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TPANITZ@mecn.mass.edu

Posts: 133
Registered: 12/6/04
Summary-How I end my class
Posted: Dec 15, 1995 8:35 PM
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THANKS TO EVERYONE WHO SHARED THEIR HOW TO END A CLASS DESCRIPTIONS.
The were very enlightening and fun to read. I hope you get as much enjoyment and
helpful hints as I did. Here are the results of the postings I received. It runs
about 13 pages on my Mac word processor.
I would also like to add that the "One Minute Paper" I referred to in my
original posting comes from Tom Angelo's and Patricia Cross's book "Alternate
Assessment Techniques- A handbook for Teachers". I forgot to site them before.
Mia Culpa

IF ANYONE WOULD LIKE TO ADD THEIR CLASS ENDING PROCEDURE PLEASE SEND IT TO THE
LIST OR TO ME DIRECTLY.

I would like to add a description of two things I do during the semester after a
class and after a test which runs along similar lines discussed below.

Ted Panitz tpanitz@mecn.mass.edu

1. After the second or third test I ask students to write to me about how
they felt immediately after completing the exam and what they might do to
improve their performance (assuming they need improvement). I have them hold
onto this writing until they get their tests back and then complete it by
writing about how they feel upon getting the test back. I also ask them to
discuss in their paper suggestions I might consider for helping them during the
remainder of the semester. This often yields some interesting insights about my
class procedures, working in groups and the mastery approach I use for assessing
them. They are very honest with their self appraisals and many conclude they
need to work harder. (You and I knew that of course, but to many students this
is quite a revelation).
If suggestions or constructive criticisms make sense to me and the majority
of the students after we discuss their ideas as a whole class then I try to
adopt them. In one class in intermediate algebra the students felt overwhelmed
by testing two chapters at a time when the topics were not related. We agreed
that a chapter by chapter test would be useful until we started studing chapters
that were sequential and covered basically the same concepts. The students
really relaxed, performed better on the exams and when we went back to
multichapter tests they did not have the same math phobic response that occurred
previously. Sometimes students react more to emotional stimulous that we
realize. They are pleasantly surprised when we respond to their concerns. I
think it makes them feel much more responsible for their own education and helps
them take ownership. The pedagogy of most secondary schools is to direct the
students, control their actions and maintain order.
2. The second writing as ask for is a midsemester self evaluation. I ask
them to describe how they feel they are doing in the class, what study habits
they have, how long they spend on my math class, what other distractions they
have inside and outside of school and whether they feel they will succeed in the
class based upon their performance to date. I ask them to make themselves some
suggestions for self improvement and for suggestions about the class which might
improve their chances for success. It may seem somewhat obvious to do this but
I find that students get very caught up in the course content, testing, grading
etc to the point where they lose sight of their personal involvement in the
learning process. I love reading their responses and self reflections. I am
especially impressed when this assignment helps a student have a revelation
about what school or work or their family situation is doing to thei lives. It
comes from asking a siple question "How are you doing?".
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Date: Thu, 14 Dec 1995 15:56:30 CST
From: Mary Lou Santovec <magnapubs@WISPLAN.UWEX.EDU> <commcoll>

*The Teaching Professor* recently offered suggestions from a dozen
instructors on ending class (June/July 1995), as well as suggestions
for ending a course (May 1995). A very important topic -- and very timely.
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Date: Tue, 05 Dec 1995 21:31:16 +0800 (MYT)
From: "George M. Jacobs" <gmjacobs@technet.sg>
Sender: cl@jaring.my

A list member asked about activities to end classes in which CL has been
used. Here are some ideas.

1. All groups can end with statements about what they have learned. This
fits with the idea that the more students process information, e.g.,
recalling, summarizing, or prioritizing, the better they learn.

2. All groups can end with a discussion of their group interaction -
strengths and weaknesses - and what they need to focus on to work better
in the future. The jargon for this is "processing group interaction".
Or more simply, they can each thank each other for one thing they learned
from each groupmate or one thing the groupmate did to help the group work
together better.

