check back over their learning in their passport throughout the course of your class.
Classroom Engagement Tip for September 18, 2008