teaching five paragraph essay lesson plan

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Teaching five paragraph essay lesson plan

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All Resource Types. Results for 5 paragraph essay writing 7, results. Sort: Relevance. This scavenger hunt is a great pre-essay writing activity. Students will go on a color-coding scavenger hunt after reviewing all of the information required to write an essay, such as the requirements of a thesis statement, the placement of the topic sentence, where to include transition words, etc. English Language Arts , Writing-Essays.

Handouts , Minilessons , Homework. Show more details. Add to cart. Students will end the essay with a conclusion which sums up the thoughts and ideas of the essay. Students will create a graphic organizer which will convey organization of thoughts and ideas for the essay. Students will write an essay using correct grammar and punctuation Students will write an essay that can convey their thoughts with clarity.

Describe the writing process using example of students telling stories about something they like to do. Have students volunteer to tell about something of interest to them. Write words on the board that they use along with a title and details.

Then ask the class if they could understand each student and what they were talking about. Does the class have any questions? Have story teller answer any questions Take the information on the board and insert it in a graphic organizer. Explain the process by explaining the different subjects the speaker talked about. Then set-up an essay using the details the speaker said.

With the help of the class write the introduction explaining what needs to be included. Then write each paragraph asking students questions that will lead them to understanding what a topic sentence is and also what supporting detail sentences are. Have students to read the paragraph to see if it makes sense and completely explains the topic.

Repeat for each paragraph. Then have the students to summarize what the essay is about and what was said in the essay. Then start to write the conclusion making sure the students understand what needs to be included in the conclusion and how to finish the essay so that it is a completed work. Students will then be given three writing prompts of which they will select one.

ACADEMIC ESSAY INTRODUCTIONS

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Sort: Relevance. This scavenger hunt is a great pre-essay writing activity. Students will go on a color-coding scavenger hunt after reviewing all of the information required to write an essay, such as the requirements of a thesis statement, the placement of the topic sentence, where to include transition words, etc.

English Language Arts , Writing-Essays. Handouts , Minilessons , Homework. Show more details. Add to cart. Wish List. PDF Activity. A Best-Seller! Here are a few TpT Buyer reviews:"It's a small resource, but mighty. And extremely intuitive. In fact, I'd say that so far, this may be the best 5 paragraph essay resource I've used yet. I would buy this again in a heartbeat. It is awesome. You Should Try It! Fourth or fifth grade students persuade others to try their favorite activity.

They follow a clear step-by-step process with corresponding modeling and organizers. Writing persuasive five-paragraph essays becomes fun and easy. You should try it! To support classroom, hybrid, or distance learning, th. Writing , Writing-Essays. Lesson Plans Individual , Printables. Worksheets , PowerPoint Presentations. Writing-Expository , Writing , Writing-Essays. Show 2 included products. This is a fantastic resource on opinion writing! It is sure to provide your students with the support and scaffolding necessary to make the process of writing easy for them to understand.

I came up with this packet to help my students make the jump to writing a persuasive essay. In this packet you. Graphic Organizers , Rubrics , Printables. Snow Day! Can your fourth or fifth grade students persuade the principal to cancel school for a snow day? Writing , Writing-Essays , Winter. Dear Common Core - How in the world am I supposed to get a 9-year old to write a 5 paragraph essay???

Is this even possible??? My students have been using them to write. Posters , Handouts , Printables. Writing Plan Pack-Teach them to write a 5 paragraph essay the "easy way". This is my tried and true way of teaching students especially those that struggle with organizing their writing to write a 5 paragraph essay.

I taught this method at a professional development seminar for teachers from 3 different schools. This is the PowerPoint I created and use to teach it to my. Lesson Plans Individual , Worksheets. Word Document File. Booklet includes:- Detailed diagrams and descriptions of every part of an essay and it's paragraphs- Examples of Introduction, Body, and Conclusion paragraphs. Informational Writing Unit, Scaffolded 5 paragraph essays. Five Paragraph Essays can be intimidating for students and really are not that hard!

This product is a fantastic resource to walk budding writers through the process in an engaging manner. There are two levels of support. First, there is a VERY detailed and step by step guide to each component of. Graphic Organizers , Handouts , Printables. This is a simple graphic organizer I use with students learning to structure their five paragraph informational essays. It gives students sentence starters and transition words that align to the Common Core.

Once students use this graphic organizer to site information and organize their information. Included in this document is everything you need to teach your students a mini-unit on 5 Paragraph Informational Essay Writing! This week unit outline centers around a slide animated, humorous PowerPoint and includes lesson ideas, rubrics, hands-on activities and a model essay to guide students step-by-step through the process of writing a five-paragraph essay.

While I use this to teach the personal persuasive essay,. Make the 5-paragraph expository essay manageable for you and your middle school students! From thesis statement to final draft, these outlines, graphic organizers, and teaching resources help your walk your students through the process step-by-step. Your students will become strong, confident writer.

Graphic Organizers , Test Prep , Printables. Get organized, Support your Thinking! Hire Me! Can your students convince Santa to hire them as elves? This Christmas writing activity provides lots of support for fourth and fifth grade students who are writing their first five-paragraph persuasive compositions. A mentor text is also included.

To facilitate classroom, hybrid, and distance learni. Lesson Plans Individual , Activities , Printables. Writing Rubrics for Enlish- 5 Paragraph Essays. This is a collection of 3 rubric styles for efficient and consistent grading of student essays. Exemplary traits span the top row, and then each subsequent row describes lesser q. Rubrics , Assessment. It is NOT for students who already write well. This is the "bare bones" format to help students get through state assessments and lea.

Minilessons , Printables , PowerPoint Presentations. Autobiographies are an excellent way to reinforce five-paragraph essay writing skills, and you'll love this distance learning version of it! Your students will love this autobiography template, which has optional drawing or picture inserting prompts for added fun. This product comes with the follow. PDF Compatible with. Struggling writers will need to see many different examples of five-paragraph essay introduction paragraphs.

They will also need a list of ways to start a five-paragraph essay that they can keep in a writing folder and refer to often. They will need to see an example of each of these such as an essay that starts with a question or with a statistic. The keys to these teacher strategies in special education for struggling writers are that you need many examples, you should break down the whole five-paragraph essay introduction paragraph lesson into several days or weeks, and you would move slowly, assessing students' understanding as you go along.

What usually happens next in the five-paragraph essay introduction paragraph lesson is that students work on their introduction paragraphs while the classroom teacher walks around the room and observes their work. She checks in with students who think they have completed a paragraph and points out the highlights and what they need to work on. The special education teacher will have chart paper and write a paragraph along with her students.

This modified lesson plan for a five-paragraph essay introduction paragraph would look something like this:. Think about your topic you want to write about. Now, think of a question that someone might have about that topic. The teacher will walk around the room and watch students write their first sentences of their five-paragraph essay introduction paragraphs.

This teacher strategy in special education requires patience and a lot of trial and error with students while they attempt to write this paragraph with teacher direction. It will be about the first body paragraph we will write.

ALL FREE ESSAYS TOPICS SPEECH TEACHERS DAY

The conclusion might emphasizes their position, expand it, offer a solution, or express a hope or prediction for the future. Leave this field blank. Search Search. Newsletter Sign Up. Columnists All Columnists Ken Shore School Issues: Glossary. Search form Search. How to Write A Five-Paragraph Essay Step-by-step instructions for planning, outlining, and writing a five-paragraph essay.

The Planning The most important part of writing a five-paragraph -- or any other style -- essay has little to do with the actual essay writing: When it comes to a successful essay, the most crucial step is the planning. Consider the following assignment: Mark Twain once said: "Suppose you were an idiot And suppose you were a member of Congress But I repeat myself. The Outline After students have read and understood the assigned topic, they can go on to the next step of the essay-writing process.

