Reflection: Transitions Ionic vs. Molecular Compounds - Section 6: Debrief


The Debrief is the Target

At our school the learning objective for a class is called the learning target. One year our instructional guide printed little stickers that said “The Debrief is the Target.” At our school every lesson is supposed to have a debrief.

The debrief is a 5-10 minute wrap-up of the lesson. Whatever I hoped students learned that day, I need to refocus attention on the objective. There are many strategies to make this happen. I might just have a ticket to leave so I can what progress each student made with the learning target. I could ask students to hold up 1, 2, or 3 fingers to indicate their self-assessed proficiency. I might ask a student to teach the class using their work as an example. I might cold call to reemphasize key points from class. I could ask students to discuss a few questions with one another and then randomly select a few students to report out.

The important thing about debriefs is that the debrief is the target. Class should end in an orderly way by revisiting the main points of the class so that students have a chance to synthesize what happened in class. 

With that said, I recognize that doing a debrief has its challenges. I have to carefully choreograph the timing of my lesson in advance in order for there to be enough time do conduct a debrief. Even then, sometimes students are not ready for the debrief I had planned because the learning activity takes too long. At that point, I need to make something up, but this gets easy with practice. Every day there is an opportunity to talk about the culture of the class that just occurred. Every day the teacher should be able to, with the help of the students, recap what occurred in class. Every day, the teacher should give some idea about what will be happening in the next session, and this is important because if students can see how one day connects to the next then they will be better able to connect the ideas of the course.

To keep it real, I want to name that every once in a while the students and I get so caught up in what we are doing that we lose track of time. Even then I do a 30-second debrief just to have it as a place holder, and I note that we lost track of time; however, nothing beats a neat and orderly end to class that gives students the chance to process what occurred, and that is always my goal. 


  The Debrief is the Target
  Transitions: The Debrief is the Target
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Ionic vs. Molecular Compounds

Unit 4: Compounds
Lesson 6 of 8

Objective: Students will be able to discern whether a compound is molecular or ionic based on whether it contains a metal and then name or draw the Lewis dot structure for the compound.

Big Idea: Ionic compounds are made of a metal and a nonmetal, while molecular compounds combine nonmetals. Each of these two types of compounds has its own naming system and Lewis dot structure.

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3 teachers like this lesson
Science, Chemistry, ionic bonds, bond formation, NGSS, periodic table, compound
  60 minutes
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