The last five minutes of class are just as important as the first five. Class wrap up activities can be used to encourage students to reflect on the material they have learned during the class period. These activities are also useful for the instructor; even if they aren’t graded, they allow the instructor to check for understanding.
The Minute Paper
The minute paper comes in many variations, but the simplest form asks these two questions:
- “What was the most important thing you learned today?”
- “What question still remains in your mind?”
These two simple questions require students to recall information they’ve learned during class and reflect on gaps in their knowledge.
The final minutes of class are the perfect time to ask students to draw connections between what they’ve learned and how it can be applied in other settings. Rather than rushing to pack up their belongings, students can do activities such as creating a list of ways that the day’s material applies outside of class.
- Jim Lang: Small Changes in Teaching: The Last Five Minutes of Class
- Poorvu Center for Teaching and Learning (Yale University): The Beginning and End of Class
- Todd Finley (Edutopia.org): 22 Powerful Closure Activities
- Craig Manning (2014): How to End a Class Well (.pdf)