3. When long-standing groups are disbanded, there should be some kind of
closure activity for members to thank each other for their help. For
example, they can write each other "letters of reference" to take to
their next group.

4. Group products or individual products done with group assistance can
be posted or otherwise presented.

I'm sure other list members have other ideas or variations on the above.

George M Jacobs SEAMEO Regional Language Centre 30 Orange Grove Road
Singapore 258352
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Maybe I'm old fashioned, but I like to end by summarising the points of the
lesson. (Tell them what you're going to tell them; tell them; tell them what
you've told them). But I like your idea of getting them to summarise!

* Bland Tomkinson Telephone 0161 200 3531 Fax 0161 200 3534
* Director of Staff Development * UMIST, PO Box 88 *
* Manchester M60 1QD, UK * [Bland.Tomkinson@umist.ac.uk]
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Date: Sat, 09 Dec 1995 10:53:51 -0500 (EST)
From: Marty Rosenzweig <mrosenzw@research1.bryant.edu>

I close my (math) classes with a version of the "one-minute" paper, to
wit, a one question quiz on the day's material. This always ends the
group work portion of each class (about 20-25 minutes).
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Date: Sat, 09 Dec 1995 11:40:24 +0200
From: cgormley@uriacc.uri.edu (Charlie Gormley)

Thanks for sharing your methods.
What I appreciate most is the offering of ideas rather than requesting info
or ideas. . . I read off my screen for 2 hours a day, and find very little
of much worth. I find your info to be pragmatic, and therefor helpful.
I teach second grade, but can see the merit in your approach even at that level.
The most fascinating thing about what you have to say, is that:
>>This process also adds an element of writing to my classes which are primarily
>>math and engineering subjects.

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Date: Fri, 8 Dec 95 14:00:21 -0500
From: David Anderson <danders@alleg.EDU>
Subject: Re: End of semester wrap-up in Intro

Something that I have been doing at the end of the semester in intro psych
has proved to be quite popular--psychological pursuit. This is not the social
event that some have talked about and it does have have the purpose of getting
students to begin to think about the final exam. However, it does create an
atmosphere that is quite
different from the usual end of semester class.
Students are randomly assigned to teams the week before and are encouraged
to spend time together working on a set of vocabulary that I provide. There
are extra points given for the teams that win so there is some competition but
it seems to be all in good fun and a less stressful way to end the semester
than a regular class.

David Anderson Allegheny College Meadville, PA 16335
danders@alleg.edu
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Date: Sat, 9 Dec 1995 03:15:04 -0500 (EST)
From: Michael Sylvester <sylvestm@db.erau.edu>

"If you borrowed money from me,please pay me back."
"Well folks! that's it. I enjoyed the course"
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Date: Sat, 09 Dec 1995 13:50:06 -0600 (CST)
From: Lisa D Graham <lgraham@tenet.edu>

Hi, being a teacher in the TX Public School System the closing of a lesson is
just as important as the opening. I have taught Calculous/chemistry at the HS
level, Regular 4th grade, Chapter 1 reading, early childhood handicapped, self
contained sp ed with ED, MR, &LD students, and I am currently teaching
moderately retarded children in
the elementary setting.
Throughout my carreer I have always ended the lesson on what we taught. I
may orally ask someone to give me an answer before we dismiss or I just may
state "Today we learned that ......" When I taught at the elementary level
(before recess) I would say who can tell me something they learned? Or which
word begins with /j/ jam or game? Then whoever answers it can line up. It
would always be something they can answer so they may feel successful. When
lining up for dismissal, I would usually ask for the shoestrings to line up, the
children wearing green, etc, something to make them think. In my class this
yr, I usually have them count to 5, 10 or 15 (depending on the child), recite
the ABC's, days of the week, or months of the year. I have a few nonverbal
students, I will give one student a letter that begins with his name and
ask him to give me his letter. I have another student that needs to practice
walking, I would ask him to walk to his wheelchair (for safety reasons we take
him outside in his wheelchair). There are lots of ways I end class (depending
upon the students) but usually it is a rehash of what we are learning about.

