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Category Archive for 'Classroom Strategies'

In the flurry of final exams, papers, and projects, it’s easy to let plans for the last day of class slip through the cracks. But the final class day presents a perfect opportunity for both you and your students to reflect on what you learned, consider its future applications, and recognize your achievements over the […]

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End of semester, summative course evaluations are a commonly expected event that provide students the opportunity to rate an instructor’s teaching effectiveness as well as the course’s impact on their own learning and success. At Notre Dame these are called Course Instructor Feedback (CIF) forms. Typically, these evaluations are used as part of formal promotion […]

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Just like a good essay hooks the reader, an effective class engages students right from the start. I challenge you to rethink the way you use the first 5 minutes of your class. Instead of diving straight into lecture or administrative announcements, try to spark student curiosity and contextualize new material with the tips below. […]

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Almost nothing is more frightening for a new TA than the possibility of asking a roomful of students a carefully-crafted discussion question and getting back only a roomful of blank stares. But the Kaneb Center is here to help. We recently hosted our annual TA orientation, which closed, for TAs in the humanities and social […]

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We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit! – Aristotle   I recently listened to Charles Duhigg’s The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business and was captivated both by his intense look at how personal habits are developed, as well as […]

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This is a post on the importance of lesson planning. I’ll first explain what a “lesson plan” is, and show how it can (and should) be built around learning objectives and incorporate different kinds of activity (mini-lecture, interactive elements and activities, student-led discussion, an exit ticket). I’ll then give an example of what a lesson […]

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The following entry was adapted from an earlier post from the 2013-2014 Teaching Issues Writing Consortium: Teaching Tips; it was contributed by Belinda Richardson and Debi Griffin, Bellarmine University. ————————————————————————————————————– Whether you are hoping to finish strong as the semester comes to a close or simply strategizing how to keep your students active and engaged […]

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You are well prepared with a good set of prompts to start a lively discussion in class. The class starts and you begin by asking the students “What is the key takeaway of the reading assigned for today?” The room is filled with awkward silence: 5 seconds, 10 seconds, 20 seconds . . . Sound […]

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At this point in the semester, both you and your students probably have some ideas about what is working well and what could be improved in your classroom.  If you have not done so already, take some time this week to check in with your students. As I was speaking with a couple of my […]

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College instructors often list critical thinking as one of their central learning goals, but it is much easier said than done.  From the start, we need to recognize that our students may not know what we mean when we say, “think critically.”  In Teaching for Critical Thinking, Stephen Brookfield defines it as “A process of […]

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