The Five-Paragraph Essay Finally! Mark Twain once said that all members of Congress are idiots. I see no reason to disagree. Members of Congress are often financially irresponsible, politically motivated, and unaware of the real concerns of their constituents. Let me explain. Congress is financially irresponsible because it has passed a number of bills without considering where the funding for those bills would come from.

The Americans with Disabilities Act, the Clean Air Act, and the No Child Left Behind Act are just three examples of laws that were passed without considering how cities and states would pay to implement their mandates. Congress doesn't just waste money, though, it wastes time too. Congress has wasted time by passing a number of silly bills based on narrow political interests. For example, federal laws have been passed making it a crime to imitate Smokey the Bear or transport wooden teeth across state lines.

Congress doesn't only do idiotic things as a group, though. Even the individual members of Congress from my state are idiots. I met John Smith, a representative from my state, and he had never heard of my hometown. So you can see why I think Mark Twain was correct when he said that all members of Congress are idiots. Often financially irresponsible, politically motivated, and unaware of the real concerns of their constituents, I believe that members of Congress need to spend less time immersed in the politics of Washington, D.

You passed! Trending Report Card Comments It's report card time and you face the prospect of writing constructive, insightful, and original comments on a couple dozen report cards or more. Here are positive report card comments for you to use and adapt! Struggling Students? You've reached the end of another grading period, and what could be more daunting than the task of composing insightful, original, and unique comments about every child in your class?

The following positive statements will help you tailor your comments to specific children and highlight their strengths. You can also use our statements to indicate a need for improvement. Turn the words around a bit, and you will transform each into a goal for a child to work toward. Sam cooperates consistently with others becomes Sam needs to cooperate more consistently with others, and Sally uses vivid language in writing may instead read With practice, Sally will learn to use vivid language in her writing.

Make Jan seeks new challenges into a request for parental support by changing it to read Please encourage Jan to seek new challenges. Whether you are tweaking statements from this page or creating original ones, check out our Report Card Thesaurus [see bottom of the page] that contains a list of appropriate adjectives and adverbs. There you will find the right words to keep your comments fresh and accurate. We have organized our report card comments by category. Read the entire list or click one of the category links below to jump to that list.

Behavior The student: cooperates consistently with the teacher and other students. Character The student: shows respect for teachers and peers. Group Work The student: offers constructive suggestions to peers to enhance their work.

Interests and Talents The student: has a well-developed sense of humor. Participation The student: listens attentively to the responses of others. Social Skills The student: makes friends quickly in the classroom.

Time Management The student: tackles classroom assignments, tasks, and group work in an organized manner. Work Habits The student: is a conscientious, hard-working student. Student Certificates! Recognize positive attitudes and achievements with personalized student award certificates! Report Card Thesaurus Looking for some great adverbs and adjectives to bring to life the comments that you put on report cards? Go beyond the stale and repetitive With this list, your notes will always be creative and unique.

Adjectives attentive, capable, careful, cheerful, confident, cooperative, courteous, creative, dynamic, eager, energetic, generous, hard-working, helpful, honest, imaginative, independent, industrious, motivated, organized, outgoing, pleasant, polite, resourceful, sincere, unique Adverbs always, commonly, consistently, daily, frequently, monthly, never, occasionally, often, rarely, regularly, typically, usually, weekly. Included: A stadium full of activities and links to team sites, baseball math sites, cross-curricular projects -- and even the famous Abbott and Costello "Who's On First?

For students, the welcome warmth of the spring sun, the tantalizing sight of green grass and manicured base lines, the far off sound of a bat meeting a ball, the imagined scent of popcorn and hotdogs, can be powerful distracters. Desperate measures are called for!

Bring the game into the classroom -- and score a home run -- with this week's Education World lessons and activities. Although most are designed for students in grades 5 and above, many can be adapted for younger students as well. Discuss how sports affect the lives of fans as well as players. Ask students to tell about an occasion when sports positively or negatively affected their own lives.

Students might also be inspired to write their own poems about baseball. History -- write about baseball history. Arrange students into groups and assign each group a period of time from to the present. Encourage each group to share its report with the class. Students might also create a timeline of the highlights of baseball history and display it, with their reports, on a classroom or hallway bulletin board. Math -- figuring averages. Invite students to explore the information about batting averages at Mathletics: Baseball.

Then provide them with information about hits and at-bats for a fictional baseball team and ask them to determine the batting averages of each player. If you teach older students, you might share A Graphical History of Baseball. Then challenge students to plot the averages over the years of their favorite team. Art -- design a stamp. Encourage students to read about the history of Baseball On Stamps, then invite them to design a stamp honoring their own favorite player or players.

Speech and drama -- present a skit. Math -- set player salaries. Challenge students to imagine that Major League Baseball has decided to do away with long-term contracts and set players' salaries based on their performance the previous year.

Arrange students into groups. Agree as a class on certain criteria that will guide salary considerations. For example, agree on the position players you will examine students might examine the 15 field players on the team who had at least at-bats in the previous year how much money a team is allowed to spend on its eight starting fielders whether to pay all rookie players a base salary or base their salary on the previous year in the minor leagues Assign each group a different team.

The groups must agree on a way to measure the offensive performance of their 15 players, create a table on which they will display the previous year's stats, and come up with "fair salaries" that reflect the abilities of the players based on the previous year's data. Language arts -- use it in a sentence. Point out to students that a number of baseball-related terms, such as batting , struck out, and play ball have come to be used in everyday language.

Brainstorm a list of those terms and then ask students to use them in a non-baseball-related sentence. In addition, the introductory paragraph must include at least a couple of sentences that express the main points of the paper. Think of the intro as an outline of the rest of the essay. The thesis statement closes the introduction. Instead, try starting the thesis statement with although or because. These words allow the writer to jump right into the problem. TIP: Use action verbs and limit personal pronouns such as I, me, my, we, and our.

These paragraphs must support the thesis statement and flesh out the argument. So make sure students know how to defend or explain their claims using facts and evidence. All three body paragraphs have the same structure: topic sentence, supporting details, and closing sentence. For older high school kids, the body paragraphs make a great place to practice in-text citations.

Tell them. And then tell them what you told them. To keep it interesting, it should move right along. Start the conclusion with a transitional topic sentence—a general statement that flows nicely from the last sentence of the previous paragraph.

After the topic sentence, restate the thesis. Students should not simply copy and paste the same thesis statement. What do I want my reader to learn, do, or think? Ask: WHY? Why does this topic matter? Why do I want my reader to care? The answers to these questions will help students shape the rest of their conclusion. Essays end with a closing sentence. The closing sentence should tie back to the hook from the intro, perhaps by referencing the same example, reiterating a word or a phrase, or ending with a new quote.

When possible, the closing sentence should also tie into the title. Once they have the structure down pat, they can write a wide variety of essays with the same tools. As you teach writing and essay skills, WriteShop is here to help! Hi, I'm Kim!

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For example, if male students tend to ignore comments made by female students, acknowledge the overlooked comments. Perhaps now is the time to address it. Thank you for your patience, Karen. Some faculty invite their students to share examples of work done in previous classes e. An Architecture professor has his students bring slides of design projects from prerequisite courses and present them to the entire class. In this way his students show each other their work and ideas and get to know one another better.

Several faculty show their genuine interest in having students ask questions by giving them prompts. If no questions arise, ask for a volunteer to summarize a particular point that was made in class. In this way, students may become more aware of questions they have. Students ask questions because they want a response.

