Implementing a better Do Now system for ELA High School Classroom?

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by LittleShakespeare, Aug 3, 2018.

  1. LittleShakespeare

    LittleShakespeare Comrade

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    Aug 3, 2018

    Hey, guys!

    I hope you're all doing well. My goodness, there is a monsoon of rain over here, so I decided to stay indoors and work on my lesson plans for the coming school year.

    There was something I was hoping I could talk to you about. It's the Do Now system I have. I'm worried that my kids won't benefit from the grammar/vocab warmup activities I have for them each day. I made bullet points of some things I was thinking. PLEASE give me some feedback, as well as some guidance on what you've done and what works? I want these kids to have solid grammar and vocabulary! :heart:

    1. I was thinking that there should be a grammar/vocab warmup every day. There is a pink basket by the door where the students must get their Do Now activity for the day.

    2. The Do Now activity will be in context. For example, if we're reading "Romeo and Juliet", the vocab words will be about the play. Same goes for grammar. I found a lovely book for "Romeo and Juliet" grammar.

    3. Should I have them compile these Do Now activities in a notebook with the respective dates and perhaps give them a Do Now quiz every now and then? I just want to hold them accountable for their Do Now work.

    4. Shall we go over the Do Now together? For grammar, perhaps I can display the questions on the board, and have the students come up and correct the sentence.

    5. Should the Do Now be collected and graded? Or can students switch papers and grade each other?

    I'm so sorry if these questions are silly, but I am so glad I have you guys to guide me. I really want this year to work. I'm praying night by night that I will be a good teacher. I'd love to hear your feedback. It means the world to me, you have no idea. Thank you so much! :D
     
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  3. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    I like the idea of keeping in notebooks with periodic quiz. You could put correction on board for students to self check with some sort ‘Remember!’ Note...for example maybe they have to punctuate a piece of dialog from the play. When they self check, your Remember note could be: Remember to put ending punctuation inside the parentheses...you get the idea....
     
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  4. LittleShakespeare

    LittleShakespeare Comrade

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    Sounds perfect! Thank you so much!!
     
  5. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

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    Don’t drive yourself crazy collecting papers. I had my students work in Composition notebooks, aka Compbooks. They reserved the last third of the pages for vocabulary and did short assignments in the front. I collected them about twice a quarter and graded them, essentially for completion and usually while classes were taking a test. (Yes, I was still watching them!) I kept a box of good paper I gleaned from those notebooks students didn’t want to keep at the end of the year and used it for a variety of things. It fit perfectly in a photo box from Michaels. I passed my stash on to a good friend when I retired.
     
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  6. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    I did vocabulary as my warm up and this was my system:
    - we definitely went over the activities and students corrected them. This is important especially since they'll be tested on it. I walked around with a stamp, and if the kids was finished, he got a stamp. I gave them 7-10 minutes, depending on the activity. If they weren't finished, they didn't get a stamp, but still had the chance to write most things down when we went over it. When I graded them, papers with stamp were 3 points, no stamp but completed 2 points, halfway done 1 point, anything less, 0.
    - they kept everything in their folders, and before they took a test, I had them put everything in order, staple them and turn them in. This way everything was technically graded (stamp / no stamp) I just had to add them up.

    Make things simple for yourself.
     
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  7. LittleShakespeare

    LittleShakespeare Comrade

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    I'M LOVING THIS! :heart: THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!
     
  8. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

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    I had a stamp system too, but a little simpler. If the work was complete, they got the Blue Checkmark of Approval. If they didn’t do the assignment, I made them show me the blank page in the Compbook it should have been on, and that got theRed Thumbs Down of Disapproval. If they made up the work, I stamped over that with the blue check, and they got half credit instead of none for that piece. Most of my Compbook assignments were 10 points. Oh, the power of a self-inking stamp! Good stuff!
     
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  9. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    OP, I'm happy to see some quality questioning going on! Very proactive.
     
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  10. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    I bought a set of 12 markers (for $3-4) that were markers on one end, stamps on the other. These were suggested to me here, actually. This was 3-4 years ago, and I still have many that I h aven't even used.

    mine was simple for me, because if the kid messed around and didn't start on time, so he couldn't complete, all was not lost, he could still get 2 points. This way he didn't just sit there and did nothing, and he did learn a little something y paying attention and writing down the answers.

    I liked this stamp system a lot, because if the kids were getting chatty, I wasn't nagging them to be quiet, I said: "are you guys done? I'm coming with that stamp in a minute!" they got right back to working. This was a more positive approach. It was funny, how kids that could care less about education, cared so much about getting a stamp, and doing the work for it.
     
  11. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    In many ways education is a future need for kids. They don't see the immediate pay out for their learning. Many adults have trouble with that same concept. What you do now MAY reward you in the future so it is best to do what is right now for a better pay out later.

    Kids don't see how reading benefits them or math mostly because they don't have responsibilities where being educated really helps them.
     
