The end of the school year is a hard time to generate successful learning in the classroom. Everyone – teachers and students alike – struggle to stay focused and motivated in the last few days. Over the last two years, I have been using an extremely simple and successful tool to review and maximize every minute of class time.
The goal is that as a class we read through all of the Gemara we have covered over the course of the year. We do this together as a class. Every student is focused and paying attention the entire period. How does it work?
Here are the rules of engagement:
- Each period every student receives a participation grade
- The only way to lose a point is either by talking out of turn or not having the place when called upon to read (NOT for being unable to read, translate or explain the Gemara correctly)
- The teacher chooses students at random to read, changing the reader quite frequently to keep everyone on their toes.
Every time I do this activity I am amazed by the attentiveness of the students. I am even more amazed by their eagerness to read and test themselves to see if they remember the material. Above all, it is a great way to stay productive and help students review the material.
Try it out and let me know how it goes!