Question about "Closure" in a lesson plan.

Discussion in 'General Education' started by joeschmoe, Nov 6, 2013.

  1. joeschmoe

    joeschmoe Companion

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2012
    Messages:
    226
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 6, 2013

    So the big idea is to introduce your lesson by relating back to the previous lesson. And to close your lesson by getting the students to reflect on the days lesson and to think about the next day's lesson. The introduction part I can understand fine. But the closure part sounds easier than it is. The main problem I see with closure is that you can try your best to predict how a lesson will turn out and how long it will take. But you have to adjust on the fly and at times you do not have the allotted time for closure. This is especially true for high school and multiple periods. Every class doesn't operate exactly, especially the individual practice portion that comes before the closure. I find that some of my periods can finish that individual practice easily and faster than others. The ones that are slower, they don't have enough time to do the practice.

    I guess I'm bringing this up because I had an administrator do a formal observation on me today. I think I did well but of course there wasn't enough time for a closure. It was a shorter day too since we had a staff meeting. I don't get feedback until my meeting tomorrow with the admin but I'm curious if closure is that big of a deal from an administrative point of view.
     
  2.  
  3. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Messages:
    14,606
    Likes Received:
    2,714

    Nov 6, 2013

    I think that you can still address the "big idea" or essential question in a closure. I regularly do quick, informal questioning as a closure activity. "Okay, students. Today we talked about the genitive. Who can give me a good definition of a genitive? Who can give me the genitive endings?" An exit ticket is also another good idea, especially if you have a ticket that provides a place for students to write one thing they learned AND one question they still have. Lots of valuable information there.
     
  4. joeschmoe

    joeschmoe Companion

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2012
    Messages:
    226
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 6, 2013


    But let's say they are working on the individual practice and only had a few minutes to do it. Would you stop them and take away the few minutes to do a closure? I'm on the fence about it because they are finally done hearing me talk and have a chance to work. And after a few minutes, I'm stopping them again to talk. I mean if they had like 10-15 minutes to do the individual work and still need more time then it's probably fine to stop them. But today they literally had 5-8 minutes to work solo before the end of the period. I didn't want to stop them after such a short period of time. I kind of did a super quick, one sentence closure as they were packing up but I know it fell mostly on deaf ears. lol.
     
  5. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Messages:
    14,606
    Likes Received:
    2,714

    Nov 6, 2013

    Well, ideally I would plan my pacing better so that they would have more than just a few minutes for individual practice. But, yes, I would probably stop and make sure that they really get the big idea before they walk out of my room. We can get to the practice tomorrow if necessary, but if they don't have at least a basic understanding of the big idea then the whole day was wasted.
     
  6. joeschmoe

    joeschmoe Companion

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2012
    Messages:
    226
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 6, 2013


    I see. My pacing in general could use work but this lesson, my pacing was fine. There's no way for me to go any faster without losing them. If it wasn't a shorter day, I think the pacing would have been perfect.

    Anyways, I'll probably hear the same thing you said from my admin tomorrow Lol. Ah well.
     
  7. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Messages:
    27,534
    Likes Received:
    6

    Nov 7, 2013

    There are some days when you've got to keep your eye on the big picture and make sacrifices for the bigger priorities.

    If your decision was that the kids needed those 5-8 minutes to actually practice the problems before the lesson ended, then so be it.

    There are some lessons that simply can't be taught well in the allotted time. On the days that our periods shrink from 38 minutes to 29-- say for mass or a pep rallly-- something's got to give. In this case, you chose to foregothe closure.

    If the rest of the lesson was clear, if they knew where they were headed and what they were doing, then I think you made the right choice. Far, far better to give them the chance to work out the kinks in their understanding than to hear you tell them something they've already realized. If you're down to 5-8 minutes of practice, then you've been explaining for at least 15 or 20 minutes already, right? So the odds are ovewhelming that they already know what they're trying to accomplish, they just need some time to accomplish it.

    But taking those 2 or 3 minutes for closure, out of the 5-8 you had, would have meant that those kids were walking into the homework with really no idea of whether or not they understood the material well enough to do the problems unaided.

    I don't think that every class has to follow a cookie cutter formula. I think that in this case, you made a decision in the moment because of the way that particular class period flowed. It sounds to me as though you made the right choice.
     
