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Conference Presentation

Do Nows Done Better!

Powerful, Productive, Engaging Lesson Opening Strategies

for All Classes

In this presentation, my colleague Rob Gerver and I walk teachers through the methodologies of how to build student confidence, competence and interest as well as increase productivity at the beginning of a class lesson.   These field tested, no-cost techniques include using quotes, essential questions, foreign language texts, explorations, historical facts, partner problems, problem posing, quizzes and more. The strategies engage students in learning activities that can set the stage for the work to follow, assess prerequisite skills, expand upon a prior lesson or concept, and/or allow students to explore already learned material in different ways. Participants learn about many of the strategies by experiencing them first hand working with seat mates. This affords them an opportunity to immerse themselves in the strategies and analyze the techniques through the eyes of both teacher and student. The strategies offered  are methodologies that are suitable for use in introductory to advanced placement courses. The presentation illustrates the flexibility of these techniques by offering participants examples for use in a variety of math courses. The focus here is on making connections, mathematical reasoning, problem solving, and exploration at the very beginning of a lesson.

  • Click here  for a copy of the quiz template.

  • Click here  for a copy of the "Homework is not Fluff" article.

  • Click here to download a copy of the presentation

  • Click here to download a copy of the California Journal articles.

  • Click here  to download a sample set of "I Have! Who Has?" cards.


In addition to the powerpoint presentation, there are two more strategies which we have been unable to fit into session presentations due to time constraints.  I outline them below.  Both fall under the category I call "Multi-Day Do Nows". 


Multi-Day Do Nows are opening activities that span a number of days.  Two such activities are included here.


This multi-day do now requires some preparation on the parts of both you and your students. Once the preliminaries are completed, you will find that students will enjoy returning to the activity at the beginning of the period each day. You can assign this do now as individual, partner, or small group work.  Double click on the left screen below for a full-screen narrated video of how to create and use a cut and paste grid as an engaging do now activity.


This multi-day do now works well with a variety of topics.  The object of the activity is to "find a match".  The example used in the video below has students matching linear equations with their graphs. The activity could be extended to any types of functions.  Once students become familiar with the procedure, they will look forward to this type of activity throughout the year.  The activity gets students up and out of their seats walking around the room looking for graph/equation matches.  As a multi-day do now, it is very easy for students to just pick up the activity from where they left off the previous day.  Double click on the right screen below for a full-screen narrated video of how to create and use a 'round the room activity as an engaging do now.

Click here for the Linear Equations  'Round The Room activity sheets. Click here for the financial graphs 'Round the Room activity sheets

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