  12. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    OP, no matter what you choose for a do now / warm up / bellringer, (vocab, grammar, reading, etc) if the following are in place, it will be successful.
    1. students should be able to complete it without any help from you or from each other
    2. should be a habit, so students should know what to do and to do it as soon as they enter
    3. students should have all the materials available, and know where to get it ( not to be passed out, etc)
    4. they should get credit for the activity
    5. should be relevant to the subject, even if not to the lesson

    This will give you a minute to take attendance or deal with anything that might arise (a new student, a phone call, difficulty with technology, etc). It would also give the student a chance to start your class quietly and productively and it sets the tone for their time with you.
     
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  13. LittleShakespeare

    LittleShakespeare Comrade

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    Thank you so much, you guys. This means so much to me. I think I've prepared the first two weeks of school. Is it kind of ambitious that I want to do the whole year? Lol!
     
  14. LittleShakespeare

    LittleShakespeare Comrade

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    I love this. It's true. I tell my kids sometimes, "I know this book might seem pointless now, but I promise: this will help you so much later." I was one of those students who didn't appreciate Gatsby as a teenager. Now, he's the reason why I teach English. :heart:
     
  15. Teacher234

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    Your "Do Now" ideas are very good. I think you should take a couple minutes to go over the start-up assignment. You can use this as assessment data.
     
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  16. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    Personally, I would not collect and grade the Do Nows. I would rather spend my time grading other assignments. I think that Do Nows should be a routine that kids do to start the class, but I do not think that they need credit for it. In my student teaching, when my mentor teacher noticed that kids were not starting their Do Nows independently, she announce that she would do a "Do Now check" in a few minutes, and then went around for a completion check. Hopefully, if the routine is consistent, then it won't be necessary!

    I would love to know how other people go over their Do Nows! Do you usually call on students to share or have them put their answers up? I had students put their answers up before but it took a very long time and I didn't like how the Do Now took about 20 minutes of class time.
     
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  17. Teacher234

    Teacher234 Cohort

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    Another idea could be you randomly grade the Do Now activities.
    Ex.
    Mon: no grade Wed: no grade Fri: no grade Tues: yes grade (for completion)
    Thurs: no grade Mon: Do Now Pop Quiz
     
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  18. LittleShakespeare

    LittleShakespeare Comrade

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    Ahh! These are great! Thank you so much, you guys! :heart: I'm actually working hard on finding some good warmup grammar/vocabulary activities for the first couple of weeks. I've decided to start the first month of school with some short stories: The Cask of Amontillado, On the Sidewalk Bleeding, The Story of an Hour, and Lamb to the Slaughter. Perhaps I can find some Do Now activities that focus on grammar and vocab for these stories? What do you think?
     
  19. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Honestly I can't think of any grammar that these stories 'focus' on. I would do vocabulary warm ups. Also try: The Last Spin (and have a great discussion, I had the students give an alternate ending, with a happy ending), there's another story called Way up to heaven (or something similar), it's a murder mystery and the kids probably wouldn't figure it out unless you guide them to the answer.
    My students always like Lamb to the Slaughter.
    also read Lemon Brown (the title might be Adventures of Lemon Brown or something like that, but if you google the name you will find it and you can download the PDF story), it's about a homeless man and his "treasure", it's great.
     
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  20. nstructor

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    "The Treasure of Lemon Brown!"
     
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  21. nstructor

    nstructor Cohort

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    Do you think these stories are appropriate for sixth graders?
     
  22. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    treasure of Lemon Brown, yes. The Last Spin, On the Sidewalk bleeding, no. It's gang relating with a character dying in the story. Lamb to the Slaughter probably not appropriate and they might not get it anyways. It's in the 10th grade textbook, so it's a big jump.
    Way up to heaven - again, it's a murder, and they definitely wouldn't get it.

    There's a story called the Circuit (sorry, I'm throwing titles out without authors) and I believe it's a chapter from a book, and I would say it is very appropriate for middle school. I wanted my student to read it but found it too low level. The topic is about the son of migrant farmworkers and the difficulties always changing schools. It's a good story with the potential of great discussions and cross-curricular activities.
     
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  23. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

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    I used this program in my last year, and I’m sorry I didn’t find it sooner: https://gumroad.com/l/MITS2 It’s called Mechanics Instruction that Sticks and is designed to be done as warm-ups.
     
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  24. LittleShakespeare

    LittleShakespeare Comrade

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    Oh, I've heard of this before! Did you like it? Should I include some more material to give them more homework and practice?
     
  25. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

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    I thought it did a better job of scaffolding grammar instruction than most. If you get it, though, double-check the answer key. There are some errors. This isn’t a professionally published book; it was written and formatted by a teacher. I made a point of doing each warmup myself before I made copies. You could certainly add material for each unit that aligns with what you’re reading in class.
     
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  26. nstructor

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    Thanks. I read the stories you suggested and wondered what your thoughts were about reading them with 6th graders. We've read "The Landlady" and some other stories that are more for high school.
     
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  27. LittleShakespeare

    LittleShakespeare Comrade

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    Thank you so much, honey! It's so strange! I've always had this PDF, but I never used it. I'm looking at it, and it seems pretty solid. Perhaps I can add some more material to support my kids' practice.

    THANK YOU! :heart:
     
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