Lisa D. Graham/Sp Ed Teacher lgraham@tenet.edu
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Date: Sat, 09 Dec 1995 17:41:54 -0500
From: mac miller <mac@POSTOFFICE.PTD.NET> <ALTLEARN@SJUVM.STJOHNS.EDU>
"HOW DO YOU END YOUR CLASS?"

Something we do occasionally, that is not an original with us, but which
works reasonably well is "Your ticket out the door" During class we give out a
short written assignment. We say Your ticket out the door is to complete this
and hand it in on your way out the door. We stand at the door and collect them.
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Date: Sat, 09 Dec 1995 16:40:11 -0800
From: Steve Lange <slange@CELLO.GINA.CALSTATE.EDU>
Sender: Alternative Approaches to Learning Discussion List
<ALTLEARN@SJUVM.STJOHNS.EDU>

Dittos to the Minute Paper. Much better response from me at the next class, I
have a better idea if I accomplished my goals or not, and students (by becoming
active in the class CONTENT) interact with the subject, leading toward better
retention. Really works.

Steve Lange, slange@cello.gina.calstate.edu Mount San Antonio College USC
.Disabled Students Programs Ed. Psych. Office
(909) 594-5611 ext. 4290 (213) 740-7407
http://ibm.mtsac.edu/~slange http://www-scf.usc.edu/~sdlange
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Date: Sat, 09 Dec 1995 21:34:33 -0500 (EST)
From: Nancy Kleniewski <NANCYK@uno.cc.geneseo.edu>

I also use the one minute paper and like it a lot. I use it sporadically, as
you do, but do find that it sharpens their focus a bit. The most helpful aspect
of it in my class has been to head off misconceptions -- I will give a personal
reply to most of them but discuss one or two withthe class if I think the
misinterpretation may be widespread.
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Date: Sat, 9 Dec 1995 07:37:48 -0500
From: Dean Mancina <DMancina@AOL.COM> <lrnasst>
Subject: Re: How do you end your class?

My approach may not work for many classes.... but could probably be adapted
for several courses.

For my class in STUDENT SUCCESS STRATEGIES (called "Becoming A Successful
Student), I end the class by asking students to finish the following sentence
TEN times - - -

"I am becoming a student who... "

Students finish the sentence by writing, for example,

"...attends every class session of a course."
"...understands that I create my grade in classes."
"...gets help early in the semester when I'm having problems."
"...takes responsibility for putting together a study group in classes that
are difficult for me."
...etc...

They write this on 3-part NCR paper. They get to keep the bottom copy. I get the
top copy (good feedback for me!). The second copy goes into an envelope which
they address to themselves. I keep the stack of envelopes and mail them so that
they receive them a day or two before the start of the following semester, as a
reminder of the skills they developed and commitments to change that they made
the prior semester.

Dean Mancina, Golden West College, Huntington Beach California
DMancina@aol.com

(I learned this activity from DAVE ELLIS, author of the textbook "Becoming A
Master Student," at one of College Survival, Inc.'s regional student success
seminars held around the U.S. More information about their seminars and
workshops by calling them at 1.800.528.8323.
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I'm a bit more serious. I pose a question that will require
some research. I warn the students that the final will include
some of these questions.

Ferd Lazarus Voice: 410-381-6301 <tcc-l>
Adjunct Assistant Professor Internet: lazarus@nova.umuc.edu
University of Maryland University College CIS: 72040,1033
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Date: Sun, 10 Dec 1995 11:25:56 +0100
From: Michele Capurso <capurso@KRENET.IT>
<ALTLEARN@SJUVM.STJOHNS.EDU

T> The second way I end class is to have the students close their books in
T> unison. I even count down 3...2...1 close at the exact time.

I use this "countdown" at tea time in the morning.... To have the kids byte
their food at unison :))).... It's very funny....