By responding directly you indicate that the question is worthwhile. If you redirect a question to the class at large, let the questioner know that you are not avoiding or dismissing the question. A professor of Business Administration finds that the way he moves around the room alters the kinds of interaction he is able to generate among his students.

In order to draw my other students into the discussion and to get them to address their comments to one another as well as to me, I find that it helps if I move away from the student who asks a question rather than toward him or her. This forces the student to project so that everyone is drawn into the conversation. It also makes it more likely that the student will address fellow students. A professor of Chemistry moves around in his large lecture sessions consisting of students and involves them in his lecture.

I often look at it from the larger context of the course and anticipate where difficulties might occur in their thought process. Sometimes students refrain from asking questions because they sense that the professor does not want to hear them. Other discouraging behaviors include looking at the clock while students ask questions, avoiding eye contact, answering questions hurriedly or incompletely, and treating questions as interruptions rather than as contributions to the learning process.

Keep in mind that the purpose of discussions is to actively involve students in learning. A stimulating discussion can be spontaneous and unpredictable, yet a good discussion requires careful planning. You will want to devise assignments to prepare students for discussion, develop a list of questions or topic ideas to guide and focus the discussion, and prepare specific in-class activities such as pair work, brainstorming, or other small group activity.

Your plan should also allow time for a wrap-up so that students can synthesize what they have discussed. To involve your students in class discussion, it may be helpful to explain the value of their participation and what they can expect from the experience. Defining the role that discussion plays in the course makes students aware of your expectations. Faculty use several strategies to help students prepare for discussion sessions.

Some distribute study questions on the material to be discussed, while others may ask students to come to class with a one or two paragraph position piece or several questions they would like to have discussed. A professor of Business Administration assigns weekly reaction papers, one to two pages on a specific topic, which are then used as the basis for class discussion. These questions serve both as study aids and stimuli for discussion.

A good way of achieving this aim is to offer a specific strategy for mastering the material. A professor of Astronomy observes that he teaches a course better the first time than he does the second time. The next time, however, these concepts no longer seemed difficult to me. Unfortunately, I forgot that they would still be difficult for the students. What examples might make that more clear?

This has now become the most important part of my lecture preparation. Several faculty members report keeping track of the kinds of errors students most commonly make in assignments and exams as a reminder of what students find most difficult to understand.

A Biochemistry professor administers a diagnostic test covering knowledge and skills prerequisite to the course. The test, which is given in the first week, is not graded. Some faculty provide tutorials based on principles and skills needed to succeed in their course.

A professor of Chemistry developed science and math computer-assisted review units for students deficient in these areas. A professor of Geology gives the first of two midterms early enough in the course to allow him to identify those students who may be having difficulty.

After the first midterm, he asks each of his students who did not pass to talk with him about the exam results. He concludes each meeting by telling his students that he is certain they can do better and makes a deal with them. About nine or ten students take advantage of this help each term. As a result of this technique, in the ten years I have been teaching I have not had to flunk a single student in a course.

Giving students a second chance, I find, is a powerful motivator. A Communications professor requires all her students who fail assignments or quizzes to meet with her. It helps me as a teacher to know the reasons for the poor performance. Showing concern is also a powerful motivator for some students; they begin to do better. A Nursing professor concurs.

I think I understand better now, than when I began teaching, the need some students have for external motivation. A History professor believes that students often need help with specific skills in order to succeed in a particular course. She offers a series of supplemental two-hour workshops during the first few weeks of the semester based on topics that she feels are essential for the success of her students: reading text material, note taking, studying, and taking exams. During the workshops students practice these skills on actual course materials i.

By offering strategies for success she feels that she is providing the means for her students to succeed in her course, as well as other courses to which these skills easily transfer. Some faculty make a special effort to integrate their weaker students into the class through small group work. A Language professor divides his students into small groups. Each student has a role, and these roles are rotated throughout the semester.

Initially I assign my weaker students to do the writing, although I am careful not to do this in an obvious way. This allows the weaker students to participate, but in a way that reinforces their own learning without holding back the others. Also I often ask a better student to help out if a weaker student is having difficulty responding. Peer teaching can be extremely effective, especially when a class takes responsibility for its weaker members.

I find this approach superior to one-on-one tutoring during office hours. They integrate their weaker students into groups of average and above average ability students. Some explicitly suggest ways in which their better students may help other students or ways in which students who are having difficulty may learn from others. Many faculty arrive at class a few minutes early each day and talk with their students. A Retailing professor makes a point of going to her class early to talk informally with her students.

Some faculty stay after class to talk with their students. I have developed a technique of loitering after class and talking with students as they leave. The result is that after the first few days of class, more and more of my students linger as well, and I get to know many of them in that way. Several faculty explain the purpose of office hours to their students.

New students may only have a vague notion of what office hours are for. Let students know that they can come to talk to you informally, to ask questions about the material or assignments, to review graded work, to get suggestions for further reading, or to discuss other topics related to the course or to your field.

Include your office hours in your syllabus and remind students of them occasionally during the semester. A Political Science professor encourages student turnout during office hours by placing an invitation within the course syllabus. If you want to talk to me and find the schedule hours to be inconvenient, feel free to schedule an appointment. Being disciplined on keeping your office hours reflects the importance you place on being available to meet with students. If you will be unavailable during a scheduled office hour, announce it in class or put a note on your office door.

Students get upset with faculty who are not present for their posted office hours and these feelings can impair their motivation to succeed in the course. A Nutrition professor schedules his office hours immediately following the class session. Several professors work in their office with an open-door policy. Many faculty try to keep their office door open unless they really cannot be disturbed. When he is working in the lab, he leaves a note on his office door inviting his students to drop by the lab if they want to talk.

Students may be intimidated by the thought of speaking directly and privately to their professors. The more approachable you are, the more likely students will be comfortable seeing you during your office hours. A Physics professor explains that she makes a point of never making students feel unwelcome.

Some faculty indicate that since many of their students never come to their office or lab, they try to spend several hours a week in the department course center where students study, socialize, and eat lunch. They are able to talk with students informally and get to know them better.

A large number of faculty report using email to increase their accessibility to students. Several faculty members give their home phone numbers to students and encourage them to call if they have questions or problems. He finds that his students rarely abuse this invitation. A professor of Political Science agrees. The suggestions described below may be helpful in addressing your grading practices if student ratings reflect the following types of concerns:.

Many faculty recommend describing the grading policy clearly so that students understand how their grade will be determined. If you intend to make special allowances e. Explain your policies on attendance, participation in class, and anything else pertinent to your course. An English professor indicates that she views the grading policy portion of her syllabus as one of the most important sections. If you are seriously concerned about their success in your course, you need to make them aware of how their grade will be determined from the first day of class.

See also suggestion 1 of the Organization and Preparation section. Giving students many opportunities to show what they are learning provides a more accurate assessment picture. It is important, however, to use methods i. Scheduling some form of assessment every two or three weeks is especially important for students in lower division courses. A Religion professor indicates that she tries to give her students various and numerous opportunities to show what they are learning.

The grades that I use to provide a semester grade reflect individual work, group work, research, and exams. A Chemistry professor includes a wide range of student learning assessments within his course design. I know that I have bad days and so do my students. Between lab work and classroom assignments, I have about twelve grades for each of my students. Research indicates that students are motivated to learn by constructive feedback and evidence of progress.

It is not just a numbers game; it is helping them to learn. A Geography professor includes his grading schedule in the course syllabus. My syllabus tells students not only when their work is due, but when my work is due! They know exactly when their graded work will be returned to them.

