The Online PD

Teachers working smarter

Wrapping It Up – Don’t Forget the Closing!

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Ah, the closing. It is the red-headed stepchild of the lesson plan. Contrary to what you often see in classrooms a closing is not: 1.) time to pack up, 2.) the spare time you keep at the end of the lesson in case other parts run over or 3.) when the bell rings.

A strong closing does 3 main things:

I. Reemphasizes the objective(s) the students learned.

Why is that important? There is an old adage about speech making that says, “tell them what you’re about to tell them, tell it to them, and then tell them what you just told them.” While good public speaking is more complicated than that – the saying may carry some weight. Some suggest that the first 5 and last 5 minutes of a speech or class are the most memorable. This is an opportunity to drive home the key points of your lesson and send your students out the door with what they just learned fresh on their brains.

II. Reemphasize why that objective(s) is important.

Why is this important? Well honestly, it is important for the same reason that I’m answering the question why is this important after each purpose of a closing- because if we don’t think something has value or merit we aren’t going to spend our precious mental energy remembering it. I think this is especially valuable when you ask students to describe why the objective(s) is important at the end of class.

III. Checks for understanding of the objective(s).

At the end of every class period you should be able to answer the question, “who understands or misunderstands what?” It allows your to assess the effectiveness of your lesson and plan appropriately for the next day. Needs ideas on how to check for understanding? Go here.

Still struggling to remember to close out your lesson? Here are some ideas:

* Create a “Take Home Message” – one or two snappy lines about what students need to walk out of your class knowing. Write it on your board so you don’t forget to refer back to it before the end of class.

* Have a “Question of the Day” that students have to answer before they leave your classroom. The answer to the question is the “Take Home Message.”

* Make a student responsible for leading the closing every day. Pick a new student to lead it every week.

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Written by theonlinepd

March 10, 2008 at 1:51 am

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