The formula is simple.
- Recall what has happened.
- Explain the current situation.
- Provide a vision for the day.
- Give a reminder of what is yet to come.
Talk with students about what the class did in its most recent meeting. Give a brief progress report on the topic or project the class is currently discovering. Using a map analogy, this is when you show the group where you have already been and what you have done to get where you are.
Explain the current situation
Using the same map analogy, this is where you mark your current location. In class, a statement telling students where you believe the class is, in terms relative to the topic or project at hand, provides their current location.
Provide a vision for the day
The vision for the day is articulated in positive terms and describes the ideal progress you expect given the time you have in class that day. In other words, "Here is what we can accomplish today..."
Give a reminder of what is yet to come
This final suggestion gives the students a preview and/or reminder of what remains once class ends that day. This step helps put the day's vision in perspective and keeps students focused on the long term goal as well as the daily goal. This step is also useful at the end of class.
A strong start provides the foundation for a clear and purposeful class which is a key component to student engagement.