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Nov   Jan

Welcome to the Best Practices for Student Success weblog, sponsored by the De Anza College Office of Staff and Organizational Development and Academic Senate.

De Anza College faculty are invited to join the web site, participate in discussions and post strategies for student retention and success. Information about how to get started is posted here. Subscriptions to this site's RSS newsfeed are available: XML icon

Permanent link to archive for 1/12/05. Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Margaret Piper McNulty: Todos Icebreaker

On the first day I use an icebreaker activity adapted from one which the Todos trainers facilitated at a DAC staff development workshop a few years back. My classes are sometimes designated 50% international students, 50% resident students, and I tend to sense some trepidation among both groups. Sometimes my classes are deathly quiet on the first day. This exercise only takes about 15 minutes, and always seems to put students at ease. The camaraderie which I need for pair and group work across ethnic and national cultures (I teach Intercultural Communication) develops quickly. I do this exercise first thing, the first day, right after I announce my name and the course title.

Read the full message here.
Posted by Dan Mitchell on 1/12/05; 4:34:03 PM Discuss



Permanent link to archive for 1/6/05. Thursday, January 6, 2005

Jackie Reza: Art and Best Practices and Setting the Tone

For several years now, I've been thinking about Gardner's 8 Intelligences & Kolb's Learning Styles theories, and how I can incorporate art & music into my course content.  Here's one I've come up with for introductions, building community and setting the tone.

Read the full message here
Posted by Dan Mitchell on 1/6/05; 2:02:54 PM Discuss



Permanent link to archive for 1/5/05. Wednesday, January 5, 2005

John Lovas: First Day Report

On January 4, I met my English 100B class for the first time. Here I've described the series of activities we engaged in to get started. See On January 4, I met my English 100B class for the first time. Here I've described the series of activities we engaged in to get started.

This link takes you to an entry at John's blog.
Posted by Dan Mitchell on 1/5/05; 3:50:26 PM Discuss


Marion Winters: Building a Classroom Community

In the first class meeting it is important to establish a sense of comfort and connection between you and your students. As well, students need to sense a connection with each other. I call this building the Classroom Community. I have utilized the following successful techniques in the first week of class...

Read the full message here.
Posted by Dan Mitchell on 1/5/05; 1:25:27 PM Discuss



Permanent link to archive for 1/4/05. Tuesday, January 4, 2005

Lydia Hearn: First-Day Icebreaker

I tell students to share three interesting things about themselves; two are true, and one is a lie.  I discourage them from saying things like, "1) I have a sister. 2) I have a brother. 3)  I have a dog."  Instead, I use myself as an example.  I state, "1) I used to sing in a rock/blues band. 2) It took me eight years to graduate from college.  3) I can name 5 players on every single NBA team." 

Students first meet in small groups (2-3 students per group) to exchange information.  They then introduce their peer to the rest of the class as we sit in a large circle.  Students have to try to guess which one is the lie and which two are true.

Read the full message here.
Posted by Dan Mitchell on 1/4/05; 3:25:22 PM Discuss


Diana Wright: Food for Thought

Objectives: to help a class of strangers( myself included) moving towards being comfortable with one another(which I hope will facilitate discussion in the future); to demonstrate the practical connection between the course content and their lives (to make learning more permanent); and to have fun so that they do not dread coming to class on Wed!

Read the full message here
Posted by Dan Mitchell on 1/4/05; 3:18:25 PM Discuss



Permanent link to archive for 1/3/05. Monday, January 3, 2005

Randy Bryant: "Rules of Engagement"

I teach auto repair, day and evening. I find the students are more at ease after we formulate a list of “rules of engagement”. As a class we list all the rules that apply to how we as a class will conduct ourselves. This list of rules empowers the students and seems to boost their confidence. Formulating the list also engages the students in conversation and lets them get to know one another. Of course I have the final say in things but I find that I really don’t have to intervene much.

Discussion thread is here.
Posted by Dan Mitchell on 1/3/05; 2:12:12 PM Discuss


John Lovas: The Key Word is "Engage"

As for ways to better engage students at the outset:  the key word is "engage."  In teaching writing, I always emphasize showing in relation to telling.  One of the best ways to engage student interest at the outset is to find someway to "show" what the course is about.

Read the full message here. John has also posted a blog entry on Course/Class Preparation.
Posted by Dan Mitchell on 1/3/05; 8:10:14 AM Discuss



Permanent link to archive for 1/2/05. Sunday, January 2, 2005

Marcos Cicerone: First Day Activity

Marcos Cicerone shares a first-day activity that he uses in his classes.

Each group then gets a chance to introduce themselves and ask one of their questions. ("Our group's questions is...") Students can read their own question or another group member's question. Since groups often come up with similar questions, having three questions to choose from increases the likelihood that each group will have at least one unasked question to contribute. During the session we usually manage to cover most the important areas of the green sheet and I can also bring up any areas that are not covered by the students' questions. If time permits and there are unanswered questions, groups can ask a second question.

Read the full message here.
Posted by Dan Mitchell on 1/2/05; 10:33:05 PM Discuss


A problem, a challenge, and an opportunity

Academic Senate President Dan Mitchell's letter to the faculty: http://faculty.deanza.edu/academicsenate/letterFromPres120104
Posted by Dan Mitchell on 1/2/05; 10:23:45 PM Discuss



Permanent link to archive for 12/30/04. Thursday, December 30, 2004

Post Best Practice Descriptions

De Anza faculty members are encouraged to post Best Practice Descriptions at this web site. (See a completed example here.) Here is the procedure.

  1. join the web site to gain access to the discuss area. Return here after completing this step.
  2. Click on the Create New Topic in the Discussion section of the left sidebar.
  3. On the Create a New Topic page do the following:
    • Type a brief descriptive Title for your message.
    • Type a longer description of your Best Practice into the Text box. Format it like an email; double-space between paragraphs.
  4. Click the Post New Message button.
  5. You will see a copy of the message you just posted. (You may click the Edit button if you want to make any changes.)

Try it. It is easy!

We will create brief summaries of some of these postings for the home page and for possible distribution via email.
Posted by Dan Mitchell on 12/30/04; 12:27:08 PM Discuss (1 response)


Best Practices for Student Success

Best Practices for Student Success is a new De Anza College faculty weblog sponsored by the Academic Senate and the Staff Development Office.
Posted by Dan Mitchell on 12/30/04; 11:30:35 AM Discuss



 Updated Wednesday, January 12, 2005 at 4:34:03 PM by Dan Mitchell - mitchelldan@deanza.edu
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