Teaching Tips

It’s Closing Time

While you don’t have to actually “gather up your jacket,” it is getting to that time in the semester when classes are winding down.  This means students are busy studying for exams, finishing papers, and trying to stay motivated for a strong finish.  With all the projects, papers, exams, grading, and lesson planning, teachers sometimes forget about concluding the class.  However, it is important to end the class with an activity that allows the students to reflect on their experiences, what they learned, and maybe what they still wonder.  Here are a few suggestions for activities:

  • A gratitude session – This can be for an entire class or for part of class. The students can share what they are grateful for about one another and what they’ve learned.  This can be done on paper or in a big circle.
  • Movie trailer – Using Academic Technology’s iPads, you can have students create a movie trailer that reflects what they learned from the class. Some may even want to make a movie trailer about their favorite class lesson.
  • Event map – An event map serves as a road map of the course. Students draw a map of the course that shows their journey through the class.  Some students might represent only major assignments on the map, while other students might show what was most memorable to them.  This activity can also be done twice during the semester: at midterm and then at final exam time to help students see their progress and/or journey.

Concluding the course allows for closure to the activity and the lessons learned.  This reflection time also reinforces all that the students have learned during the semester.  Lastly, these activities allow the students to leave the class and semester on a positive note.   You might find them saying something like this on the way out of the door: “I didn’t realize I’d learned so much!”

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