First, the quick turn around time ensures that my students are still thinking about the assignment. Thus, any criticism or feedback is likely to have a stronger impact than if it were delayed a week or more. Second, prompt feedback indicates to my students the importance of what they are doing and my concern for their learning the material. An English professor concurs.

Students are still anxious to know how they have done. A number of faculty provide their students with a standard against which they can compare their work. They distribute a copy of a good A-B range assignment e. Students use the faculty comments to understand the strengths of their work, as well as areas needing improvement.

They can then use the sample piece as a guide for improving their work. Peer editing gives his students yet another opportunity to demonstrate their understanding of the material. A professor of Architecture uses the same strategy with student papers. He has students exchange papers to edit.

See also suggestion 3 of the Examinations section and suggestion 4 of the Assignments section. By keeping students aware of their progress, you help them to appreciate their own achievements, as well as to understand what is needed to improve their overall grade. A Forestry professor periodically gives his students a list of their grades to date on their quizzes, midterms, group projects, laboratory reports, and homework assignments. A History professor provides a grading template for her students to download to their computers.

The suggestions described below may be helpful in addressing your examination procedures if student ratings reflect the following types of concerns:. Many faculty indicate that one of the most critical aspects of creating an assessment tool i. She lists the learning outcomes along the side of the page and content areas along the top. For each test item, she checks off the objective and content it covers. In addition to determining the learning outcomes you wish to measure, consider the type of items best suited to those outcomes, the range of difficulty of items, the length and time limits for the exam, the format and layout of the exam, and your scoring procedures.

Many faculty members create exams that require an appropriate level of mastery of the subject matter. These and other measures of learning require students to think critically and creatively about the course content rather than display mere memory of facts and concepts.

Several faculty members stress the importance of showing exam questions to tutors or other colleagues. A number of faculty members balance the difficulty of items on their exams. Some courses do not lend themselves to exams, such as laboratory or studio, however, assessment methods should still reflect the course objectives and learning outcomes.

Many faculty members prepare study sheets and review questions for their students before an exam. I think this helps my students synthesize the material which is what most of my actual exam questions require them to do. Several professors conduct review sessions before exams. Each session focuses on a specific topic. About one-third of the session is spent presenting a short lecture highlighting the major points of the topic and then the remaining time is for student questions.

We are amazed at the number of students who attend these sessions. People who have trouble with these examples can ask me for extra help. A number of faculty provide students with examples of exam questions. This helps to relieve some of their anxiety, especially on the first midterm.

I will sometimes include different types of questions on my exams that involve ranking or cause and effect determinations. The students never see these types of questions for the first time on an exam. In helping students prepare for challenging exam questions, a History professor tells her students that their best preparation is to compare X with Y, which may be, for example, two playwrights or two orators.

In this way she informs her students about the comparative nature of her exam. The actual questions are more creative. A number of faculty members prepare answers to exams and quizzes to hand out as soon as students turn in their work. A Chemistry professor prepares a handout of correct answers that he gives to students as they turn in their answer sheets. Discussing the answers to exams, quizzes, projects, or assignments at the next class meeting is a common practice among many faculty members.

An Engineering professor discusses the answers at the next class meeting even if he cannot return graded assignments or exams. A professor of Business Administration likes to provide a great deal of feedback to his students after exams as a way of reemphasizing the themes of the course. I hope that it helps them to do better on the second exam.

See also suggestion 3 of the Grading section. The suggestions described below may be helpful in addressing your selection of assignments if student ratings reflect the following types of concerns:. Establish a student centered approach to your teaching by focusing on what the students will be doing to attain the desired learning outcomes.

As you design your course, select the type of assignments that will help students accomplish the established learning outcomes. Assignments should not be an afterthought, but an integral part of the planning and learning process. Do they help them to attain the student learning outcomes? Assignments should be designed so they actually assess the learning you want your students to achieve.

A Mathematics professor realized that his grading process was placing the emphasis on getting the right answer to the problem. His student learning outcomes, however, included students developing the ability to explain the process, not just solve the problem.

They solve the problem in column one and in column two include a verbal explanation of what they did and why for each step of the problem. This helps me to check on the accuracy of their thinking process. Many students can solve a problem, but I want them to know why they got a particular answer.

As one of her learning outcomes, a Psychology professor states that students will develop their critical thinking skills. Upon reviewing the assignments and papers she requires for the course, she realized that they simply require a mastery of facts and basic concepts. In order to align her assignments with the desired learning outcomes, she reduced the number of assignments and redesigned them to require synthesis and evaluation skills.

A Sociology professor routinely required a research paper from his students. Realizing that the research paper was not fulfilling the type of learning he wanted his students to achieve, he changed his assignments to reflect the learning outcomes. So, now I have my students write several sociological analyses throughout the semester.

I ask them to analyze an event they experience or an observation they make in light of the sociological viewpoints we are studying in class. If they go to a family birthday party, an athletic event, a cultural event, or simply observe the activity within the cafeteria at dinner, they analyze it in terms of a sociological perspective. The results have been amazing! Of course, some students initially struggle with the assignment but they get better as the semester progresses.

The analytical skills that this type of assignment requires is really what I want them to develop. Clearly define the assignment so students understand the expectations from the beginning. Some professors provide an assignment sheet to ensure that the instructions are clear. An assignment sheet should list all the essential information for the specific assignment.

A Chemistry professor includes the audience to whom the student is writing, the purpose of the paper, procedure, standards, and grading criteria in her assignment sheet. Discussing the assignment sheet with the students is a common practice among faculty. A Writing professor has the class work in small groups after the initial discussion of the assignment. This allows students to brainstorm and begin to formulate ideas and explore possible topics. Students often find it helpful to see examples of previous work of the type that is expected in the assignment.

A European History professor shares with students suggested topics and then describes creative approaches that students have used in the past. Some professors place copies of previous work on reserve in the library, while others will share one or two previous assignments in class and explain what makes these pieces good.

Looking at the big picture i. A Retail Management professor maps out the proposed pacing of her course on a calendar using different colored markers to record dates of exams, quizzes, assignments, larger projects, and campus events i. In order for my students to have the opportunity to provide me with their best work, I intentionally avoid scheduling large projects close to exam dates and try to avoid having projects due or exams scheduled immediately after Parents Weekend or Homecoming.

I want to see the results of their best effort, not something that has been compromised by time constraints. There is too much demanded of students at the end of the semester and simply not enough time to produce quality products. An Economics professor creates the appropriate environment for students by spanning their research paper out over the course of the semester. He sets up due dates throughout the semester for topic identification, reference list, outline, first draft, and rewrite.

Feedback is provided to the students after each step, which enhances the learning process and the quality of the final product. Other professors have found that by making the work load more manageable, they enhance the learning process. A Business professor used to have his students analyze ten case studies over the course of the semester. With a case study coming in almost every week, he did not have the time to correct and return them to the students before the next one was due.

Consequently, several students wrote one mediocre case study after another. So, I decided to focus the earlier case studies on building the skills necessary to conduct a thorough analysis. These assignments were shortened and more focused in design. My students now write fewer full case studies, but the ones they do write are so much better than before. They have sharpened their writing and analytical skills as a result of reducing the workload and focusing on the development of appropriate skills.

In a similar scenario, a Biology professor was not pleased with the quality of lab reports she was receiving from her students on a weekly basis. She decided to focus on lab writing skills. I explained and demonstrated the qualities of a good introduction. We repeated this for the second lab so that they could take advantage of the feedback provided on their first lab. It was exciting for me to see the improvements on their second lab. Previously, when I was grading the entire lab, I was never able to return them before the next one was due.

