Warm-up activities, also known as anticipatory sets, are widely used by teachers of all content areas to engage students in learning as soon as they arrive to a classroom. The activities shown here are designed for a middle school art curriculum to develop students’ observational drawing skills. The exit slip strategy involves students responding to a question or completing a task at the end of the period that will engage them in reflective thought on the concepts taught in class that day. Students' answers also provide teachers with valuable formative assessment data to guide future instruction. Used together, these strategies promote "bell-to-bell" learning, more productive classrooms, and greater academic achievement for students.

Supported Student Learning in the Middle School Art Room

Warm-Up and Exit Slip Strategies

By Barbara Buttitta, American College of Education

Teachers have long used warm-up activities and exit slip strategies as a tool to improve student achievement in a variety of ways. While most research for these types of strategies exist in the context of core subject areas like reading and math, the strategies described here have been designed for a middle school fine arts curriculum, and could be easily adapted for elementary or high school use. Depending on whom you talk to, warm-up activities may also be called bell ringers, “do now”, or anticipatory sets, and serve to hook and engage students in a lesson. Exit slips can be designed for different outcomes, but in general, they allow students to think reflectively and provide teachers with information about the current level of understanding for each student (Marzano, 2012). This article will discuss how implementing warm-up activities and exit slips can support student learning in three areas: (1) content knowledge and academic skill development, (2) classroom and behavior management, and (3) formative assessment.

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