  8. Shanoo

    Shanoo Habitué

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2007
    Messages:
    761
    Likes Received:
    5

    Nov 7, 2013

    What I was always told was that a lesson does not refer to a class period. A lesson is the delivery of the content. Therefore, a lesson may last one class period, a portion of a class period or several class periods.

    For example, right now I'm doing problem solving using the Pythagorean relationship. I started the lesson yesterday, using an appropriate introduction relating to the previous lesson (straight up drill on calculating the length of missing sides in right triangles), then got on with the lesson. Today they'll be working through some problems, which will probably continue through tomorrow. My "closure" for this lesson won't happen until Friday, most likely.
     
  9. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2001
    Messages:
    24,959
    Likes Received:
    2,116

    Nov 7, 2013

    Closure can be as simple as:
    Tell a partner near you the most important thing about what you learned today

    Or

    So from now on, you can use ------ whenever ------

    (ex: so from now on, third graders, you can use dialog whenever you want to show how people in your personal narratives are interacting)
     
  10. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2011
    Messages:
    5,770
    Likes Received:
    1,004

    Nov 7, 2013

    I sometimes don't have time/forget to do closure as well, especially on shorter days as you've mentioned. If we're doing independent practice though, I will let them work while I sum up the big idea for the day and refer them to what their homework is for that night sometimes.

    I remember at the beginning of the year I had planned to do learning logs each day. That fell completely flat, so I too am looking for a better way to close out lessons.

    My main focus at the moment though is to open lessons by referring to my learning goals for the unit and how what we're doing for the day meets those learning goals. Then on another day, I can refer back to a previous day "Remember when we learned, blah... well that will help us today with blah..." which hopefully provides another form of closure even if it's a day after or a few days after.
     
  11. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Messages:
    14,606
    Likes Received:
    2,714

    Nov 7, 2013

    Maybe I have a different definition of "closure", but I don't think that any of these things is actually a closure activity. To me, a closure should be where the students demonstrate at least a nominal understanding of the material (or have a chance to ask a question about what they don't understand). It's not about taking time away from student practice time to repeat what you've already said. It's about asking students to tell you what you've already said, which is a much different thing and much more indicative of whether they've actually gotten the big idea or not. Asking for a quick definition or example can take exactly 10 seconds, not enough to really impact the quality or quantity of their practice time but plenty of time to determine whether they've grasped the most basic part of what you are trying to teach them.
     
  12. teacherguy111

    teacherguy111 Cohort

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2013
    Messages:
    596
    Likes Received:
    43

    Nov 7, 2013

    I forget sometimes.... but usually end with either just general questions that are more informal. Then sometimes I use a quick online test using assistments.org . All of our students have chromebooks so this is an easy way to end the lesson and see if they understood what we did that day. If it is multiple choice then the website grades it for me. I just click report and see what they got. I barely give a grade for it, I just look at it to see how they are doing.
     
  13. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Messages:
    27,534
    Likes Received:
    6

    Nov 7, 2013

    Today in class I gave a quiz, went over homework, then continued our work on solving motion problems.

    No new defintions, no new rules (we did the process yesterday) merely more, and more difficult examples of how to approach a particular type of problem.

    So I really have no idea of what sort of "closure" activity I could have offered. They spent the second half of the class working on problems, I offered help to anyone who got stuck, then we went over the problems together. I stopped when I thought it appropriate to see whether anyone had questions. So those questions don't come up at my prompting, they come up as the kids do the practice problems.

    The only way they can really see whether or not they understand the material is by doing the practice problems. The theory is simple: rate times time equals distance. It's the application that's tricky, and that's what the practice problems help them with. It's a skill, not just a concept.

    So, sure, everyone understands the formula. That doesn't mean that everyone can do the problems correctly. I still think that the OP was absolutely right in offering his students the time to do the practice problems.
     
  14. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2011
    Messages:
    5,770
    Likes Received:
    1,004

    Nov 7, 2013

    Good point. I was thinking about it differently.
     
  15. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Messages:
    14,606
    Likes Received:
    2,714

    Nov 7, 2013

    I think that different types of closures are warranted for different sorts of daily lessons.

