Although we have spent a total of 4 days in this investigation, the students have only had 10-15 minutes each class period to attack the problem. The remainder of the previous classes has been consumed by scaffolding activities. This class is going to give the students most of the period to work. However, as a brief lesson opener, I like to highlight a group (or groups) that I have noticed doing an exceptional job thus far. When I do this type of “shout out” I make certain that I am VERY specific about what I have seen the group doing well. This could range from an exceptional instance of collaboration to an innovative approach to the problem solving required. What would be insufficient, however, is giving students kudos without a specific reason revealed. Vague “good jobs” leave open to interpretation the reasons why, and do not benefit the particular students or the class as a whole.
*I give out free cookie passes (for the lunch room) to these students.
To close the class period, I reveal the business meeting table assignments for tomorrow. This ensures when the students enter they know exactly where to go and what to expect. We will draw popsicle sticks to see which groups give their presentation first. If you want to save time in revealing the groups, quickly type them out before class on a PowerPoint slide, this way you can also have them posted as the students enter tomorrow.