A couple of years ago, when I was teaching in a "first elementary class" (6
years old kids, in Italy) we had a foreign child with very bad behaviour... He
had been living in an institute in EST Berlin for 4 years, before coming to
Italy, and was violent an aggressive. We set up a "scoring system" using self
adhesive smiley faces like the
net ones :) :| :( to have all the kids "self judge" their own
behaviour at the end of the day. The rule was that the teacher could not
interfere with the child decision about the score he wanted to give himself, but
the rest of the class was allowed to change it if they felt the score was not
right.
This worked very well for everybody, and in a couple of weeks the
"aggressive" child started to try to change his behaviour in order to be able
to give himself a good smiley mark.
Ciao!
^ ^ -> Teacher, Hospital School For Sick Children
/0\ /0\
/ \/ \_ichele -> Educational Technology Consultant
* Michele Capurso (Mr.) * capurso@krenet.it * Perugia, Italy *
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Date: Sat, 09 Dec 1995 22:17:38 -0500
From: "Daniel L. MacIsaac" <danmac@physics.purdue.edu>>
Sender: Newer Patterns in Education List <NEWEDU-L@UHCCVM.ITS.Hawaii.Edu>

My favourite tongue-in-cheek response to this goes as follows:
- As the students start to pack up, pause dramatically and intone "this next
problem will be on the final", then dither aimlessly with diagrams and formulae
until the bell rings. Then recapitulate "whoops, didn't get tofinish that up --
but I know you all got the gist of it. Good day."
Exit lecture theatre through back door, don't go to your office. Take the
rest of the day off - hey you deserve it :^)
OK, OK I use Minute Papers too :^&)

Dan MacIsaac, Visiting Assistant Professor of Physics, danmac@physics.purdue.edu
http://physics.purdue.edu/~danmac/homepage.ht
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Date: Sun, 10 Dec 1995 13:20:30 -0500 (EST)
From: stein@medcolpa.edu
<aednet@pulsar.acast.nova.edu>

Ira Shor like to end his classes by asking the class if one of them would like
to have the last word. It is one of the ways he tries to make the class less
authoritarian.

Alice M. Stein, MA, RN Assistant Provost Office of Professional Programs

Medical College of Pennsylvania 3200 Henry Avenue Philadelphia, PA 19129

Fax: (215) 843-5589 |Voice: (215) 842-4091
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Date: Sun, 10 Dec 1995 19:06:23 -0500 (EST)
From: Bonnie Pollack <bpollack@umd5.umd.edu>

I use a half sheet of paper with a short graphic organizer asking 1-3 questions
about what was the most important thing they learned for the week, what was
their favorite activity, and what one thing did they wish they could do better
or understand better. (Handed out Friday for the last 10 minutes). Bonnie
Pollack Frederick Md (We are in the central part of the state next to the
Pa,Va,W.Va border) I teach Middle School
and my subject is 6th grade research called Integrated Studies.
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Date: Mon, 11 Dec 1995 10:28:30 -0500 (EST)
From: Marla Nayer <mnayer@oise.on.ca>

I also use the questions at the end of class, though I always say they are
anonymous. I spend the first 10 minutes of the next class answering the
recurring themes. Occasionally I do a one minute summary - they must fill in
the blanks:
Who
Did What
To Whom or to what
When
Where
How
Why

Place all the above in a single sentence.
This also helps them sort out what the class was about.

Marla Nayer BScPT, MEd, PhD(candidate) mnayer@oise.on.ca
Higher Education Group (9th floor) Ontario Institute for Studies in Education
Higher Education Group, 9th Floor 252 Bloor St. W. Toronto, ON M5S
1V6
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Date: Mon, 11 Dec 1995 08:39:16 -0800
From: Susie Hakansson <hakansson@gse.ucla.edu>

I use your first method often. I also use another method that uses
communication. It's called a dyad. Two students are paired, and I start with
what I call a 1 min, 1 min, 1 min dyad. A prompt is given (e.g., What did you
learn most today or what did you not understand or something more specific).
Then each students is given one minute to respond to the prompt. The other
student listens quietly, acknowledging by nodding and paying careful attention,
and not responding. After the 1 min, the second student
also responds to the prompt (not responding to the first speaker). After the
second 1 min period, the two students take 1 min to interact with each other
regarding their responses. The dyad provides each student the opportunity to
speak. This is a good opener also. The rules are (1) everyone has equal
opportunity to speak so does not respond during the speaker's time, (2)
information obtained during a dyad is personal and confidential unless the
speaker wishes share the information with others, and (3) the dyad is not a
place to "complain or criticize" mutual acquaintances or others. I use this in
my methods class and with adults in professional development.

