The most important time of our classes are the first and last five minutes. How we begin our class will set the tone for the remainder of the period. How we end each class can have a dramatic effect on what our students will remember. So how do you spend your first and last five?
Do you greet your students a the door when they arrive for class? Do you have an activity for them to participate in when they first sit down? Greeting your students at the door and inviting them to learn something new in class today is a great way to start! It reminds them that you care about them and are interested in their success. Having an individual or group activity to begin the class helps them to get in the “proper” mindset. Have them interact and consider different ways to approach a problem. See if they can discover a pattern or a shortcut to a solution. Post of fun brain teaser for them to solve. Post a question that uses information from yesterday’s class for it’s solution.
During class, make sure to check for understanding and ensure that every student is engaged in the learning process. Have a contest and see who can come up with the best song that incorporates your lesson material. As you inspire your students to learn, your class will excel. Create an environment that your students are excited to be a part of and that they don’t want to miss!
In the last five, have your students take time to reflect on what they discovered that day. Another great lesson I learned from my EDD course was using an exit ticket. Have your students email you an exit ticket, a short description of what they learned from your class that day. It is another tool for you to see if all your students were engaged and came away with the concepts you were hoping to teach. If you have any questions, leave me a comment. Be blessed and teach well.