She proceeded to add the second lab section, methods and materials, by the third lab exercise. She was able to provide focused feedback and proceeded in this manner having students master one section at a time. This reduced the work load and allowed her feedback to be timely and effective.

By teaching the process she was able to help students master it one step at a time. This also reduced the work load and allowed for her feedback to enhance their future work. Providing feedback to students from sources other than yourself is a technique used by some faculty.

A Public Affairs professor requires his students to select someone from the class to read the first draft of their paper. The checklist needs to be completed and signed by the reviewer and turned in with the first draft. Students take their responsibility as a peer reviewer seriously and are usually very thorough in their review.

Similarly, a Psychology professor uses peer response groups to provide feedback to students. Small groups of three or four students collectively review a paper and complete a group review of the draft. This exercise routinely creates meaningful discussion within groups and really helps students to look at their work from a different perspective. A Writing professor routinely has her students discuss their current writing assignment in small groups. It is important for students to talk about their writing.

In an effort to create a more manageable project, some professors break a paper down into various sections, each with distinct due dates. By receiving feedback at several steps throughout the process e. Praising the strengths of an assignment is as critical as identifying areas for improvement. I write positive comments in the left margin of their paper and note points of concern in the right margin. This helps me to visually see that the comments are balanced or skewed one way or the other depending upon the quality of the paper.

Some professors distribute and discuss a rubric grading criteria along with the details of the assignment. I have found that students are quite honest in their self assessment and sometimes even harder on themselves than I am!

We then discuss the results of the two assessments, which helps students to identify what specifically needs to be worked on and addressed in future assignments. Discussing the assignment when it is returned to students provides them with a frame of reference. I share the strengths that I saw within the group as a whole and also some of the common shortcomings. Some professors ask students to assess the assignment.

They complete a short evaluation which asks them to address the difficulties they had with the assignment, ways to improve it, and the learning that occurred as a result of completing the assignment. This helps me to assess if the assignment is getting at the type of learning that I want to have occurring.

As a way to maximize the learning process, allow students to share their final piece of work with the class. The day that his students turn in their papers, an Anthropology professor has each student spend three to five minutes sharing their work with the class. I cannot possibility cover in my lectures and discussion sessions, all the wonderfully related topics that they explore through their papers. Educational Gerontology Gerontology and Geriatrics Education. Bain, K.

What the best college teachers do. Brookfield, S. Becoming a critically reflective teacher. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Donald, J. Learning to think: Disciplinary perspectives. Fink, D. Creating significant learning experiences. Finkel, D. Teaching with your mouth shut. Grunert, J. The course syllabus. Lowman, J. Mastering the techniques of teaching 2nd ed. Menges, R. Teaching on solid ground: Using scholarship to improve practice. Paulson, M.

Taking teaching seriously: Meeting the challenge of instructional improvement. Silverman, S. Learning and development: Making connections to enhance teaching. Tagg, J. The learning paradigm college. Weimer, M. Learner-centered teaching: Five key changes to practice. If you would like more information on this topic, please contact the Office by email or by phone at The students indicated that they did not learn much in the course.

The students did not develop an understanding of major course concepts. Time spent in class was not worthwhile to the students. Select the most appropriate teaching strategies to facilitate student learning. Link Faculty members indicate that many courses are taught using the traditional lecture approach when other strategies may be more effective. Hold high but realistic expectations for your students. Engage your students in a variety of cognitive activities.

Link Summarize Link Have students summarize or paraphrase what has been discussed in class. Reflection Link Help your students to reflect on their learning experience by keeping a journal throughout the course. The students found you unprepared for class. Your lectures, discussions, etc. The students were unable to understand the relationship between various aspects of the course content.

Prepare a detailed course syllabus for your students. Link Many faculty members state the objectives of their course in a syllabus. Communicate the objectives for each class session to your students. Link Preparing for each class session enables you to have a clear idea of what is supposed to happen. Create a sense of order for your students. Link Many faculty recommend giving students a conceptual framework on which to hang major ideas and factual information.

Causal — An Economics course explores various factors that affect the distribution of wealth: the labor market, tax policy, investment policy, and social mobility. Sequential — A course on Education in the United States covers the school system from preschool to elementary school, secondary school, college, and graduate school.

Structural — An Anatomy and Physiology course approaches the anatomical systems in a consistent format: the organs, the functions of the organs, how the organs are regulated, and the relationship of the system to other systems. Problem-solution — An Engineering course looks at a series of structural failures in various types of buildings. Use various organizational strategies during class. Link Many faculty suggest organizational strategies that include putting an outline on the board or on a PowerPoint slide at the beginning of class, outlining the development of ideas as they occur, developing a concept map or chart, or giving students a handout of the major points or topics.

Provide closure for your students. Select appropriate instructional methods for each class meeting. Link Although the lecture approach is commonly used, attempt to develop activities that lead students to an understanding of the concepts or issues in the class. Become a reflective practitioner. Persuasive essay: in a persuasive essay the writer tries to convince the reader to agree with his opinion. The author uses logic and facts, definitions and examples in order to persuade the reader to share his point of view.

Decide whether you agree or disagree with the title. Try to think of at least two or three good reasons to support your opinion, including examples of why you think the alternative point of view is wrong. Download the pdf here. Plan your content and organise it in four or five paragraphs introduction, reasons and conclusion. Your e-mail address will not be published. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Step 1. The d ifference between an opinion essay and a persuasive essay. Step 2. Do not write about advantages or disadvantages or points for or against. Write in formal style.

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Is it currently in the news? Does it impact people locally, nationally, or globally? Can it be related to or a cause of any other issues in our world? Are there any terms the audience might need defined? Who disagrees about this topic, and why? These are some of the probing questions I ask students to ponder. I find it important to give students feedback on their introduction paragraphs before moving on to the body of the essay.

They will enter the next stage of their paper knowing their foundation is solid. Ask students to bring in three versions of their introduction paragraphs. Have them use a different hook in each but keep the rest the same. Make sure they are paper clipped or stapled together. Then, sit in a circle. Ask students to pass the essays either to the right or the left one person.

For five or ten minutes, just sit and allow students to respond to the introduction paragraphs. Students can write praises and suggestions either on the actual paper copies or on post-its. Give them some prompts to consider to guide their feedback. After time has lapsed, have students pass again in the same direction. Do this as many times as you can before they lose focus or before the period is over. This activity can also be conducted digitally. I just prefer the paper version because it feels more authentic and is easier to manage.

We all have to find what works for our teaching style and for our students. This is the mini unit I use to teach how to write an introduction paragraph. It contains the ABC acronym, the pillars and introduction paragraph graphic organizer, examples of hooks, ideas for what to include in the bridge, and an example introduction paragraph. Click on the image to take a closer look at the details. Reading and Writing Haven will use the information you provide on this form to be in touch with you and to provide updates and marketing.

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By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp's privacy practices here. An avid reader and writer, I've had the privilege of teaching English for over a decade and am now an instructional coach. In my free time, I enjoy loving on my kids, deconstructing sentences, analyzing literature, making learning fun, working out, and drinking a good cup of coffee.

Meaningful Ways to End the School Year. How to Use Reading Sprints for Motivation and What is Meaningful Homework? How to Engage Students with Musical Debates. English Language Arts Writing. Begin with the thesis statement. Identify the main points of argument.

Explore attention getter options. A Chemistry professor emphasizes conceptual understanding by challenging his students with apparent paradoxes. My students then explain the paradox by applying a variety of problem solving techniques. It gives them another way of understanding and helps them gain self-confidence that they do in fact understand.

