Last week, I shared the process of using writing to refocus students throughout class. Here’s how I’ve used them this week…
1) Do Now!
I projected images of two different foods, and students had a few minutes to a) write a response, and b) draw a scene related to the prompt of “What would you like to have?”
I took 15 seconds to walk around the room, marking each paper with a green marker for those drawing. N.B. a written response only would’ve been completed almost instantly. Drawing occupies minutes. One student didn’t even have their MGMT sheet out, resulting in an incomplete later on when I collected and scored the sheets (i.e. 3 instead of a 4, and the “I” incomplete symbol in Power Teacher). In this particular case, the student tried to copy down details as sheets were being collected. What was missing? My own green mark showing that I observed the student working. Other students arriving late to class didn’t have this mark, either. They weren’t receiving CI. Thus, their scores reflect that, and I can use that as evidence for the course grade (e.g. “No, Albert, you cannot get a 100 (A+) in this class. You’re not meeting expectations” etc.).
I asked questions about the day, like a mini Calendar Talk, and casually mentioned the weather. Students wrote details on the MGMT sheets without prompting.
3) Picture Talks
I asked if anyone had a picture they’d like to share, and then described and asked questions about 2-4 drawings, each with applause afterwards.
4) Sustained Silent Reading (SSR) Drawings
After students read silently, they had 2 minutes to represent their reading with a drawing. This, too, was followed with Picture Talks.
5) Write & Discuss
Instead of Write & Discuss in their notebooks during exploration of a Roman topic (public spaces), students used the MGMT sheets to copy the Latin I was typing into a Google doc as I asked questions about what we just learned about the Romans.
Throughout the week, I did either 4 (i.e. Do Now, or just SSR Drawings), or all 5 of the above tasks in each class. There were observable improvements to the class flow, especially with the more difficult-to-manage classes this year. Thus, Weekly MGMT Sheets are a keeper, although I don’t plan on using them every week. I think that 3 on, 1 off for the next couple months sounds about right in terms of reestablishing expectations and rebuilding the focus students had at the beginning of the school year.