Monday, September 14, 2015

Teaching Tip: "Today We Will"

Disengagement and lack of accountability are just a few issues that are commonly seen in college students.  With ever-growing classroom sizes, how do we continue to keep students engaged and accountable for what they’re learning?  Two words: learning objectives.  As seen in successful primary and secondary classrooms across the globe, students tend to work best when they understand what their learning objectives are for each class period.  Thus embarks “Today We Will” learning.  

A concept taken from listing learning objectives, “Today We Will” requires only 2 things. 

1. Teachers write “Today We Will” and then a list of the main things they hope their students to learn or take away from their class that day.  

2. Teachers keep that list up for students to see for the entirety of the class period.  

Simply listing the objectives for class that day provides students with a road map of what they can expect and listen for throughout class.  This keeps students engaged in a checklist of sorts, allowing them to keep track of each of the main points your lesson focuses on, and what they should make note of as important for future classes, assignments, projects, or exams.  

A “Today We Will” list also prompts student questions if they become lost or confused on a particular topic.  Writing out your objectives makes students more accountable for making sure they fully understand each concept before the class is over.

Keep in mind that your "Today We Will" list doesn't have to be absolutely specific.  You might choose to include a statement like, "Today we will go over three big questions that are on the midterm." Not only does this make students more attentive, it also encourages them to attend class, arrive on time, and compensate for any portion that they may have missed.

Tip Provided By:  Jessica Moser

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