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Monday, August 1, 2016

5 Things To Do NOW to Prepare for Fall Quarter

img credit: Daino_16 http://www.freeimages.com/photo/pencils-1240400
As the Summer Quarter begins to wind down, it's time to start thinking about Fall Quarter! Surely, this doesn't mean you shouldn't continue to enjoy the gorgeous weather, vacations, tending your gardens, reading and relaxing, but now is a great time to start planning ahead for September!

Here are 5 things you can (and should) do to prepare now for Fall Quarter:


1) Find out when your first Department meeting is! Plan to attend, and maybe even bring some treats to share! (Food is always a great ice breaker.) It's important that you connect with your colleagues in your Department and Division. They can help guide you through your first quarter, and give you hints about how to be successful!

2) Do you have your syllabi ready? If you are using a syllabus that someone else in the department shared with you, make sure you review carefully for things like grading policies and scale, office hours, and schedule for exams. It's okay to make changes, even small ones, so that you feel comfortable with this "contract" with students (btw, this is not a legal contract!)

img credit:shho http://www.freeimages.com/photo/study-table-14128223) Do you have all the materials you need for the first day and the first week of class? Textbook? White board markers? Other materials? Don't wait until the first day - running around campus trying to find things that day can be exhausting!

4) Do you have a plan for the first 5 minutes of class on Day 1? James Lang, author of "Small Teaching: Everyday Lessons from the Science of Learning," recommends these 4 things to do to begin a class:
  • Open with a question; maybe have 4 or 5 questions on the board or overhead to get students to start thinking 
  • Get students to think about their prior learning by asking "What did we learn last time (in previous class)?"
  • Reactivate what they learned in previous classes
  • Write it down; research shows that students benefit from having a few minutes to write down (and reflect on) their responses.
5) Plan to attend the New Associate Faculty Orientation on September 24th! 

Questions? Email fivestarcolleges@gmail.com!

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