A Forestry professor uses weekly problems that are typical of those faced by professionals in the field. Use case studies to introduce your students to real-life scenarios. A professor of Anthropology prepares case studies to provide her students with exposure to primary research techniques and strategies.

Her students are presented with a collection of photos, maps, and narrative information which depict a site as an archaeologist would see it. This serves as the basis for class discussion and an ensuing group project. For example, what changes in eating habits can you infer from the artifacts found at two different levels?

An Engineering professor also presents his students with problems based on real cases. They are asked to outline the steps they would take in determining the cause and correcting it. They tell me what tests they would perform and using simulation techniques, I tell them what the results of those tests would be and ask what they would do next. This continues until my students have either solved the problem or are stumped. Their results are then compared with those from the actual case study.

Assign projects that provide your students with experiential learning. A Political Science professor always includes at least one experiential assignment in his courses. For example, he recently required his students to interview a local politician, as well as his or her spouse, children, staff members, and several constituents, in order to get a better understanding of the daily life of a politician and the issues and problems he or she faces.

They compared their own conclusions with those presented by both the theoretical and the popular conceptions of politicians represented in their reading assignments. A Mathematics professor has students share applications for course concepts. Near the end of class, she gives each student a brief questionnaire asking the following:. If necessary, I correct any misunderstandings and then discuss some of the suggested applications with the class. Students so often have very good ideas that go unrecognized.

This gives me an opportunity to share some of those with the class, and it really helps those students who have trouble looking beyond the book. For example, a professor of Natural Resources has his students participate in all phases of the research, report writing, and oral presentation to client agencies for environmental impact studies.

Similarly, a Social Work professor has her students help local agencies define their needs and write grant proposals for submission to foundations and federal agencies. An Education professor frequently has his students meet with top-level university administrators to define current evaluation or informational needs on campus.

Each student then designs and conducts a small-scale evaluation project and writes a report for the client-administrator. Help students apply abstract concepts to new situational experiences. A Political Science professor uses the concept of licensing to guide his students through the steps involved in creating a regulatory commission to license prostitution.

What problems would it encounter? Later in the semester, his students actually simulate the workings of a particular regulatory commission and engage in debates on the pros and cons of particular policy solutions. Challenge students to develop their analytical skills. A professor of English assigns the work of a literary critic and then asks his students to write an essay taking an adversary position.

They should enjoy doing the paper; it should provide them with a personal learning experience. Ease course barriers by using an interdisciplinary approach and encouraging your students to integrate knowledge from their major area of study with the new information they are learning in your course. A professor of English encourages his students to make use of knowledge and skills developed in other courses in combination with those emphasized in his course.

Students often report having their best educational encounters and achieving their greatest understandings of diversity as side effects of naturally occurring meaningful educational experiences. Collaborative learning can also be as simple as randomly grouping two or three students in class to solve a particular problem or to answer a specific question.

Help your students to reflect on their learning experience by keeping a journal throughout the course. It is important, however, to ensure that students are familiar with the process of journal writing and the benefits they can expect. A Writing professor keeps her own journal along with her students. Some faculty require reflective journals as a component of the course grade, while others simply recommend them as effective preparation for class discussions, presentations, reflective papers, and essay exams.

The suggestions described below may be helpful in addressing your level of organization and preparation if student ratings reflect the following types of concerns:. Many faculty members state the objectives of their course in a syllabus. Some include major themes for each class session, how they are incorporated into the activities and assignments, and the ways student learning will be assessed.

I think it helps students feel more organized. Required reading and recommended supplemental readings are included. The syllabus also describes assignments, grading procedures, and competencies my students are expected to have i. Faculty agree that the more information you provide to students in writing, the fewer issues you may encounter during the semester. If you must deviate from the syllabus, make it clear to students how and why the changes are being made.

The number of organizational and process problems that I have to address has greatly decreased. Some faculty indicate that it is more helpful for students when the course objectives are stated as observable skills or attainable knowledge, rather than as broad generalizations. See also suggestion 1 of the Grading section.

Preparing for each class session enables you to have a clear idea of what is supposed to happen. Keep in mind that no matter how organized you are, it does not help unless you communicate it to your students. A key organizational strategy is to tell students what you expect to accomplish during the class and how that will be accomplished.

What will you be doing? What will they be doing? Many faculty list their objectives on the board, overhead projector, or PowerPoint slide. Students need to know where you are going, so that they can understand where they are going. As class begins I present my objectives for that day to the class. During my presentation I make specific references to my objectives as I go along.

This slide is projected onto the screen as students arrive to class. An Engineering professor refers to this as his battle plan. By laying out exactly what I am going to do, I eliminate a lot of student confusion. I explain not only what we will be doing or discussing, but also why we are looking at the topic in this particular way, and how it relates to other topics within the unit and the course as a whole.

Many faculty recommend giving students a conceptual framework on which to hang major ideas and factual information. Jumping from one topic to another makes it difficult for students to assimilate and retain the material. To understand the relationship among concepts, students need a framework — a basic theory, a theme, a conceptual typology, or a controversial issue — rather than simply memorizing dozens of discrete points.

A variation on this technique is to summarize and ask for questions whenever there is a major transition from one topic to another within the class period. In written texts, organization is indicated by paragraphs and headings. In lectures, verbal cues help convey the organizational structure.

An Education professor shares the following suggestions. A professor of History suggests structuring the class as you would a journal article. A Computer Science professor concurs, indicating that he prepares his class presentations so that they have the oral equivalents of an introduction, headings, subheadings, summary, and conclusion. I make frequent transitional phrases and I leave time to summarize the major points at the end of the hour.

Research indicates that students generally remember facts and principles better if they are presented first with general statements, which are then followed by specific examples, illustrations, or applications. To present a difficult or abstract idea, experienced faculty recommend first providing students an easy example that illustrates the principle, then offering a more complex example or illustration. Many faculty suggest organizational strategies that include putting an outline on the board or on a PowerPoint slide at the beginning of class, outlining the development of ideas as they occur, developing a concept map or chart, or giving students a handout of the major points or topics.

Outlines help students focus on the progression of the material and also help them take better notes. Refer to the outline to alert students to transitions and to the relationships between points. A professor of Physiology uses a technique he learned from a colleague when they were team-teaching several years ago. I also make frequent reference to the outline to alert students to transitions and the relationships between topics.

Many professors prepare lecture outlines, group activity projects, lecture notes, definitions of new terms, complex equations, discussion questions, illustrations, etc. They are designed to help students follow the main structure of my lecture and to keep them from getting bogged down in copying details. Not everyone favors handouts, however.

This approach helps students to understand the process and not just memorize the steps. A Biology professor reports that she outlines her lectures on the board as she goes along, using colored chalk to differentiate major and subordinate points and to diagram relationships. On a separate section of the blackboard she also lists technical terms. Some faculty give students a list of questions which cover topics to be addressed during class. One History professor does this routinely. The questions are designed to give them a conceptual framework and guide, so they can identify where we are and where we are going in the overall discussion.

I realize that it is difficult for students to listen attentively for a full hour. Then, at the beginning of the next class session, I sum up the previous lecture once more before moving on to a new topic.

At the same time, because none of us likes repetition, I try hard to use different words and examples in each summary. The best way I have found to avoid redundancy is to note on an index card the exact words I have used at the end of a lecture, so that I am reminded to vary them in the brief recapitulation I give at the beginning of the next class meeting. A professor of Business Administration also uses this technique. I find the most effective way of doing this is to begin with a brief summary of what came before, followed by a brief preview of what will come next.

