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5 Minutes To Go In The Classroom

These teaching tips are all to be used when you have extra time after a lesson and looking fill in time.

Teaching Idea

"Ticket to Leave"
Sue Krummrei, Teacher - HS Science, Health, Distance Ed

With 5 minutes left in class, I like to have the kids provide an answer to a basic question relating to facts presented or concepts taught in the course. They are provided with a small form that has an appropriate graphic on it. The heading may be "AHA" or "I Still Don't Get It" or "The most important thing I learned today" OR it could be an answer to one of 10-15 questions I display on an overhead.

They have to write their answer and present it to me on their way out the door. If it calls for something factual (usually basic questions) the answer must be correct before they leave. In that case, they may choose another question.

If the response is just an impression or a question, they may leave as soon as they turn in their paper. I use the papers as feedback the next day, and may even select from them as a pool of "volunteers" or to call on students as part of a review.

The students enjoy ending the class on an energetic note. I find the feedback invaluable in evaluating my success with the class on a given lesson. I enjoy the basis for reviewing the following day. The students enjoy "Feedback!"

Teaching Idea

Journal Writing
Dick, 5th Grade Teacher: Kansas City, Missouri

"Journal writing is a great way to close a lesson. It keeps the kids focused and provides an opportunity for them to express their thoughts in a constructive way. You should always give them a focus question or something you want them to reflect on and write about in their journal related to what you expected them to learn. In this case, you should also check their journals to see if they are on track with what you wanted them to learn."

Teaching Idea

Have Games Available
Jennifer, Primary Grade Teacher: Tallahassee, FL

"Journal writing is a great way to close a lesson. It keeps the kids focused and provides an opportunity for them to express their thoughts in a constructive way. You should always give them a focus question or something you want them to reflect on and write about in their journal related to what you expected them to learn. In this case, you should also check their journals to see if they are on track with what you wanted them to learn."

Teaching Idea

Make a List to Reinforce Learning
Roberta, 3rd Grade Teacher: Syracuse, NY

"Use the last five minutes of a lesson to get your students to tell you what they learned as a result of the lesson. A large chart in front of the room is a great way to poll students' responses so that all can benefit. Students can copy what you write on the chart during free time or while you are recording the responses. You can leave the chart up for the remainder of the day, or tear off the sheet and tape it somewhere in the classroom for students to access during the day. It also serves as a great reminder. You can then save it and refer to it during review. This is also can be done with a PowerPoint presentation if you have technology available."

Teaching Idea

"All Tied Up!"
Jimmy Fischer, Elementary Specialist: Idaho

This activity requires a large ball of string.

Have the students sit in a circle and emphasize that they must remain in their seats (for safety reasons). The game starts by a child or the teacher saying the name of someone else in the circle and holding on to the end of the string, while throwing the ball to the person they named. The receiver calls out the name of another child, and keeps hold of his or her end of the string while throwing the ball of string on to the named child. As this continues a tangled web begins to be formed by the crossing of strings.

When the web is completed the group has to undo the web by calling names and throwing the ball of string which is rewound by the receiver before sending it on.

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