Reflection: Student Ownership Oxidation numbers - Section 2: Do Now/Activator


I was once told that if I do not have a solid lesson plan for my class that there were 30 students who could each come up with their own plan, but that the plan probably would have little to do with what I was hoping they would get out of class and would probably be incredibly frustrating for me. Over the years I have learned that a powerful classroom management tool is to have a solid lesson.

My Do Now seems simple on the face of it, but there are some important assumptions embedded in it  that I want to unpack. If I had simply asked students to compare their answers from the previous class, then I would have several students starting class who would be idle. A few students might have been absent last class, and a few students did not do their homework, which was to finish their classwork.

Furthermore, if I had simply asked students to quiz one another, then students may never have done the important work of quality controlling their work with a peer.

Regardless of where students are in terms of the previous class, every student has a meaningful and accessible assignment to do at the start of class. This insures that students will already have engaged in the material before I start teaching. It increases the likelihood of an orderly start to class. It links today’s class to the previous lesson. It alerts students to the fact that I have a plan, that I am in control, and all of these embedded messages make students feel like they are in a safe and controlled learning environment.

  Starting Class Right
  Student Ownership: Starting Class Right
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Oxidation numbers

Unit 8: Redox reactions
Lesson 3 of 7

Objective: Students will be able to assign oxidation numbers to elements in compounds.

Big Idea: Oxidation numbers are numbers that represent the loss or gain of electrons from atoms in a compound or chemical reaction.

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