Synopsis: Synopsis

 
 
 
Synopsis
Students In Action
 
 
Students In Action
 
 
 
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.

Strategy Resources (3)
Students In Action
 
 
Poster
 
 
This is a slide in our Town Hall presentation that we deliver at the beginning of the year to an entire cohort of students. Every student uses the same heading and creates a space for the Synopsis.
Student Work Sample
 
 
This is an example of a Synopsis. Brief and to the point, but clearly shows the learning from the class.
Students In Action
 
 
Poster
 
 
This is a slide in our Town Hall presentation that we deliver at the beginning of the year to an entire cohort of students. Every student uses the same heading and creates a space for the Synopsis.
Student Work Sample
 
 
This is an example of a Synopsis. Brief and to the point, but clearly shows the learning from the class.
Aaron Kaswell
Middle School 88 Peter Rouget
Brooklyn, NY


 

About this strategy

Prep Time:
Moderate
Subject:
Math
Grades:
Sixth grade, Seventh grade, Eighth grade
Similar Strategies
Learning Apps
Virtual Wonderings

I use this strategy to activate my students' interest and prior knowledge on a topic. This gives me a good starting point on the curated video and reading list for the independent station. It also gives my students a visual representation of the range of interests in the class. In my opinion, using the interests of my students to guide instruction is the core of a student-centered classroom.   

 
Small-Group Instruction
Personalized Small Group Instruction

During Personalized Small Group Instruction, I work closely with a small group of students while other students are engaging in activities independently at different stations. Based on my learning objective, I group my students differently for Small Group Instruction every day. Sometimes students are grouped homogeneously, according to specific needs, and sometimes they are grouped heterogeneously. This strategy, which is enabled by my station rotation blended model, allows me to spend individual time with each student on a regular basis.

 
Instructional Closings
Closing Check-In

To take a quick pulse of the class I may do a fist to five (students hold up a fist if they had difficulties or were unable to get in synch with the rest of class to a five which means they felt successful and are ready to transition to the next station). This Likert scale type voting gives me the opportunity to be responsive to specific student needs and quickly ascertain which students need my immediate attention or which student’s work/submissions I should review. There are also times when I feel it is appropriate to hear from students and give them the opportunity to exercise their student voice. During this exercise I take both volunteers and non-volunteers to give me their “thrills and chills/roses and thorns/high and lows of the day”. I think it is important for students to see me receive critical feedback or praise and be able to appropriately respond. It is extremely powerful for students to make a suggestion on how our class should operate and see it implemented almost immediately.

 
 
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