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Beginning Class with a Quick Start

Author: Emily Versace Subject: N/A Created: 2017-08-24
From The Author When students walk into class, they bring in thoughts and anxieties from their lives outside of class. Sometimes it takes a while for them to feel comfortable and focused and ready to learn when class begins. Research on brain science shows that starting class with an engaging activity that connects students to the course content and to their fellow students helps them increase their learning during the course session. A Quick Start is one way to connect students to the content and each other. I was introduced to this idea by Sharon Bowman, a teaching expert. - Emily Versace

Toolkit Survey

Toolkit Overview

Want to engage students as soon as they walk into class? Quick Starts help students feel comfortable in class, and connects them to course content so they are ready to participate when class begins. Best part: it hardly takes any class time.

Steps To Implement

1) Look at the topic you are planning to teach each day and write a prompt with 1-2 questions students can think about and discuss at the beginning of class. Examples of Quick Start Questions include:
a. Today we are discussing ________. Please share two things you already know about this topic.
b. What are two things you hope to learn in class today?
c. What is one question you have about_________?

2) Write the prompt on a powerpoint slide or on the board before students enter the room. Also write instructions for the students to share their answers to the questions with students sitting nearby.
3) When class begins, you could call on a few students to answer the question as a brief summary to start the class.
4) Consider setting this up as a regular expectation at the beginning of each class so students come in and are ready to start even before class begins.