Drawing conclusions helps students see that a purpose has been served and something has been gained during the class session. A well-planned conclusion rounds out the presentation, ties up loose ends, suggests ways for students to follow up on the lecture, and provides a sense of closure. Placing the concept in the larger context of the course gives students a sense of continuity and meaning.

It can also inform students as to their progress towards achieving the course goals. Although the lecture approach is commonly used, attempt to develop activities that lead students to an understanding of the concepts or issues in the class. A Special Education professor has her students use wheelchairs for a day to develop a better appreciation of the experience of being disabled.

For each topic, decide how you will prepare the class instruction e. When possible, demonstrate a concept rather than simply describing it. Some faculty regularly make use of visual imagery. Taking examples from everyday experiences, even if they cannot be demonstrated in class, will help students to visualize them and reinforce their learning.

The use of metaphors and analogies that give students a mental image to draw upon can help reinforce their understanding and recall. Additionally, professors often make use of slides, maps, tape recordings, live or filmed dramatizations, charts, diagrams, videos, DVDs, websites, demonstrations, and actual cultural artifacts to illustrate the subject matter.

See also suggestions 1 and 3 of the Student Learning section and suggestion 5 of the Communication section. A History professor has found it very effective to keep a brief journal or diary for each course. If something went very badly, I correct it at the next meeting.

For the most part, however, I keep the journal to help me improve the course next time. By looking back at journal entries, an Economics professor is able to incorporate his reflective ideas the next time he teaches the course. This increases my enthusiasm for the subject matter which I think is communicated to my students. Some professors keep separate files for each course objective, theme, or topic.

This approach makes it much easier to incorporate more effective examples, assignments, explanations, activities, group projects, teaching approaches, assessment strategies, etc. The suggestions described below may be helpful in addressing your communication skills if student ratings reflect the following types of concerns:. A professor of History reports that he often begins class by reading aloud a short passage from a primary source or a story to illustrate his major theme or point for the day.

I then get my students to help identify the different characters and what they represent. Some professors announce the importance of an idea before presenting it. You have to tell them. Since no single explanation will be clear to all students, it is important to rephrase explanations of major points several times. Several faculty define technical terms and review key terms from previous lectures.

A professor of Biology points out that you cannot assume that students know or remember concepts and terms from previous courses. I do this even if it is a concept or term that students have presumably learned in introductory biology and chemistry courses. Dramatic pauses are another way to highlight important ideas. If not, I restate the importance of what is to follow. You need to put the concept in some perspective, to show why it is important.

A repertoire of examples that link ideas and images can be quite beneficial. Many faculty agree that the choice of examples is very important, favoring those that are anecdotal, personal, relevant, or humorous as students tend to remember them best.

An Economics professor places great importance on using examples that are relevant for her students. Do not assume that all students will recognize cultural, literary, or historical references familiar to you. As the diversity of the student and faculty populations increases, you may find that you and your students have fewer shared cultural experiences, literary allusions, historical references, metaphors, and analogies.

Ideally, a college curriculum should reflect the perspectives and experiences of a pluralistic society. At a minimum, creating an inclusive curriculum involves using texts and readings that reflect new scholarship and research about previously underrepresented groups, discussing the contributions made to your field by women and various ethnic groups, and describing how recent scholarship about gender, race, and class is modifying your field of study.

A professor of Education makes a point of inviting guest speakers whose viewpoints differ from his, enabling his students to be exposed to a variety of perspectives. Several faculty assign multiple readings that represent a variety of viewpoints. The focus is not on opinions but on the reasons behind them. However, any reading that presents a clear statement of the features of the theory is useful.

Students can be directed to a lively discussion of reasons that are tenable. It gives them experience in learning the criteria of a good argument. Several faculty draw upon the diverse backgrounds and experiences of their students in order to introduce different points of view.

At the beginning of the semester, a professor of Business Administration asks his students to give written answers to questions about their backgrounds and reasons for taking the course. He asks students to focus particularly on experiences that might give them a particular viewpoint on the social, political, and economic issues to be covered in the course. As these various issues are discussed throughout the semester, he is able to draw on varying experiences and interests of his students.

In this way a full range of views is introduced in the course. This technique has an additional advantage since introducing personal experiences and opinions makes the discussion more realistic and engaging. A professor of Economics explicitly states that there are alternative points of view. One of the primary goals of education is to show students different points of view and encourage them to evaluate their own beliefs.

Thus, many faculty emphasize the importance of considering different approaches and viewpoints. As appropriate to your field, develop paper topics or group projects that encourage students to explore the roles, status, contributions, and experiences of groups traditionally underrepresented in scholarly research studies or in academia. For example, a Nursing professor teaching a course on medical and health training offers students a variety of topics for their group project, including one on alternative healing belief systems.

A Marketing professor gives students an assignment asking them to compare female-only, male-only, and male-female work groups. Students tend to be more attentive when exposed to a variety of learning experiences. Using various teaching strategies, therefore, helps to keep students intellectually engaged and enhances learning. An English professor believes that his wide variety of teaching strategies accounts for his high ratings on interesting style of presentation.

By engaging students in active learning strategies e. See also suggestions 1 and 3 of the Student Learning section and suggestion 6 of the Organization and Preparation section. A number of faculty include current journal articles, periodicals, newspapers, and websites in their curricula. She uses them as a basis for discussion and has students relate them to course content. He routinely shares program announcements for local conferences, program proceedings, and advertisements for new books and journals in the field.

Several faculty share local events with their students in an effort to expand and enrich their understanding of the subject matter. In this way the content of my course is expanded far beyond what I can actually cover in class. I also encourage my students to use these local resources in their research and writing assignments. A Language professor shares copies of newsletters, newspaper clippings, and announcements of French movies, plays, or other cultural events in the area.

Consider sponsoring students in an independent study, arranging internships, and providing opportunities for undergraduates to participate in research. The suggestions described below may be helpful in addressing your interactions with students if your ratings reflect the following types of concerns:.

Knowing your students is important for a number of reasons. Several faculty members stress that new learning must begin from what students are already familiar with. It also tells students that you are interested in them as individuals. Nevertheless, my students greatly appreciate the effort. A professor of Writing stresses the importance of knowing and treating students as people. A Statistics professor requires each of his students to sign up for an individual ten-minute appointment. Perhaps the greatest benefit is that it gives me an opportunity to get to know my students.

As a result, they seem to feel more comfortable asking and answering questions in class. Even in large lecture classes, it is possible to make personal contact with many of your students. A Physiology professor, for example, meets a few of her students for lunch each week. Students are more likely to participate in class if they feel they are among friends rather than strangers. At the beginning of the semester, ask students to introduce themselves and describe their primary interests or background in the subject.

One faculty member asks students to form groups of three to five and introduce themselves to each other. Another professor groups students by residence halls, living groups, or learning communities so that they can identify nearby classmates to study with. He then asks members of each pair to introduce each other to the group as a whole.

Allowing each student an opportunity to talk in class during the first two or three weeks encourages all students to participate in class discussion. The longer a student goes without speaking in class, the more difficult it will be for him or her to contribute. You may want to have students initially work in small groups, as this may make it easier for them to later contribute in a larger group setting.

During the first weeks of the term, you can prevent any one group of students from monopolizing the discussion by actively soliciting alternate viewpoints. Students need to feel free to voice an opinion and empowered to defend it. Try not to allow your own difference of opinion to prevent communication and debate.

Step in if some students seem to be ignoring the viewpoints of others. For example, if male students tend to ignore comments made by female students, acknowledge the overlooked comments. Perhaps now is the time to address it. Thank you for your patience, Karen. Some faculty invite their students to share examples of work done in previous classes e. An Architecture professor has his students bring slides of design projects from prerequisite courses and present them to the entire class.

