Skip to main content

Opening Lessons With a Bang

It seems like ages ago that I was taking courses to become a teacher at East Stroudsburg University in Pennsylvania. My professors were huge proponents of the Instructional Theory into Practice (ITIP) model developed by Madeline Hunter. Thus, once I had a classroom of my own, I implemented what I was taught to create effective lessons. Virtually all of the facets of the ITIP model still have value today, although by no means do all seven steps have to be a part of every lesson. I will say though, that in addition to closure, the inclusion of an anticipatory set is of utmost importance. Below is a description of the strategy:
Anticipatory set is used to prepare students for the lesson by setting the students' minds for instruction. This is achieved by asking a question or making statements to pique interest, create mental images, review information, focus student attention, and initiate the learning process. 


The first couple minutes of every lesson is critical to its success, and a pedagogically sound anticipatory set that meets the criteria outlined in the picture above is well worth the time when it comes to planning lessons. I get the fact that some educators might question the validity of this strategy that dates back to the 1960s. It is also understandable to have concerns when considering the demands that some districts place on getting through the curriculum, so kids are ready for standardized tests.

The fact remains that anticipatory sets not only matter for the reasons already outlined above but also for the fact that inclusion in lessons is supported by research. Jennifer Gonzalez highlighted four separate pieces of research that link to achievement gains. I encourage you to read the entire post as she not only highlights research but also provides some examples and creation tips.

Creating an anticipatory set is not labor-intensive. During some recent coaching visits with the Corinth School District in Mississippi, I was able to observe two great examples. In an elementary classroom as class started the kids responded to the following prompt during an ELA block – “If you could be any animal, what would you be and why?” In a middle school classroom, a teacher used a picture prompt, which you can see below.


Anticipatory sets should not be a time sap when it comes to planning. Below are just a few quick ideas that can be implemented quickly:

  • Picture prompt
  • Real-world problem of the day
  • Current event or personal story
  • Open-ended writing prompt that sparks inquiry and creativity
  • Riddle
  • Short, engaging video followed by a turn and talk
  • Sensory exploration 

Be sure to take advantage of the opening minutes of each class. Starting lessons off with a bang not only makes sense but will pay dividends both in and out of class.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

What Could Be

With the beginning of each new year, it seems like everyone on the planet is either talking about or embarking on some type of resolution. I will be the first one to say that this used to be me each and every year. In almost every case, I tried to commit to something health-related like getting to the gym more or eating better. However, as time has passed, I have reflected on this annual tradition and deemed it to be quite silly in the greater scheme of things. Why should it take the passing of each new year to commit to change on both a professional and personal level? As such, I have not made nor pursued any resolution in many years.

An article by Mary Ellen Tribby in the Huffington Post sums up quite nicely why New Year’s resolutions don’t work:
As a matter of fact according to a study by The University of Scranton’s Journal of Clinical Psychology, only 39% of people in their twenties achieve their resolution goals each year.
And the number keeps decreasing with age. By the time you a…

Top Posts of 2019

Well, another year of writing has passed, and it was a big one as 2019 marked ten years since I began my blogging journey. To still be churning out posts on a weekly basis is quite the accomplishment for a guy who never wrote nor intended to write for a public audience. For me, the push I needed came from Ken Royal, who, after hearing what we were doing at New Milford High School and then visiting, stated unequivocally that I had to share our story. Well, after begrudgingly agreeing to pen some guest posts for him, I built up my confidence and launched my blog in March of 2019. After that, the rest is history.

Blogging has certainly changed over the past ten years. Back in the day, a typical post would garner numerous comments. They would also serve as a catalyst for vibrant Twitter conversations. Another change has come in the form of developing unique topics or spins on what is already out in cyberspace. For me, in particular, I have experienced a great deal of difficulty trying to d…

The Impact of Single Parent Families

There is a rising pattern in families the country over. The quantity of separation procedures started is mounting and it is auspicious to discuss the effect of families on the youngsters and the organization of the family itself. As a matter of course, the nonappearance of one parent in the family structure negatively affects the connection between the parent and the kid just as their individual associations with society in general. They need to manage partiality busy working or in the network. The lower financial persona that is credited to them to make them an objective of misuse and hardships which ought not be available at all in any case.

The image doesn't become more clear concerning the youngsters. A few investigations have called attention to both present moment and long haul impacts of child rearing. Kids who come up short on the supervision of a male parent for the most part are inclined to wrongdoing, illicit drug use and resistance. A little girl in the family is boun…