Historically used by astronauts, debriefing is a technique in which experiences are reviewed and shared at the conclusion of space missions. In the same way, debriefing used in the classroom allows teachers to probe to measure student understanding, boost (reinforce) student knowledge, and allow students to reflect on their learning. The components of ThinkUp! ELAR support the use of debriefing strategies that help educators fulfill their missions and launch students to reach new heights in their learning. Consider using these debriefing techniques as you count down to student success.

3 – Measure student understanding.

  • Instruct students to creatively summarize a topic or a concept in one sentence that includes who, what, when, where, why, and how thinking.
  • Have students create true or false questions about a concept or topic. Guide them to work in pairs and answer their partners’ questions.

2 – Boost student knowledge.

  • In groups, have students create and perform 30-second TV commercials or “elevator pitches” to explain or describe a current topic of study. Guide them in a discussion about learning that was gained from the presentations.
  • Following a pair-share experience, have students find new partners and “teach” information gained from first partners to new partners.

1 – Allow students to reflect.

  • Allow students one minute to jot down the most confusing or “foggy” parts of a lesson. Lead a group discussion or have them work with partners to provide clarification.
  • Instruct students to assess and correct their own responses or thinking about a topic. Then, ask them to choose which statement best describes their understanding.

I could teach what I learned today.
I could answer most questions about today’s learning or topic.
I need more help understanding today’s learning or topic.

The debriefing strategies included with the components of ThinkUp! ELAR allow students opportunities to share new understandings on their quest to explore the Unit Focus TEKS. As students “think about their thinking,” they will be motivated to reach for the stars. Blast off!

Discover the benefit of having students read multiple texts on common topics and themes in our next post: Weaving the Threads of Common Topics and Themes.