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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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?". ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ ++++++ 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. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ +++++++ Date: Tue, 05 Dec 1995 21:31:16 +0800 (MYT) From: "George M. Jacobs" <email@example.com> Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org
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 ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ + 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] ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ ++++ Date: Sat, 09 Dec 1995 10:53:51 -0500 (EST) From: Marty Rosenzweig <email@example.com>
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). ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ ++ Date: Sat, 09 Dec 1995 11:40:24 +0200 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (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. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ +++ 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 email@example.com ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ + Date: Sat, 9 Dec 1995 03:15:04 -0500 (EST) From: Michael Sylvester <firstname.lastname@example.org>
"If you borrowed money from me,please pay me back." "Well folks! that's it. I enjoyed the course" ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ ++++ Date: Sat, 09 Dec 1995 13:50:06 -0600 (CST) From: Lisa D Graham <email@example.com>
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 firstname.lastname@example.org ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ +++++ 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. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ ++++++ 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, email@example.com Mount San Antonio College USC .Disabled Students Programs Ed. Psych. Office (909) 594-5611 ext. 4290 (213) 740-7407 http://ibm.mtsac.edu/~slangehttp://www-scf.usc.edu/~sdlange ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ +++++++ 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. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ +++++ 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. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ ++++++ 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: firstname.lastname@example.org University of Maryland University College CIS: 72040,1033 ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ +++ 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.) * email@example.com * Perugia, Italy * ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ ++ Date: Sat, 09 Dec 1995 22:17:38 -0500 From: "Daniel L. MacIsaac" <firstname.lastname@example.org>> 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, email@example.com http://physics.purdue.edu/~danmac/homepage.ht ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ ++++++ Date: Sun, 10 Dec 1995 13:20:30 -0500 (EST) From: firstname.lastname@example.org <email@example.com>
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
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. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ ++++ Date: Mon, 11 Dec 1995 10:28:30 -0500 (EST) From: Marla Nayer <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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) email@example.com Higher Education Group (9th floor) Ontario Institute for Studies in Education Higher Education Group, 9th Floor 252 Bloor St. W. Toronto, ON M5S 1V6 ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ +++ Date: Mon, 11 Dec 1995 08:39:16 -0800 From: Susie Hakansson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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 ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ ++++++ 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. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ ++++++++ 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 ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Date: Mon, 11 Dec 1995 14:02:19 -0500 (EST) From: "Scalisi, Joseph M" <email@example.com>
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? ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ +++ 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. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ ++ Date: Sun, 10 Dec 1995 09:39:27 -0500 (EST) From: JACOBS@camadm.Camosun.BC.CA To: aednet <firstname.lastname@example.org
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. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ ++ Date: Mon, 11 Dec 1995 11:36:37 -0800 From: mssweet@OREGON.UOREGON.EDU (Michael Sweet) To: email@example.com>
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. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ ++ Date: Mon, 11 Dec 1995 15:42:22 -0500 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Dr. Deborah M. Langsam) To: email@example.com
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. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ ++++ 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. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ +++ 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. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ +++++ 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 ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ +++ Date: Tue, 12 Dec 1995 06:51:35 -0500 (EST) From: "McDairmant, Bonnie E." <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ ++ Date: Wed, 13 Dec 1995 06:45:26 -0500 (EST) From: PSACCHETTI@mecn.mass.edu To: aednet <email@example.com>
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 firstname.lastname@example.org ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 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)" <email@example.com> To: aednet <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I teach a Sunday School class to adults on Resolving Personal Conflict. I always end the class with a prayer. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Date: Fri, 15 Dec 1995 07:55:47 -0500 (EST) From: Don Roberts <email@example.com> To: aednet <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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 email@example.com
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".