Enhancing Students' Readiness to Learn

Over the years, I have probably said, "Have you done your reading? Is everyone ready?" more times than I care to count. But as the years passed, it became apparent that more and more students weren't doing their assigned reading and were not ready for class. Out of sheer frustration, I stopped talking during one of my lectures. I turned up the lights, walked to the chalkboard, and wrote in quite large letters, "Are you ready for class today?" I underlined the word "ready," faced the class, and let about five seconds of silence simmer uncomfortably. Finally I asked the students to respond honestly and anonymously to my question on a sheet of paper. To this day, I have not forgotten how they answered.

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