“The opening five minutes offer us a rich opportunity to capture the attention of students and prepare them for learning They walk into our classes trailing all of the distractions of their complex lives — the many wonders of their smartphones, the arguments with roommates, the question of what to have for lunch. Their bodies may be stuck in a room with us for the required time period, but their minds may be somewhere else entirely. It seems clear, then, that we should start class with a deliberate effort to bring students’ focus to the subject at hand.”
Open with a Question
One effective strategy for harnessing the power of the first 5 minutes of class is asking thought provoking questions. Questions of this nature catch students’ attention and encourages them to start thinking about the concepts or themes that will center the day’s lesson.
Doing a class review supports the idea that students learn more when they are frequently exposed to the material they need to master. Starting class with a review also engages students with the material as soon as they enter the classroom.
- Jim Lang: Small Changes in Teaching: The First 5 Minutes of Class
- Dr. Barbi Honeycutt (Faculty Focus):Three Focusing Activities to Engage Students in the First Five Minutes of Class
- Erik Rosegard & Jackson Wilson (2013): Capturing Students’ Attention: An Empirical Study (.pdf)