Plenaries.

The most important part of any lesson. An outstanding lesson can so easily be ruined by a lack of a strong plenary.

I’ve been working hard to ensure my lessons finish on a strong, inspiring note where children leave feeling successful and empowered. That success criteria we share at the beginning of a lesson? I try to make sure everyone feels successful.

Here’s how I do it.

We gather on the circle, bringing our best bit of work to share.

Out comes the 2 minute egg timer.

Think, pair, share. Children have two minutes to find out about their friend’s work, under the established criteria of “how were you successful today?”

Children share their friend’s successes, and their friend reciprocates. They aren’t showing off their own endeavours, they are celebrating one another’s achievements.

Reflection time. 2 minute egg timer, eyes closed and silence falls.

I calmly and slowly ask questions such as:

  • What did you learn today?”
  • Is there anything can you do now, that you thought was too difficult before?
  • Could you teach someone to do what you learned today? What would you tell them?
  • Where were you you successful today?”
  • Did you notice someone else be successful today? What did they do well?
  • How can you improve tomorrow?
  • What else do you want to find out?
  • Do you have any questions that didn’t get answered?

Children may share if they wish. Responses vary, yet always surprise me in how reflective children can be when given the time and equipped with the language to do so:

“at the beginning of the class I thought multiplying big numbers was hard but now I know its just like small numbers put together on top of each other”

(We were learning how to use the column method to multiply three-digit numbers).

Not everyone likes to share verbally. There’s an exit ticket box and a “things I wish me teacher knew” drop box by the door.

How do you round off your lessons/sessions?

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