Susie W. Hakansson
Co-Director, UCLA Mathe
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Date: Mon, 11 Dec 1995 10:47:34 -0500 (CDT)
From: "Prof. Carol Haussermann" <CHAUSSERMANN@acad2.dana.edu>

In response to your message on how faculty end their classes: One
additional technique I have tried, and have had positive reaction to, is to ask
each student to write a letter that will be given to a student in the same class
the next time it is offered.
The students are asked to summarize the material covered, identify those
topics and strategies that were worthwhile and those that caused problems and
provide a general introduction to the course for a future student. I have them
put the letter in an envelope and seal it and I place it in my file for that
class.
Current students take the activity very seriously and the students who
receive the "personal" letter have a student's point of view to start the
semester. Of course, there is always the danger of a disgruntled student, but I
haven't had that problem to this point. I also make a comment that some
activities that are mentioned may or may not be covered in the new semester.
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Date: Mon, 11 Dec 1995 05:53:53 -0800
From: Bill Howland <BHowland@eworld.com>
Sender: Association for the Study of Higher Education Discussion
<ASHE-L@AMERICAN.EDU>

Often with a preview of coming attractions.

Bill Howland -- Houston
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Date: Mon, 11 Dec 1995 14:02:19 -0500 (EST)
From: "Scalisi, Joseph M" <scalisjm@maple.lemoyne.edu>

This is a great subject to chat about!! It's always refreshing to know that
there are professors out there taht actually have a sense of humor and are not
afraid to spice up their classes, even if it's at the end. I teach mathematics
here at LeMoyne College in Syracuse, N.Y. and also at Bryant & Stratton Business
Institute(also in Syracuse). Here are a few ideas:
(1) At the end of a final exam, give a bonus question such as:"Name one
thing about the subject matter (for ex. Statistics) that you actually can say
that you understand. Explain it to me.(The thing that the students find
reassuring is that I grade it based on their honesty than the fact that they had
to make up something because they couldn't think of an answer that I wanted to
hear. As long as they can back up what they write with solid reasoning (logic),
they receive the bonus points.) It gives them a taste and a bit of practice in
defending a statement made.
(2) Allowing each student to reevaluate the questions that they missed
on the final exam, make any corrections and take a copy of it home to keep.
Although I still record the original grade that was earned, it gives the student
a better understanding of anything unclear. Then, if I get students who don't
want to participate in this, I don't force them to participate. But, I give them
a famous line from the Disney movie "The Lion King", when the wise old babboon,
Rafiki, is teaching Simba, The Lion King,
about running from your problems: "The way I see it, you can either run from
it....or learn from it....now, what are YOU going to do?
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Date: Mon, 11 Dec 1995 14:44:53 GMT+5
From: Debbie <DEBBIEB@AIKEN.SCAROLINA.EDU>

I end with a journal entry. Each student has a journal and responds to any
suprises or need clarifications re: the lesson.
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Date: Sun, 10 Dec 1995 09:39:27 -0500 (EST)
From: JACOBS@camadm.Camosun.BC.CA
To: aednet <aednet@pulsar.acast.nova.edu

My students write their final exam the following week so I end my classes
with a timbit (small donut) review. I provide a tray and a box full of timbits.
The object of this game is to be one of the first individuals to get their
timbits (two timbits) because
then they have a variety of timbits to pick from. If they want to answer they
must put up their hand and once they have answered (received their timbits) they
cannot answer again until the review is half over. I show a slide to ask one
question to start the discussion off then once an individual is identified I
then ask a few more question on that area. I have had a student who did not
want to come up front to get her timbit so I passed the timbit box back to her.
I was amazed by the results because students who rarely answered during the
semester were the first to answer. Maybe it is true that one of the ways to get
students to participate is through their stomachs. It proved to be an active
and lively review. Students feedback were all positive and I have continued to
do this exercise for the last three years. Once more than half the students
(dental class) had received their timbits I passed out all the other ones so
that nobody feels left out. I then
continue the review.
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Date: Mon, 11 Dec 1995 11:36:37 -0800
From: mssweet@OREGON.UOREGON.EDU (Michael Sweet)
To: pod@lists.acs.ohio-state.edu>

