Have you ever tried “minute papers” in your classroom?
A minute paper is just what it sounds like–a paper written in one minute.
At the beginning of a lecture, let students know that you will be asking them to write a minute paper at one or two points in the class. Of course, be sure to provide an explanation and parameters for the assignment. This paper, for example, can address a particular topic in the course of the lecture, provide an opinion about an issue, summarize what has been discussed, explain the most important thing derived from preparatory reading for the class, or describe the most important thing they have learned during this or a previous class. The important thing about a minute paper is that it can encourage students to engage in the lecture or presentation or, at least, think more deeply and actively about learning. As informal assessments, minute papers can also tell you who has prepared, listened, thought deeply, or misunderstood. In this context, they can help you with planning, addressing misconceptions, or re-teaching important concepts.