Here’s some good advice on in-class management from an excerpt, online at facultyfocus.com, taken from a white paper published by Magna Publications, “Ten Ways to Engage Your Students on the First Day of Class.” The tip—to regularly make a “Today We Will” list on the board—is a good one, and not just for the first day of class.
The essence of the idea is to write, at the beginning of every class, a list on the board of what you plan to do in class that day. You write “Today We Will…” at the top, and then, underneath, chart the “road map” for that day’s class. It’s a sort of informal contract, a promise that gives your students a firm sense of what to expect at all times. Students who arrive late will know what they’ve missed and what they will be responsible for making up. All students will be able to see, at a glance, where you are in the class period’s overall plan.
For the teacher, the list is a handy reminder of what you planned to cover, keeping you on topic and discouraging long tangents that bring you further away from the topics at hand. Of course, there’s no need for the list to be rigid; you can feel free to erase items if you decide that you won’t have enough time to get to them.
Above all, the habit of a “Today We Will” list contributes to a teacher-student relationship based on clear expectations—a good basis for any pedagogical exchange. -DG
Source: Jennifer Garrett. “Advice for the First Day of Class: Today We Will.” Faculty Focus. Magna. 12 August 2013. Web. 20 August 2013. http://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/effective-classroom-management/advice-for-the-first-day-of-class-today-we-will/