Weekly Teaching Tip: Quick-Thinks
December 17, 2007
Use a series of prompts, or Quick-thinks to enhance classroom comprehension:
- Select the Best Response: This task is most similar to the traditional multiple-choice test item. Give the class a question or scenario and then ask which one of several alternatives best answers it.
- Correct the Error: Present the class with an intentional error based on a concept you've just discussed. Ask the class to correct the mistake.
- Complete a Sentence Starter: Create a sentence stem that needs completion to reflect an accurate statement.
- Compare or Contrast: Identify two important parallel elements from the lesson. Have the class focus on similarities or differences. This strategy is most effective if you have not already provided a comparison.
- Support a Statement: Give your students a statement and have them find support for it in their notes or from the reading. Have them think about why a statement might or might not be justified.
- Re-order the Steps: Present a series of steps in a mixed order and ask your students to re-order the items into the correct sequence.
- Reach a Conclusion: Have your students to make a logical inference about the implications of facts, concepts, or principles they just learned.
- Paraphrase the Idea: Have your students rephrase an idea using their own words. This forces them to check their own understanding of what they think they just heard.
Review your main topics and list the most essential content to be learned at each class session. Match each of these content focal points with a Quick-think task that seems to best fit. Using your lecture notes or outline, mark the places where you could insert a Quick-think. Create tasks you need using the specific content from your lesson plan. (Source: Susan Johnson and Jim Cooper, Tomorrow's Professor, Stanford University)