Short and Sweet

I was known as the teacher who created long, complex packets for student learning. I liked the packets because in the days of old, prior to technology, the packets led students independently from a place of content review to challenging inquiry.

For the most part, the days of the "packet" are gone and have been replaced by short, sweet introductions, practice and formative assessments. The short, sweet assignments give students a chance to practice, learn and demonstrate knowledge without becoming overwhelmed, then the inquiry, challenge and review is there for the taking with collaborative projects and tech venues.

The short, sweet assignments are quick to review, provide adequate information for further teaching and are a perfect venue for quick, meaningful feedback which is important when you are responding to large numbers of students each day.  These assignments also serve to inform family members of classroom learning goals and students' daily performance.

As with all new learning in education, I wonder why I didn't discover this approach earlier, and I know there are many teachers out there saying, "She didn't know that."  But "short and sweet" has been so successful that I just had to share. Let me know what you think?

Examples of Short, Sweet Assignments

Weekly Spelling/Grammar: This weekly assignment responds to common writing errors students make each week.

Literacy Tickett: This assignment takes a similar format each day and leads students Literacy Studio work (reading/writing workshop).

Measurement Problem Solving: This (not as short and sweet) responded to the observation that students in general had a very difficult time drawing and manipulating simple measurement models to solve problems.

Mini-Research: This assignment was the follow-up to several information text read aloud books where we discussed informational text structure and reasons for and the process for reading informational text.

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