    For new material, I think it's a good idea to always make sure that students are able to give a definition, formula, set of endings, example, or something that shows that they have a cursory understanding of the new topic.

    For those days when you're continuing on from the day before, a good closure activity might be working out a problem or sentence, finding an example of the new thing in the practice work, or even simply indicating with a smiley face or a frowny face how comfortable you feel with the material now that you've had a chance to practice some. My exit tickets have three faces--smiley, frowny, and neutral--and students are asked to circle where they are. They also have an opportunity to write one thing they've learned and/or one question they still have. Exit tickets are excellent for both kinds of lessons (new stuff and continuation stuff) because it gives students a chance to communicate with you about where they're at. If we've been practicing calculating Roman dates and 10 students write on their exit tickets that they don't understand why the Ides is on the 13th of some months and the 15th of other months, that's great information for me to go back and reteach or provide enrichment activities for them.

    Practice is obviously essential in most of our classes, but so is timely feedback from students. If I wait until I'm looking over their homework to figure out what they get and don't get, I might miss out on something important. Besides that, closures give students a chance to assess themselves, to determine for themselves how well or poorly they understand a concept and it might provide some direction for them as they prepare to go home and study in the evening. This is a valuable skill to have. They won't always have a teacher standing over them telling them how much they do or do not understand based on how well they did on their homework.

    Practice is really important in my class. I always set aside classtime for practice work. One thing I've seen is that if students are practicing imperfectly, they aren't going to be successful in learning the material. One way to address that is through a closure, maybe by saying in the last 3-4 minutes of class, "Okay, guys. Now that you've had a chance to work on some of these sentences, let's do a quick assessment. I want you to take out a little half-sheet of paper and write a couple of sentences explaining how you did on number 3. I've written the correct answer on the board. Is yours totally correct? Where did you make some mistakes? How can you avoid those mistakes in the future? Write me a little note and tell me." In my experience, that sort of activity is so much more valuable to a student than my notes on his assignment.

    I really do believe in closures. I understand that not all teachers care for them or use them. Even so, I think that students will never be held back by being asked to do a brief closure activity, even if it means taking 30 seconds out of their practice time.
     
  16. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2011
    Messages:
    3,224
    Likes Received:
    147

    Nov 7, 2013

    I don't usually do a formal closure. We're reading a play right now. Today we finished scene 3. They worked on a couple big questions on a study guide to check their understanding. We will review them tomorrow. Then we will do some analysis.

    Often I save time at the end to do vocabulary or SSR.
     
  17. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2001
    Messages:
    24,959
    Likes Received:
    2,116

    Nov 7, 2013

    Another closure:
    Quick share...one word that sums up your learning today.
     
  18. Barbd

    Barbd Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2010
    Messages:
    76
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 14, 2013

    If it's been a very general or broad lesson, I do a "popcorn" summary. Pick a student, have a student start to summarize. When they get stuck or think they are done, they say "popcorn" and a student's name. That student adds on a bit and so on.

    If we are in the middle of a lesson and didn't finish, I'll have the students use post its to give me a muddy point (an area they still don't understand) to help guide my lesson the next day.
     
  19. Historyteaching

    Historyteaching Cohort

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2007
    Messages:
    724
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 14, 2013

    I tried to read through the answers, sorry if I am repeating.

    Within a couple of minutes left, pass out post-its and have them write 2 things they learned or one thing they liked and as they leave the room have them stick it on the door or the board.

    We are required to have a bellringer and exit slip each day.
    One thing we do is called Plus/Delta so a + or a (triangle shape). Give one positive (+) and one 'negative' or this could be a didn't understand, have more questions etc. Again use post it notes, put each symbol on the board or on a piece of paper as they leave they can stick it and keep walking. Short quick and you get feedback.
     
  20. nyteacher29

    nyteacher29 Comrade

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2012
    Messages:
    390
    Likes Received:
    2

    Nov 16, 2013

    take one minute to think about then let's share out a few....today i learned; im still confused about; i wonder.

    first time doing it this year, my students seem to like it. my closures are always 1-2 min or, if a great deep discussion--right before the bell! :eek:
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. miss-m,
  2. Taffyphoebe
Total: 217 (members: 2, guests: 189, robots: 26)
test