Friday, January 11, 2013

If I Am In Class, Then ...

One effective exercise I use with students to help them find more success is to use "if/then" statements.  "If/then" statements help students think beyond simply knowing what they are supposed to do by bringing a more complete focus to their attention.

For example, you may have a student who routinely forgets to bring his notebook to class.  He knows the notebook is a requirement, but seems to have issues remembering to bring it with him.  In this situation, using "if/then" statements may help.

Ask the student to do the following exercise for one week and help him track his progress.

Step 1:  Just before entering the classroom each day (or whenever according to your school schedule), the student pauses for a moment outside the door.

Step 2:  During that moment before entering, the student tells himself, "If I am about to enter (name of teacher's) class, then I need to have my notebook and place it on my desk at the start of class."

Try using an "if/then" exercise with students fr a few weeks and see if you, too, notice a difference.
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