How do I get my students to prepare for class?
- Give students some kind of assignment. They often need this structure. They
also need accountability. Make sure the assignment is not just busy work.
Design it to be relevant and use whatever the students have prepared directly
in class. Some teachers ask a few study questions, some give a short quiz,
some ask students to write a response to the reading. You can require a short
assignment with each reading, but they do not all have to be graded. You can
tell students that out of the 8-10 assignments they will turn in, X will be
graded. These will be done at random so it is important that each assignment
is completed. This will help with your grading workload.
- When assigning reading, give the students a few questions on which
they must take a stand at the next class meeting. This helps make students
more active readers. For example:
- "Was Medea justified in her actions?"
- "If you were Jimmy Carter, what would you have done?"
- "How many ways can we go about figuring the distance between these
- Have students prepare an outline of their reading assignment.
- Have students write a half page response paper noting what questions
and concerns the reading raised for them. These weekly assignments do
not need to necessarily be graded. Sometimes instructors grade them randomly.
Some use a check, check plus, and check minus system to credit the work.
- Let students know they may have a quiz over the reading material.