The primacy and recency effect states that you remember best the first and last thing you hear. It makes sense then that opening and closing of your lessons need to be powerful to stick. How much time during lesson planning do you consider these components?

Think about a time when you were so captured by something that you didn’t realize how much time had passed. Maybe it was a book you were reading, a movie you were watching or a stimulating conversation. Maybe it was even a video game. Why did this happen? How can we create moments like this for our students? Two recent article on Edutopia provide great insight and ideas on the most 8 minute of teaching that matter most and why stimulating curiosity enhances learning.

It is so easy to get wrapped up in the daily tasks of paperwork, meeting deadlines and assessments to lose focus on what matters most. We didn’t go into teaching for those things. We became educators to help students learn what is necessary for tomorrow,  a year from now and ten years from now. When you pursue your own learning “for fun,” it is not because a worksheet is awaiting you or for a score on a test. We as humans learn naturally because we have a purpose or are curious. We have a need to fill in the blanks (clozentrophy is the actual name for this-see Marzano.)

As you think about how you spend your time lesson planning, do you stop to consider the first four and last four minutes as critical? It can make a huge difference in student engagement and learning.

Mentors: Guiding questions to share with your mentee:

Tell me your approach to lesson planning and what you think about as you plan.

How will you “hook” students for learning in each lesson?

How will you know where students are with their learning after a lesson?

When you think about lessons that captured your attention as a student, what do you remember?

Think about a lesson that went well this year. What might be some factors? How did you know it went well?