Caveat: much of my work this year involves … first making sure that classrooms are safe and productive learning environments and then second helping classrooms that are mostly on the traditional spectrum become more awesome (aka student-thinking-centered).
One “tool” I’m thinking about today is this “favorite mistake” activity. I first heard it as a Do Now review where the teacher quickly looks through student answers to the Do Now and then posts his/her “favorite mistake” for everyone to discuss.
In many of the classrooms I’m in, students are much more focused for the first 2/3 or so of class, and become less focused/productive near the end. One idea I’m toying with is a remix of My Favorite Mistake …
With about 15 mins left in class, post one (high leverage) problem and two solutions. Every time, there is EITHER one accurate/one mistake or two mistake. Students think/write/decide in partners and then vote and discuss (this, tailored to the context and teacher, and more fleshed out). Followed by some sort of exit ticket/reflection about the entire class.
I hope this idea will help give more focus/thinking/interest to the end of class.