Stop and Jots is a powerful teaching strategy that can be used to engage students in active learning and improve their understanding of complex concepts. This strategy involves regularly stopping class instruction to give students an opportunity to reflect on what they have learned, make connections to prior knowledge, and share their thoughts with their peers.
What are Stop and Jots?
Stop and Jots are brief, informal writing exercises that can be used in any subject area. They can take many forms, including quick-write prompts, open-ended questions, or graphic organizers. The goal of these exercises is to give students an opportunity to process and reflect on new information, as well as to make connections to their prior knowledge and experiences.
Benefits of Using Stop and Jots
There are many benefits to using Stop and Jots in the classroom, including:
- Improved student engagement and motivation
- Increased understanding of complex concepts
- Enhanced critical thinking and problem-solving skills
- Greater opportunities for formative assessment and feedback
- Increased student ownership of learning
How to Implement Stop and Jots in Your Classroom
Implementing Stop and Jots in your classroom is easy and can be done in a few simple steps:
- Decide on the format for your Stop and Jots. This could be quick-write prompts, open-ended questions, or graphic organizers.
- Choose an appropriate time to stop instruction and give students an opportunity to reflect and write. This could be after a new concept is introduced, after a video or reading, or at the end of a lesson or unit.
- Give students a clear prompt or question to respond to and a set amount of time to write.
- Allow students to share their responses with their peers and discuss their thinking.
- Use the Stop and Jots as formative assessment to inform future instruction and guide reteaching.
Example of Stop and Jots in Action
Here's an example of how Stop and Jots can be used in a science class studying photosynthesis:
After introducing the concept of photosynthesis, the teacher stops instruction and gives students a quick-write prompt: "Explain how energy from the sun is used in photosynthesis."
Students are given 5 minutes to write their responses. After the writing time is up, the teacher leads a class discussion where students share their thinking and make connections to what they already know. The teacher can use the Stop and Jots as formative assessment to inform future instruction and guide reteaching.
Stop and Jots are a powerful teaching strategy that can be used to engage students in active learning and improve their understanding of complex concepts. By giving students regular opportunities to reflect on new information and share their thoughts with their peers, this strategy can have a profound impact on student engagement and understanding.
We love this exercise that students were asked to complete at home!
We had them review the book ‘It’s About Time‘ and it can be found through the app Learning A-z (RAZ)