10-Second Pause

We’ve been shoring up our differentiation and integration skills in AP Calculus. During the last two class sessions, I’ve intentionally avoided whole-class review. I wanted students to wrestle individually and in small groups.

Today, however, I shifted back to a handful of “let’s walk through these together” exercises for the first 15 minutes or so of class. But I added a twist…

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At the beginning of each exercise, I asked students to rate their understanding of the problem we were about to attack:

  • Beginning (B)
  • Developing (D)
  • Proficient (P)

These are the same descriptions I use on the proficiency scale for my SBG assessments, so students are familiar with them.

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Then, after walking through the problem as a class, I asked them to rate their understanding again.

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My goal? To push my students a little further down the road of reflecting on their understanding. In particular, I wanted them to have a sense of what they need to work on prior to our assessments at the end of the week.

I’m hopeful that the 10-second pause on each problem gives them some valuable insight, and possibly some more informed motivation for what comes next. Better yet, maybe this is something they’ll apply on their own initiative in another situation, whether in my classroom or another one.

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