Debriefing is a Must

Debriefing at the end of every lesson is a must. Even if I don't get through my entire plan, I still close the lesson at least 5-7 minutes early, so that I can assess my students' current level of understanding, and begin thinking about my next steps.

I've learned that there are 3 key components to executing an effective debrief: 

1. Pre-Set the norms for whole-group sharing. 

For example: 
- One person speaks at a time 
- No side conversations 
- Share the air, let other people speak
- If you don't understand what someone is trying to say, use accountable-talk to ask them to re-explain. 

2. Create a few essential questions that directly correlate to the learning targets before the lesson.  Be sure to introduce those questions at the start of the lesson, in order to allow the students to keep them in mind when learning new information. 

For example:

Learning Target
I can describe the relationship between southern whites and former slaves during the Reconstruction Era. 

Essential Questions
A. After slavery ended, in what ways did white southern maintain their former slaves and other freed Blacks as workers? 

B. How did Johnson's reconstruction plan impact the southern states? 

C. What happened to the land that was promised to former slaves?

D. Describe the relationship between southern whites and former slaves during the Reconstruction Era. 

3. Before beginning the debrief questions with the whole group, give students about a minute or so to turn-and-talk with a partner about what they learned from the day's lesson. This will give them enough time to prepare articulate responses when you begin to question the whole class. 

Check out the video of my latest debrief on Instagram! Notice how my whole class answers when they all know the answer but then, one or two students elaborates. The more you practice debriefing at the end of a lesson, the more natural it will begin to feel.