I agree with Ted on the importance of marking beginnings and endings in classes.
As I tell the teachers I work with, every good story needs a "Once upon a
time" and a "Happily every after"--some kind of communication markers that tell
students where they are in the class process, so they can organize the lesson in
their minds. (The old trick of the agenda on the board is very helpful, of
course.)
As for class endings, I like to finish up each class by recapping the
*flow* of the lesson we just worked through. It gives me one last shot at
helping the students not only remember the details, but also to *organize* them
in relation to one another. To do this, I make sure to reiterate the
transitions I had used between major topics. It usually goes something like.
"O.K., today we started out by talking about the evolution of groups, and
the four phases of group development. We then tightened our focus and worked
with different kinds of leadership behavior at various points in this evolution.
Then we tightened our focus again and looked specifically at episodes of
conflict, and the particular leadership tools they call for. Tomorrow we'll be
looking at something a little different--functional roles and deviance--although
it will be interesting to see how leadership comes into play with them as well."
Using physical metaphors helps communicate the structure of the lesson (e.g.
"tightening our focus," "building a bridge," "opening doors,") Anything to help
them imagine the "shape" or "flow" or "structure" of the conceptual development
that we worked with that day.
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Date: Mon, 11 Dec 1995 15:42:22 -0500
From: dmlangsa@unccvm.uncc.edu (Dr. Deborah M. Langsam)
To: pod@lists.acs.ohio-state.edu

In the best of all possible worlds I would end my class with a summary of what
we've covered and a preview of what's to come. But, frankly, with my class of
200 (non-majors introductory biology) I find that the time is wasted. As Ted
mentioned -- as soon as I begin the summary, half the students are closing
books, gathering coats, etc. Those who want to listen can't really do so above
the shuffling of feet and papers. I've learned to do something which (at least
in theory) is not the best pedagogy -- but (in
practice) prevents me from wasting that 3-5 minutes of summary time (doesn't
sound like a lot -- but it adds up to quite a bit over the semester).
Basically, I end the material unexpectedly. I ask a question (e.g., "OK --
so how do viruses reproduce?) as though I'm about to launch into the next phase
of the material -- same vocal intonation and strength. And then stop abruptly
(e.g., "Well, that's what we'll talk about next time) -- give whatever
assignments need to be given and let 'em go. I begin the next period with a
summary of the last period's material. (a la "Last period we talked about viral
structure. You'll recall....")
I'm interested in what other folks have to say.
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Date: Mon, 11 Dec 1995 08:14:05 -0500
From: Russ Dively <REDIVELY@NSTCC.CC.TN.US>

I close my classes with what I refer to as a "Call to Action." I
challenege the students to do something with the information they have been
presented. For instance, if you just gave a lesson on supply and demand, close
the class with a statement like, "The next time you are shopping for something
and you see a "price reduced" sign - ask yourself why? Or, if you just finished
a lesson on writing consisely, a closing challenge may be simply, "in the future
review your writing to see how many words can be eliminated from your writing
without changing the meaning of your work, and pay particular attention to the
word "that" - which can be elimanted nearly all the time.
This is simple, but it gives the students something to dwell upon as they head
for their cars, and they may even start doing what you asked them to do.
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Date: Mon, 11 Dec 1995 09:06:26 -0500
From: Louis Schmier <lschmier@GRITS.VALDOSTA.PEACHNET.EDU>

