Plant an Interruption

Today was the first day of the second semester, and in English 1, a class I teach, we spent about 20 minutes going over the mid-term exam.  When we finished, I asked students to write a response to two sentence stems:

When studying for a similar exam in the future, I should . . . 

When taking a similar exam in the future, I should . . . 

The first prompt dealt with preparation; the second dealt with performance; both are important to summative exams.

I improvised a final step, though, and it’s one I want to use again, so I’m writing it down.  After the students finished responding to the sentence stems, I told them to skip ahead in their calendars until they reached the middle of May.  I then instructed them to create a calendar event that would interrupt them and remind them to return to the notes they created today, on January 23.  If they wrote the notes in a Google Doc, they could even include a link in the reminder, leading them directly back to their exact thinking.

Most teachers that I know are quite good at helping students identify the adjustments necessary to improve in a given area.  A next step, perhaps, is to teach students how to access information pertinent to adjustments at just the right time and in just the right place.

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