I use minute papers more frequently at the beginning of the term, not only to get students in the habit of regularly coming to class, but also to help me learn their names more rapidly.
I have students complete successive minute papers on the same piece(s) of paper, so by the end of the term, they have a consecutive series of entries that approximates a learning log or journal.
Below, I have listed some of my most frequently used minute-paper questions and attempted to categorize them in terms of what cognitive or affective dimension of the student’s learning experience they are designed to prompt.
Furthermore, I do not have students write minute papers anonymously and I do not employ them exclusively at the end of class; I give them at other times during the class period as well.
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I would like to end this article by giving you a bit of advice (amsorry if I am sounding pedantic). I hope the learning from these lastminute rushes and chaos helps you overcome your laziness and laidback attitude right from the start of the next term. I certainly hopeyou will not need to look up through Google how to pass a class atthe last minute in your next term.
I am now attempting to use this classification system to help me become more intentional and systematic in my selection of thought-provoking questions for minute papers.
To further ensure equal opportunity for participation, I sometimes ask for a minute paper in response to the following question: “During our class (or small-group) discussion today, what thoughts came to your mind that you did not get the opportunity to share verbally?
Do you always hand in your essays late?
Do you have difficulties when handling school work and personal matters?
Do you always rush the last minute to complete your paper?
Does any of the above describe you?
I do allow students two “free” or “forgiven” minute papers for the term, so if they are absent on two days when minute papers are assigned, they will not lose those points.
Students who are in class for all minute papers are allowed to “bank” extra credit for the two “free” minute papers that they were entitled to, but did not use.