How do I end class? Well, everyone gets thrown a Tootsie Pop. Beyond that,
I vary closure from class to class, quarter to quarter. I fully believe in
closure. Almost all classes end with falling of the cliff, "that's all." I
think every class should end with some reflection of where each of us has been
and where we've come.
So, in one class of 60, we all did--myself included--trust falls. In another
class, I had them do a personal scavenger hunt and bring in object that
symbolize themselves, what they learned, how they changed. Excitedly
interesting stuff. For all the classes, I give back the paragraph letter they
wrote to themselves about their expectations on the first day of class and
discuss them with the class if they so wish.
Also, for all classes, I brought in two apples. I cut one as most people cut
apples, length-wise, and showed them the hard-to-eat core and indigestible pits.
I told them that so many people including themselves believe that at their
center is such a core and pits, and some in the class held themselves back
because of that attitude. Then, I cut the second apple cross-wise and showed
the STAR that appears at the center,
and told them that I still believe that at each of their centers is a star and
it is for them to cut their own apple the right way, to believe that a star
exists at each center and to have the courage and take the risk to seek it.
Then, I asked them to go around and hug 10 people good-bye. It was exciting to
see these people--me, too--who would barely talk to each other and shake hands
at the beginning of class to freely embrace each other, wishing each other well,
some with tears in their eyes, taking each other's campus e-mail addresses and
telephone numbers.
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Date: Mon, 11 Dec 1995 08:21:26 -0800
From: "Jannett N. Jackson" <jannettj@IX.NETCOM.COM>

It was interesting to see the responses from other teachers. Some I have
tried before and others I will use in the future; for example: Louis's graphic
example of the apple cut in different directions, his scavenger hunt, or Ferd's
"One Minute Challenge".
When I first read the posting, I thought the question was how do you end
your class 'at the end of the semester'? In that context, this is my answer:
On the first day of class I ask students to complete a student
questionnaire. It is short form asking their name, major, semester in college,
telephone number, knowledge of computers (that is what I teach) and "Anything
you wish to tell me about yourself?". I assure them that this information is
confidential and will only be used by me and they have the option *not* to
answer any question.
This little exercise serves many purposes: first, it gives them something to
do while I take roll and attend to the administrative problems that occur on the
first day of class; and sometimes it gives me insight into the student, i.e.
their writing ability, English proficiency (we have a large number of ESL
students); health issues, personal problems(such as child care, re-entry fears,
lack of knowledge of the subject area), etc. I am always amazed at what
students will "tell you" if they are only asked. Second, at the end of the
semester, I give the form back to them with comments. These comments can be
directly related to some of their expressed anxieties, their progress
in the class, encouragement, congratulations, humor, etc. It is *my* personal
comment to them and adds closure to the class.
Regarding the question "How do I end the class [at the end of a subject
(which usually includes an assignment)]?: I have students answer two questions
on all assignments: 1) What did I learn from this assignment? and 2) What
questions do I have on this assignment? This is a form of authentic validation
for them. And, like many of the comments from others who responded to this
question, I find students
much more willing to discuss problems privately than in an open classroom forum.
I take the time to address their concerns or questions and if I get enough
questions on the same topic I revisit it in the classroom
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
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Date: Tue, 12 Dec 1995 06:51:35 -0500 (EST)
From: "McDairmant, Bonnie E." <bmcdairman@wcupa.edu>

I am teaching a Sociology of the Family course this semester. I end the class
each week by having students fill out the Student Feedback Sheet.
Just a half-sheet of paper with 2 items:
1) Something valuable that came out of tonight's class for me was:
2) Something that could be improved about the class was:
I really get a sense of where the class is and can adjust right away to
accommodate special needs, problems, areas of interest, etc. The process also
gives me a lot of positive feedback which I wouldn't otherwise necessarily know
about.
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Date: Wed, 13 Dec 1995 06:45:26 -0500 (EST)
From: PSACCHETTI@mecn.mass.edu To: aednet <aednet@pulsar.acast.nova.edu>

Last semester I taught a sociology class for students in the Mental Healt
Mental Retardtion Technicians Training Program. This was a group of lower
income adults the average age being 32. I would begin my class by giving them 5
short answer questions from the reading homework. We would then spend the class
discussing the readings and the questions. At the end of the class I would go
around the room and ask each person to
tell me something that they got out of the day's class. I could be anything
at all that they picked up during the hour - something from the readings or even
any aside comments that might have been thrown out during the discussion. They
students got to enjoy this part of the class, because they knew that no matter
what they said (unless it was totally out of line) was accepted and
acknowledged. I learned this little trick from one of my graduate school
instructors, thought I'd try it with my class and found that it was a great
class ending technique.

