The First 5 Minutes of Class

[Originally published on The Chronicle of Higher Education]

In his article titled “Small Changes in Teaching: The First 5 Minutes of Class,” James Lang explains that in his writing course, he spends time with students analyzing the opening sentences of great writers. Just like the significance of grabbing the reader’s attention at the beginning of an essay, the same is true at the beginning of class for teaching.

Students often walk into class with the many distractions of their daily life and their minds may be somewhere else.

In his article, Lang introduces suggestions to help grab student’s attention and prepare them to learn for the duration of the class period. Suggestions include opening and closing class with a question, and asking students what was learned in the last class.

Read more from the Chronicle of Higher Education article here.

Lang, James M. “Small Changes in Teaching: The First 5 Minutes of Class.” The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Chronicle of Higher Education, 12 Jan. 2016,

2 thoughts on “The First 5 Minutes of Class

  1. Instead of calling names for attendance, I write a prompt on the board before class that relates to the topic we plan to tackle that day, and give students a few minutes to plan a response. Then we go around the room and each student introduces themselves and responds to the prompt.

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