Recently, students completed surveys about me as part of my state evaluations. One of the questions was, “My teacher takes time to summarize what we’ve learned at the end of class.” I realized that too often, I let class just end, without a clear wrap up or closing activity. This week, I’ve been working on explicitly connecting the work we do in class with the communicative goals on our stamp sheet. Today we did a reading modeling how to make, accept, and decline invitations. As a closing activity, I posted this on my Promethean board:
I called out each phrase, and students told me which category it belonged in – inviting, accepting, or declining. It worked as a review of what they learned, spelled out what they needed for their stamps (ie their learning goals), and also worked help expand vocabulary, especially for my higher-level students (multiple ways to accomplish each goal).
On the tech-specifics, I’ve done activities like this with both smart and Promethean boards. If you type each word separately, you can simply drag and drop into the correct category (duplicate the slide for each class to avoid re-scrambling each period). This could also be low-tech with words written out on index cards or construction paper, or on an individual level with printed cards or flashcards. You can do a vocab sort for just about any topic – breakfast, lunch, or dinner foods? Clothes for hot or cold weather? Grammar – does this word go with el or la? Does the word describe boys, girls, or both? The possibilities are endless. With just a bit of prep, it’s a great lesson opener or closer.