Patty Sacchetti Berkshire Community College Pittsfield, Ma
psacchetti@mecn.mass.edu
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Date: Wed, 13 Dec 1995 11:21:43 -0600
From: David Knopp <NOP@eureka.edu>

I too frequently used the minute paper idea but with the
additional questions:

1. What one thing can the instructor do to aid you in your learning of this
topic? AND
2. What one thing can YOU do to aid you in your learning of this topic?

I really like the second question because it gets the students to think and feel
that the responsibility of learning truly rests with them, and that I am there
to facilitate the process. Often students who have not had a class with me
beforethink that it is totally the teacher's responsibility to teach them
something. These questions (and others) help them take responsibility and thus
improve their appreciation of the material and of the learning process
David Knopp Eureka College NOP@Eureka.edu
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Date: Thu, 14 Dec 1995 06:52:04 -0500 (EST)
From: "John C. Fiset (Summer Sessions)" <jcfiset@summon.syr.edu>
To: aednet <aednet@pulsar.acast.nova.edu>

I teach a Sunday School class to adults on Resolving Personal Conflict. I
always end the class with a prayer.
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Date: Fri, 15 Dec 1995 07:55:47 -0500 (EST)
From: Don Roberts <robertsd@rohan.sdsu.edu>
To: aednet <aednet@pulsar.acast.nova.edu>

On Thu, 14 Dec 1995, John C. Fiset (Summer Sessions) wrote:
> I teach a Sunday School class to adults on Resolving Personal
> Conflict. I always end the class with a prayer.
>

Funny, I'm a student at a public college and that's usually how I start
my tests. :)
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
++++
Ted Panitz tpanitz@mecn.mass.edu

I sometimes use a "One Minute Paper" which actually takes a few minutes. I
ask two questions. !. What is the most significant thing you learned today? (or
sometimes I just ask what did you learn today?) and 2. What questions do you
still have about the subject matter covered or anything else about the course
you wish to ask. A variation is to ask the m to summarize the days material in
their own words and examples and then discuss what they need to know still. The
students may sign their papers if they wish a response, which I always give, or
they may leave it anonymous. They start off not signing them but when the see
that I respond to their concerns and questions they begin to request personal
replys from me. This opens up a wonderful line of communication. When using
collaborative learning communication is always strong and this process
reinforces that environment. Some students are more inclined to write to you
than speak up in class or in person. The process also has the added advantage
that when it is used regularly the students begin to think about their one
minute paper during class in anticipation of being asked what they learned and
this helps them focus on the concepts as well as the skills they are dealing
with.
At first the answers are criptic ans sometimes a little sarcastic. (Question
2 is often answered- "When is lunch" which I think is humorous on the part of
students) As the students get used to writing at the end of class they get more
serious about it and express many concerns or ask questions about material that
I thought they knew. This alerts me to potential problems. I try to respond in
class and inform the students when I am responding to the one minute papers in
order to reinforce their importance. I do not use the paper in every class but
when we have completed a section of material or if I want to check if they are
understanding certain concepts.
This process also adds an element of writing to my classes which are primarily
math and engineering subjects.
The second way I end class is to have the students close their books in
unison. I even count down 3...2...1 close at the exact time. This makes a point
about people closing up shop starting at ten minutes before the hour in waves.
It is not very academic but it does make a point about the distraction of
students gathering their things early and it strikes the students as a little
weird but very funny. I have a slightly offbeat sense of humor which they come
to enjoy over time.
The third way I end class is sometimes to say "ThThThThThats all folks".

tpanitz@mecn.mass.edu
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