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brings students back to the lesson objectives to discern if they learned the material, i.e., “Show me or tell me what new information you learned in today’s lesson and how you will use it in your life.”

  • Cues students that they are at the end of today’s lesson
  • Helps students organize their learning
  • Provides opportunity for varied ways for students to show learning
  • Reinforces main points and unites them in a coherent whole
  • Connects to the real world to enhance retention and meaning
  • Reinforces metacognition

 Sample Questions

1. What are two things you learned?
2. What is the most interesting thing you learned?
3. Develop a simile or a metaphor about what we learned.
4. What was your favorite activity in class today? Why?
5. What was your least favorite activity in class today? Why?
6. What would you tell your parents you did in class today?
7. How would you teach one thing to your brother or sister that you learned in class today?
8. What is one thing you learned in class today that you need more help with? 
9. What questions do you still have? 

Techniques for Reflection and Closure

Closing Circle – A quick way to circle around a classroom and ask each student to share one thing they now know about a topic or a connection that they made that will help them to remember or how this new knowledge can be applied in real life.

Exit Cards – An easy 5 minute activity to check student knowledge before, during and after a lesson or complete unit of study. Students respond to 3 questions posed by the teacher. Teachers can quickly read the responses and plan necessary instruction.

Learning Logs – Short, ungraded and unedited, reflective writing in learning logs is a venue to promote genuine consideration of learning activities.

Reflective Journals – Journals can be used to allow students to reflect on their own learning. They can be open-ended or the teacher can provide guiding, reflective questions for the students to respond to. These provide insight on how the students are synthesizing their learning but it also helps the students to make connections and better understand how they learn.

Rubrics – Students take time to self-evaluate and peer-evaluate using the rubric that was given or created at the beginning of the learning process. By doing this, students will understand what areas they were very strong in and what areas to improve for next time.

Write a Letter – The students write a letter to themselves or to the subject they are studying. This makes the students think of connections in a very personal way. Students enjoy sharing these letters and learn from listening to other ideas.


     Ask the students to plot out the events discussed during class –

·         Plot graph-introduction, conflict, rising action, etc.

·         Dates

·         Inciting action, next event, etc.

·         Lesson activities they have transitioned through during class

The group sits in a circle.  (This can be done in cooperative groups, as well) 
 The teacher offers a topic question, then, quickly going around the circle, each group
        member offers the first answer that comes to mind. (Participants may pass if they
        can't think of anything to say.)

Word Wizards
      Put a word phrase on the board. In groups, kids try to think of as many words as
        possible that can be made from the letters in the word phrase.

Cause and Effect Organizers

Cause and effect organizers are graphic representations that help students determine relationships between and among events. Students describe and/or sequence events that lead to a result, conclusion, or another event.

Anticipation / Reaction Guides

  • Students are asked to indicate their agreement or disagreement with a list of statements about the topic of a lesson.
  • These statements may be informational (some true and some false), or the may express opinions about the topic.
  • Student responses provide information for both teacher and student about the level and accuracy of their prior knowledge.
  • The guide can be revisited after teaching for students to correct any misunderstandings or to express changed opinions and attitudes.

Brainstorming / Team Webbing

Small groups of students create group webs or brainstorming lists for a topic and then rotate around the class to view the other webs/lists in order to identify recurring ideas or themes.

Circle of Knowledge

Circle of Knowledge allows groups of students to generate multiple answers to an open-ended question in a structured brainstorming session. May be used for review or reinforcement.

Colorful Words

Students identify rich, colorful synonyms to replace simple, common words. They then rank the words in terms of intensity of meaning by using strips of colored paper.

Alphabet Squares

Alphabet Squares help reinforce new vocabulary and provide an opportunity for students to reflect on informational or literary text by recording pertinent words on a chart. These words may be used to write a summary of the text.