5 in 5: Solving many classroom issues in just 5 minutes

Do you have a student who is a few minutes late every day?

Does your class take too long to get settled and ready to learn?

Do you want to get to know your students better and encourage more creative thinking?

I have created a quick, little activity that will address all of these common issues.  I call it the “5 in 5”.  It is inspired by educator/author Harry Wong who wrote the book Classroom Management.   This is how it works.

Before class begins, I write a thought-provoking question on the board.  It could have something to do with todays lesson, the class as a whole, or whatever you prefer.  I give the students 5 minutes to think about and write an answer to the question.  After the 5 minutes have passed, I collect their papers.  The students earn 5 points for completing this 5 minute activity, henceforth the name “5 in 5”.

After class, reading their answers helps me to get to know them a little better.  It is fun coming up with different questions and seeing how they handle them.  They can get creative knowing that there is no correct answer.

Doing the activity the first 5 minutes of class gets the students settled in their seats, with their backpacks unpacked, and ready to turn their brains on as soon as class begins.  It also encourages those students who always run just a few minutes late, to make the effort to be on time so they don’t miss out on the 5 points.  After doing this activity a few times, you’ll be amazed as you begin class on time, with everyone in their seats ready and willing to get started, and you’ll feel a bit closer to your students having read their creative answers.

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