Okay, your class has gone well, the students are done practicing, and the lesson is ending. How do you effectively close out the lesson in a way that really solidifies their learning? Here are some ideas:
- According to Dr. Robert Marzano’s work, summarizing is a powerful way to process and confirm learning. A great way to do this in a closing is having students condense the day’s learning into 6 words (or 5 or whatever number you choose). To do this, students really have to filter through the lesson and identify what they deem most important. Some students will create a main idea sentence or phrase and some will identify a list of key words. If you have several students share out, everyone will leave class with key ideas from the lesson in their minds.
- If you have students briefly teach a partner the lesson verbally, explaining things in their own words, they’ll be able to self-assess how clearly they understand things and
Push their thinking:
- Students can create and draw a symbol or picture that represents the main points of the lesson and share these with the class. This pushes them to further process the new learning in order to represent it in a new way. It also gives them a visual to picture later on to remind them of the lesson.
- Creating metaphors or analogies is a more rigorous closing idea. Students would need plenty of examples and scaffolding to do this on their own as a closing, so you won’t want to just go in tomorrow and ask them to come up with a metaphor or create an analogy, but once they’re used to how it works it can be a great way to push their thinking and let them be creative.
- If you used an anticipation guide or a problem or puzzle of some kind as your lesson opening, your closing can be a natural loop back to check their answers on the anticipation guide or solve the problem that the lesson opening proposed. Our post on lesson openings can help with ideas for this.
- If you had an engaging song, hand signal, or chant that went with your instruction, the closing is the perfect time to let them repeat it as an energetic reminder of the key points of the lesson.
What other great activities do you use to close out your lessons and solidify concepts for your students? Leave your ideas in the comments for others to steal!