This week I came across several articles and resources. One pattern has emerged: “top ten” or “best of” lists. While each one comes with a few good leads, many of them are bad apples.  l survey this week’s finds below.

Classroom management literature consistently report that the beginning of class sets the tone for the remainder of the period. Harry Wong’s The First Days of School: How to Be an Effective Educator and its accompanying online modules call the class openers “bellwork” because students complete it right after the bell rings and class begins. In each of his online modules, different educators attest to the importance of “bellwork” and relate their own classroom experiences. Although, at times, it may seem repetitive, there is a general consensus among educators that initiations (or “bellwork”) and closures merit special attention in planning.

Among the educational sites out there, Edutopia is always a gold mine. They released an article, “The 8 Minutes that Matter Most,” that gives some solid ideas for class initiations and closures. “Student Engagement: Resource Roundup,” also by Edutopia, is brimming with ideas to captivate your students and hold their attention. Peter Pappas’s “Designs for Learning: Short Takes for Active Student Participation” outlines brief activities teachers can use in the classroom. Teaching Community contributor Dorit Sasson also talks about how to start a great lesson.

 

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