In this way his students show each other their work and ideas and get to know one another better. Several faculty show their genuine interest in having students ask questions by giving them prompts. If no questions arise, ask for a volunteer to summarize a particular point that was made in class. In this way, students may become more aware of questions they have. Students ask questions because they want a response. By responding directly you indicate that the question is worthwhile.

If you redirect a question to the class at large, let the questioner know that you are not avoiding or dismissing the question. A professor of Business Administration finds that the way he moves around the room alters the kinds of interaction he is able to generate among his students. In order to draw my other students into the discussion and to get them to address their comments to one another as well as to me, I find that it helps if I move away from the student who asks a question rather than toward him or her.

This forces the student to project so that everyone is drawn into the conversation. It also makes it more likely that the student will address fellow students. A professor of Chemistry moves around in his large lecture sessions consisting of students and involves them in his lecture. I often look at it from the larger context of the course and anticipate where difficulties might occur in their thought process. Sometimes students refrain from asking questions because they sense that the professor does not want to hear them.

Other discouraging behaviors include looking at the clock while students ask questions, avoiding eye contact, answering questions hurriedly or incompletely, and treating questions as interruptions rather than as contributions to the learning process. Keep in mind that the purpose of discussions is to actively involve students in learning.

A stimulating discussion can be spontaneous and unpredictable, yet a good discussion requires careful planning. You will want to devise assignments to prepare students for discussion, develop a list of questions or topic ideas to guide and focus the discussion, and prepare specific in-class activities such as pair work, brainstorming, or other small group activity.

Your plan should also allow time for a wrap-up so that students can synthesize what they have discussed. To involve your students in class discussion, it may be helpful to explain the value of their participation and what they can expect from the experience. Defining the role that discussion plays in the course makes students aware of your expectations. Faculty use several strategies to help students prepare for discussion sessions. Some distribute study questions on the material to be discussed, while others may ask students to come to class with a one or two paragraph position piece or several questions they would like to have discussed.

A professor of Business Administration assigns weekly reaction papers, one to two pages on a specific topic, which are then used as the basis for class discussion. These questions serve both as study aids and stimuli for discussion. A good way of achieving this aim is to offer a specific strategy for mastering the material.

A professor of Astronomy observes that he teaches a course better the first time than he does the second time. The next time, however, these concepts no longer seemed difficult to me. Unfortunately, I forgot that they would still be difficult for the students. What examples might make that more clear? This has now become the most important part of my lecture preparation.

Several faculty members report keeping track of the kinds of errors students most commonly make in assignments and exams as a reminder of what students find most difficult to understand. A Biochemistry professor administers a diagnostic test covering knowledge and skills prerequisite to the course. The test, which is given in the first week, is not graded. Some faculty provide tutorials based on principles and skills needed to succeed in their course. A professor of Chemistry developed science and math computer-assisted review units for students deficient in these areas.

A professor of Geology gives the first of two midterms early enough in the course to allow him to identify those students who may be having difficulty. After the first midterm, he asks each of his students who did not pass to talk with him about the exam results. He concludes each meeting by telling his students that he is certain they can do better and makes a deal with them.

About nine or ten students take advantage of this help each term. As a result of this technique, in the ten years I have been teaching I have not had to flunk a single student in a course. Giving students a second chance, I find, is a powerful motivator. A Communications professor requires all her students who fail assignments or quizzes to meet with her.

It helps me as a teacher to know the reasons for the poor performance. Showing concern is also a powerful motivator for some students; they begin to do better. A Nursing professor concurs. I think I understand better now, than when I began teaching, the need some students have for external motivation. A History professor believes that students often need help with specific skills in order to succeed in a particular course. She offers a series of supplemental two-hour workshops during the first few weeks of the semester based on topics that she feels are essential for the success of her students: reading text material, note taking, studying, and taking exams.

During the workshops students practice these skills on actual course materials i. By offering strategies for success she feels that she is providing the means for her students to succeed in her course, as well as other courses to which these skills easily transfer. Some faculty make a special effort to integrate their weaker students into the class through small group work.

A Language professor divides his students into small groups. Each student has a role, and these roles are rotated throughout the semester. Initially I assign my weaker students to do the writing, although I am careful not to do this in an obvious way. This allows the weaker students to participate, but in a way that reinforces their own learning without holding back the others.

Also I often ask a better student to help out if a weaker student is having difficulty responding. Peer teaching can be extremely effective, especially when a class takes responsibility for its weaker members. I find this approach superior to one-on-one tutoring during office hours.

They integrate their weaker students into groups of average and above average ability students. Some explicitly suggest ways in which their better students may help other students or ways in which students who are having difficulty may learn from others. Many faculty arrive at class a few minutes early each day and talk with their students. A Retailing professor makes a point of going to her class early to talk informally with her students.

Some faculty stay after class to talk with their students. I have developed a technique of loitering after class and talking with students as they leave. The result is that after the first few days of class, more and more of my students linger as well, and I get to know many of them in that way.

Several faculty explain the purpose of office hours to their students. New students may only have a vague notion of what office hours are for. Let students know that they can come to talk to you informally, to ask questions about the material or assignments, to review graded work, to get suggestions for further reading, or to discuss other topics related to the course or to your field.

Include your office hours in your syllabus and remind students of them occasionally during the semester. A Political Science professor encourages student turnout during office hours by placing an invitation within the course syllabus. If you want to talk to me and find the schedule hours to be inconvenient, feel free to schedule an appointment. Being disciplined on keeping your office hours reflects the importance you place on being available to meet with students. If you will be unavailable during a scheduled office hour, announce it in class or put a note on your office door.

Students get upset with faculty who are not present for their posted office hours and these feelings can impair their motivation to succeed in the course. A Nutrition professor schedules his office hours immediately following the class session. Several professors work in their office with an open-door policy. Many faculty try to keep their office door open unless they really cannot be disturbed. When he is working in the lab, he leaves a note on his office door inviting his students to drop by the lab if they want to talk.

Students may be intimidated by the thought of speaking directly and privately to their professors. The more approachable you are, the more likely students will be comfortable seeing you during your office hours. A Physics professor explains that she makes a point of never making students feel unwelcome.

Some faculty indicate that since many of their students never come to their office or lab, they try to spend several hours a week in the department course center where students study, socialize, and eat lunch. They are able to talk with students informally and get to know them better.

A large number of faculty report using email to increase their accessibility to students. Several faculty members give their home phone numbers to students and encourage them to call if they have questions or problems. He finds that his students rarely abuse this invitation.

A professor of Political Science agrees. The suggestions described below may be helpful in addressing your grading practices if student ratings reflect the following types of concerns:. Many faculty recommend describing the grading policy clearly so that students understand how their grade will be determined. If you intend to make special allowances e. Explain your policies on attendance, participation in class, and anything else pertinent to your course.

An English professor indicates that she views the grading policy portion of her syllabus as one of the most important sections. If you are seriously concerned about their success in your course, you need to make them aware of how their grade will be determined from the first day of class. See also suggestion 1 of the Organization and Preparation section. Giving students many opportunities to show what they are learning provides a more accurate assessment picture.

It is important, however, to use methods i. Scheduling some form of assessment every two or three weeks is especially important for students in lower division courses. A Religion professor indicates that she tries to give her students various and numerous opportunities to show what they are learning.

The grades that I use to provide a semester grade reflect individual work, group work, research, and exams. A Chemistry professor includes a wide range of student learning assessments within his course design. I know that I have bad days and so do my students. Between lab work and classroom assignments, I have about twelve grades for each of my students.