Learning about Staying Strong

The Staying Strong team is learning about how to best promote student belonging and the use of good learning strategies across multiple Pathways classrooms. This year, the Staying Strong team leads and Carnegie team selected four activities and routines that everyone on the Staying Strong team would test in their classrooms. The goal was to learn quickly together about how to adapt these new routines and activities across different campuses and best meet the needs of students and faculty.

Thanks to the Staying Strong team’s amazing efforts during the last two months, we have learned a lot about these new routines and activities. Here are a few insights about one of the team’s new routines.

Intro and Exit Ticket Routine. This is a 5-10 minute, daily routine at the start or end of class that is designed to help students gauge their own understanding of the course material and to help faculty members uncover common gaps in knowledge that could be addressed during class time. Students are prompted to think about one aspect of the material that they are confident about and one aspect that they still need to work on.

We have observed three big areas of learning from those regularly integrating this routine:

  1. Benefits to individual students – Having dedicated reflection time in class has produced noticeable shifts in students’ level of engagement with the material and beliefs about their ability to succeed in the class. For example, after regularly using this routine for an entire module, one faculty member noticed that one student went from writing very vague responses about what he knew (“nothing”) and what he needed help with (“everything”) to sharing specifics on both. This shift in his written responses was also reflected in his growing confidence about his ability to learn statistics!
  2. Benefit to whole class – Faculty members are also reporting that this daily routine has had benefits for the entire class. After sharing and clarifying the common misconceptions in a whole class discussion, some of our faculty members have noticed a drop in the number of students voicing self-doubts about learning the material. Other faculty members have noticed richer group discussions centered about helping each other address what they need further help on. Another faculty member has also shared that her students are more engaged in the online homework and that unlike previous semesters, she has not seen a dip in engagement from Module 1 to Module 2.
  3. Next steps after the routine has been established – In Staying Strong, our goal is not only to understand that a routine CAN help students, but HOW to adapt this routine to be effective across classrooms and across the entire span of the semester. Here is what we are starting to learn about two new small changes that can support faculty in continuing this routine after it has been firmly established as a part of the class:
    • Once students have spent a month regularly reflecting on what they know and don’t know, some faculty members have testing whether weekly tickets, rather than daily tickets, will produce the same quality of written reflections on the tickets.
    • In other classrooms, faculty members are learning whether they can also foster students’ sense of belonging and use of their peers as a resource for learning by having their students talk in their groups about 1) similarities or differences on their lists and 2) plans to address their misconceptions.

This is only a brief glimpse into what the Staying Strong team is currently learning. Want to know more and try these new Staying Strong activities in your classroom? Email Rachel Beattie at beattie@carnegiefoundation.org

Learning about Staying Strong

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