Starting & Ending Class

How do you start class? If you use warm-ups, how are they done? How do you end class?

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8 Responses to Starting & Ending Class

  1. Karl Mason says:

    Get yourself a glass and a spoon – hit the glass with the spoon, await silence, thank the class and begin the lesson. Never use a verbal cue for the start, it creates too many sloppy behaviours. Never start while they are still talking.

    Ask them what the want to learn today (not one at a time, as a class) and get them to consider the meta starter menu, close the lesson with about 10 minutes left, look at the meta dessert menu, consider the learning that has taken place. Get them to tidy the room, replace the equipment and then stand behind their seats, thank them and send them on their way.

  2. Fluxion Fred says:

    Standing behind their seats is something I’ve thought of. Thanks for reinforcing that.

    Standing up helps everyone find the stray piece of paper on the floor. I have neighbors who let the kids hover at the door, waiting for the bell. Drives me nuts! That classroom has spare time?? Thirty seconds of standing at their desks also reinforces the simple habit of pushing in their chairs.

    Can you explain your meta starter menu?

  3. Eva Rudolph says:

    I have a spot on my board where I have a “to do” list. This is what should be done on thier own before until about 5 minutes after the bell rings. Although it will be pretty much the same points everyday (turn in homework/keep homework at your desk, answer the problem of the day, write today’s assingment in thier tracker, or directions based on the project we are working on) I feel it is helpful to keep them on track.

    Problem of the day aka POD is pretty common among teachers–esp. math teachers, and I am no different. However, (from inspiration from dy/dan’s blog) I take real pictures of students, objects, drawings, etc. to go along with problems from released items from our state test, add text to the picture (of the problem), and display them on the SMARTboard for my students to answer. After I do all my “desk work” we discuss the problem–they get points for revisions, not necessarily for getting the correct answer. This probably takes 5-10 minutes.

    At the end of class I have them write a reflection of the lesson/activity/project we are currently working on. To minimize the time it takes to grade each reflection I have the students circle thier best response of the week to earn points for (and skim I through the rest to make sure they are writing.) This takes just a couple minutes at the end of class.

    Also, this year I am trying a hanging, metal wind chime to get the attention of the class….not really sure how it will go but I can’t wait to try! I figure it would be a calming way to get the class settled.

  4. Karl Mason says:

    With the standing behind seats at the end, select two room monitors who have to check the entire room to ensure it is up to a viable standard for the class to leave. Once they are happy, allow the class to leave and keep the room monitors back, anything that needs doing that they have missed, the monitors do, if they have done their task well, reward them.

    http://www.derby.gov.uk/NR/rdonlyres/FFCD4D88-10D6-4F7E-A054-2BC771DCB2BD/0/RoughGuidetoMetalearning.pdf <- a example of meta-questions, best ones that I found were in a book called the 'Lazy Teacher's Handbook', which I highly recommend.

  5. Tina C says:

    I start class with a quick 3 question quiz that students correct themselves. It covers content from 2 classes ago (intro and practice day 1, discuss hw day 2, quiz day 3).

    I end class with students reflecting on class in their journal. They are asked to summarize the day’s learning and to answer a second question that changes daily (compare/contrast, connect, define, preference or analysis). Example questions: http://drawingonmath.blogspot.com/2012/05/math-journals.html

  6. I start class by ringing a bell. The class starts with group organizers picking up group folders and passing back graded homework. Students go over homework questions from last night’s homework in their groups and the group organizer records questions that the whole group has on the board. Students sign up to answer those questions. I circulate and check in with students about the graded homework or work due that day and talk to any students that don’t have their homework or sometimes do a supply/binder check. Any students that don’t have supplies have to sign them out.

    At the end of class, the group organizers return the group folders. The class organizer makes sure that folders and all borrowed supplies have been returned and that the chairs are pushed in and the room is neat and dismisses the class by ringing the bell.

  7. It is really interesting to read about starting a class in a nonverbal way. I am student teaching in the first grade and have observed greeting each student individually as they check in for lunch. Do you all think it depends on the grade level of greeting verbally or non-verbally; is there specific benefits to each method?

  8. Zach says:

    I definitely support the greeting students individually thing – it is important for the students to know you see them individually, and it is important for you to know what’s going on when kids walk into your class. As for the verbal/non-verbal thing, I think I need to resort to more non-verbal cues… I suppose it could be a grade level thing, but I think that the teacher literally telling kids to be quiet sets a much more negative tone than a bell or some non-verbal cue.

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