I was honored to observe a new teacher at our school and our district today. Her closure was a Process of Beauty. I had to share. In this closure she included three essential parts that make a Closure reflective and comprehensible. Walking out of her class today, made me feel a sense of pride for her and for her students. They are very lucky to have such a new teacher truly understand what the Learning Cycle is all about.
Before the video, this is the conversation that led to the step I was able to capture on video.
*Names were changed
Mrs. N – “Who wants to share what strategy they used today to help solve their independent work?”
Bobby- ” I used CRAZY HEAD MATH!” (I am assuming this is math done in your head).
Mrs. N- ” Okay, great! Raise your hand if you also used Bobby’s strategy today during independent time?”
(most of the hands go up)
Mrs. N- ” Who used a different strategy?”
Michelle- “I multiplied the tens by the decimal, the ones by the decimal, added them and then moved the decimal.”
Mrs. N- “Wow! Raise your hand if this was your strategy.”
(the rest of the hands go up)
Mrs. N- “Okay, let’s get our Plickers cards out and see who took away the learning objective today.”
This simple but affective check in with the students allowed Mrs. N to see what strategy students used today. This adds to their toolkit, gives the students choice, and allows them to experience a little control in their learning.
Please observe the following video.
As you observe, simply notice the three steps she takes to help her students grow and have a growth mindset.
In the video, Mrs. N uses a technology tool to assess her students in her learning. This tool is Plickers. As a classroom teacher, this was one of my favorite formative assessment tools. It did not require a lot of time to set up, not any other device than your phone or Ipad, and it gives automatic feedback. Plus- if you heard the cheering- it is a lot of fun for the students.
Her final step was to ask a student to explain how she got the answer. This is a Number Talk. If a student can explain how she/he got the answer, then they will most likely learn in faster, help another student understand the process, and by talking it out- the teacher gets to clarify misunderstandings and vocabulary.
To sum up…
A Must have Closure must include…
- reflective check in with the students.
- strategies that they used during the independent practice, How do you feel about the learning today? or What was your take away?
- Formative Assessment of some kind
- Exit ticket, Plickers question, assignment question reviewed from independent work
- A chance for students to Explain their thought process.
- Number Talk, Turn and Talk, share out, written response, journal writing