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Why “Do Now” what can be “Done Later”…

March 28, 2012

Ah yes the “Do Now”.  The do now has become a staple through out schools across America and has become a permanent fixture in our lesson plans.  But a lot of times, and it’s happened to me, the do now becomes ‘busy work’ while we handle attendance, requests from students, or many cases just as a 5 minute buffer to get situated especially for those teachers who do not have a permanent classroom (myself included).

When the do now is complete, for fear of not being able to finish the lesson, we often do not spend enough time (if any) going over what the students have just completed.  Kids are smart, what happens is when they figure out that “This doesn’t count for anything…” some students will not attempt the do now and if they do they rush through it.

Before long you look up to see the class talking about what they are doing later, copying homework for another class, surfing the internet without a lifeguard and you spend the next 5 minutes trying to get the lions back in the cage.

So 10 minutes have gone by and we really haven’t been able to accomplish anything.

I was having the above problem and stepped back and evaluated my “do now” procedure and flipped it on it’s head.

I started a “Do Later”.

Every day I get an e-mail from the site Challenge.MeYouHealth that lets me know what today’s ‘challenge’ is.  The challenges are simple but affect your ‘health’ in some sort of positive way; whether the challenge is take a 5 minute break, reach out to thank someone who has positively impacted your life, or even stretch, they will tell you exactly what to do and “Why it matters”.  When you complete your challenge you click “done” and your progress is tracked, you earn ‘points’, see what others have said about the challenges, etc.

Now how does this work in the classroom?  I signed up for daily challenge using my work account, the class knows that if and only if we get done with what we need to, we’ll take today’s challenge.  The incentive being whichever class has the longest “streak” earns some sort of reward.

With some creativity you can tweak any challenge to work with your class and by doing the challenges at the end of the period you really leave no room for it to mess with your class’s mojo.

Below is a screen cap of today’s challenge.  Good luck!

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