Instructional Closings

Closing Time

Science can be messy and my students are often in such a rush to take care of the priorities for the next class that they forget to clean up their work and physical area appropriately. Closing Time reminds my students of their obligations for the end of a class period and standardizes a system that promotes personal responsibility for all class materials. During this time, I list all of the upcoming class assignments and events on the board, so that my students can begin thinking about future activities when they've finished cleaning up and closing down. Coupling this strategy with a tool like Remind 101 keeps my students aware of what is expected of them outside of class time.

Strategy Resources (3)
Teacher In Action
 
 
Presentation
 
 
This Closing Time Segment is reflected both physically and digitally. My students have a section of their digital agendas that details the summary questions and next steps for the following classes so that my students are aware of exactly what to take care of before the upcoming period. While they assess what needs to be prepared for next time, they can save their work, clean up the area around them that is often cluttered with science materials.
Online Student Resource
 
 
Remind is a digital communication tool that changes the way students and teachers can interact outside of the classroom. This tool keeps students in the loop about upcoming activities and expectations and keeps identities and phone numbers private to prevent unnecessary intrusions into student privacy. When using Remind, I carefully select what I want to communicate to my students and only send that information periodically, so that they are not so overwhelmed with information that they stop checking.
Teacher In Action
 
 
Presentation
 
 
This Closing Time Segment is reflected both physically and digitally. My students have a section of their digital agendas that details the summary questions and next steps for the following classes so that my students are aware of exactly what to take care of before the upcoming period. While they assess what needs to be prepared for next time, they can save their work, clean up the area around them that is often cluttered with science materials.
Online Student Resource
 
 
Remind is a digital communication tool that changes the way students and teachers can interact outside of the classroom. This tool keeps students in the loop about upcoming activities and expectations and keeps identities and phone numbers private to prevent unnecessary intrusions into student privacy. When using Remind, I carefully select what I want to communicate to my students and only send that information periodically, so that they are not so overwhelmed with information that they stop checking.
Jeff Astor
Cindy and Bill Simon Technology Academy High School
Los Angeles, CA


 

About this strategy

Prep Time:
Moderate
Subject:
Science
Grade:
Tenth grade
Similar Strategies
Stakeholder Collaboration
Jeff's Approach to Collaboration & Communication

Communicating and collaborating with both colleagues and students' families is crucial in a blended environment. This is especially true if a teacher is doing something that looks very different from other teachers at his school. Check out how Jeff communicates and collaborates with both his colleagues at school and his students' families and how his methods of communication and collaboration have evolved over time.

 
Blended Learning Model Overviews
Flipped Mastery Model

I use a Flipped Mastery model of instruction. In this model, students watch videos of lessons that I have recorded and posted on the class website, answer a set of practice problems to hone their skills, and take a Mastery Quiz when they feel ready to show they have mastered the material. I provide 1:1 coaching and support throughout the process. If students pass a quiz, they move onto the next lesson. If they fail, they are required to do another practice assignment before re-trying the quiz.  There is no failing in my class.  Either you know something or you’re still learning how to do that thing, but there’s no in-between.

Number of Students: ~22-28 students

Number of Adults: two teachers (co-teaching model)

Length of Class Period/Learning Time: 110 minutes

Digital Content/Ed Tech Tools Used on a Regular Basis: IXL; SMART Notebook; Screencast-O-Matic; Weebly; PowerSchool; Kahoot!; Google Forms

Hardware Used on a Regular Basis: SMARTboard; Wacom Tablet; Amplify Teacher Tablet (for teacher); Mac PowerBook (for teacher)

Key Features: flipped-mastery; competency-based; student agency; co-teaching

 
Collaborative Student Groups
Buddy Time

By its very nature, learning in a self-paced classroom with digital resources can be an isolating experience for some students. While I want my students to take personal responsibility for and ownership of their learning, I also want them to learn essential collaboration skills and to leverage social learning to grow as people and as students of Mathematics. Buddy Time is a grouping strategy that requires my students to collaborate with peers working on the same lesson at a prescribed point in each lesson. During Buddy Time, students can collaborate or discuss their work with other students at their tables and they can use their collective knowledge and skills to help each other move towards mastery. 

 
 
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