Tuesday, June 16, 2009

An interesting analogy for how to set up your classroom instruction:

Think of your lesson as a peanut butter & jelly sandwich.

Bread, bread, with peanut butter and jelly in between....

First 5 minutes of class is the first slice of bread. Basic, necessary... the backbone of the sandwich..

inside there, the good stuff... the PB & J..... the tasty part

Last 5 minutes of class, the last slice of bread.. to hold it all together!

You start class by telling them what they are going to learn. The nitty gritty, capture their attention, that first slice of bread with its enticing aroma.

Then, you start filling the bread with the tasty parts of the lesson - the activities that will fill their minds with what you hope to accomplish with today's lesson....

At the end of the hour, you slap that last piece of bread on there to hold it all together. Bring the lesson to a conclusion, remind them what they have learned, tie it into their long term memory by showing how it relates to them, to what they have learned in the past, and how it will connect to what they will learn in the future.

First few minutes and last few minutes are most critical to long term storage. THe middle part.... the fluff, if you will. That is when you put the peanut butter and jelly between the 2 slices of bread that are the begining and end of the lesson. The middle is the tasty part, the fun part... but without the bread, you ain't got nothing but a sticky mess with no place to go.

Build strong lessons with sturdy slices of bread at the begining and end of your lessons. Make sure you capture all the essence within making use of your first and last 5 minutes effectively. Fill the minutes between those with good stuff, tasty stuff.... make it engaging to stick and 'sweet'. Smoosh all that sticky peanut butter, and that sweet jelly between those 2 slices of bread...

The sandwich will be complete, as will your students' long term retention of what you set out to accomplish.

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