Instructional Openings

Opening Bell

Opening Bell is a strategy I use to start class every day. I start by asking students to "clamshell" their computers--closing their devices almost all the way--and then I give a whole-class greeting. We spend the next two minutes checking the review section of the class agenda and preparing for the whole-class mini-lesson, announcements, and/or administrative tasks. Given that my students spend a significant portion of each class working independently or in small groups, Opening Bell gives us the opportunity to come together as a whole-class community before students start working on their own.

Strategy Resources (2)
Teacher In Action
 
 
 
Strategy Explanation
 
 
When the three-minute timer has expired, my students “clamshell” their devices and I give the whole-class greeting that signals the official start of class. The next two minutes are spent checking the review section of their class agenda and preparing for the whole-class mini-lesson (introduction of new material), announcements, and/or administrative tasks.
 
Teacher In Action
 
 
Strategy Explanation
 
 
When the three-minute timer has expired, my students “clamshell” their devices and I give the whole-class greeting that signals the official start of class. The next two minutes are spent checking the review section of their class agenda and preparing for the whole-class mini-lesson (introduction of new material), announcements, and/or administrative tasks.
Tanesha Dixon
Wheatley Education Campus
Washington, DC


 

About this strategy

Prep Time:
Moderate
Subject:
Social Studies
Grade:
Eighth grade
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Instructional Closings
Synopsis

My colleagues and I have students write a Synopsis of their learning after every Independent Learning Zone period as well as after Live Investigations. The Synopsis acts as a reflective tool for both large and small concepts. I often tell my students to write what they actually learned or improved upon, not what they THINK I want them to write. I train my students to make a space for the Synopsis in their notebook headings. Occasionally, I will have my students read their Synopses out loud, but most often I walk around and do a quick check, as they are mostly a personal reflection for my students.

 
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