Monday, July 7, 2008

Bellwork and Closure

One of the things that worked really well for me during student teaching was to have separate papers for Bellwork and Closure. I was considering only having a separate paper for Closure, since that's what I want to look at closely every day, but I think the kids may ignore bellwork if I only look at it every few weeks during notebook checks.

So here are my forms:

You can see my Bellwork form in Word or PDF form on the Sines of Learning Document Page.

Here's the top:

The double line and HW questions are copied lower down for Tuesday, and for W Th and F on the back of the paper.

I'm hoping that this will encourage reflection on the students' part. I want them not just to do their homework, but to ask themselves the question "What does this tell me? How well did I understand how to do this?" Hopefully this will encourage them to contemplate their grasp of the material before the test.

However, the Closure paper is much more important to me than the Bellwork one.

You can see my Closure form in Word or PDF form on the Sines of Learning Document Page as well.

Here's the top:

If there is one thing I look at at the end of the day, I want the Closure paper to be it. First, I want the kids to reflect on how well they grasped the P.O. - Performance Objective. Also, the questions on the Closure will be less problems and more writing questions, with "Why?" and "How?" questions. I will also tell the kids that the Closure is the way to communicate with me if they don't want to share something out loud in class. They can give their feedback on the class, what confused them, and what interested them. I'm then going to ask them to paperclip their group's Closures together and put them in a basket on the way out. Every night I'll skim through them, or at least some of them, and since they are written responses instead of math problems, it'll be easier and more interesting for me... at least, that's my hope!

[ETA: I asked my mother for her feedback, and she pointed out that my original P.O. ratings (identical to the HW ones) were somewhat vague. So we changed them to what you see in the screen shot above.

Then, at least for the first few weeks, I'll write out the complete sentences so the kids know what I mean.

For example, if my Performance Objective on the board is: Today I will be able to find the equation of a line from its graph.

On my Closure PPT slide I'll have

1 - I don't know how to start finding the equation of a line from its graph
2 - I can start but can't finish finding the equation of a line from its graph
3 - I can sometimes finish finding the equation of a line from its graph
4 - I'm ready to show I can find the equation of a line from its graph

I've updated the Closure_Paper.pdf and Closure_Paper.doc on the Sines of Learning Document Page.

ETAA (edited to add again): I figured out how to do screen shots and put up the pretty pictures :-)

Well, take a look. As always, any feedback is much appreciated!

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