Reflection: Student Self-Assessment Figurative Language, Part 1 - Section 5: Closure


I will be honest.  The weakest part of my lesson planning is closure.  It seems trite and manufactured to me. I am inordinately proud of myself when I come up with an excellent closure, but I feel it doesn't happen too often. 


I went to a conference in Denver, Colorado about five years ago.  Has it been five years already?  Dude, who ate the last three years? Seriously.  Anyway, it was a conference put on by a Adams County School District 50 who had completely taken the 'move on when ready' concept to heart. They had been implementing their strategies in elementary, were now moving to middle school, and I believe would be expanding them to high school very soon.


The conference leaders showed us rubric after rubric that allowed students, not teachers, to think about learning. They asked students to

  • make goals and track progress of goals
  • identify which concepts they were familiar with and how familiar they were with them
  • create classroom visions and goals
  • complete capacity matrix for various concepts
  • and so much more that I've forgotten


They also asked students to talk about these things in front of a gym full of teachers.  And they could.  They could talk about it comfortably.  I was impressed. Very impressed.


This conference changed how I viewed closure, and I now rely on formative assessment quite a bit for closure.  Perhaps I rely on it too much. I ask students how they feel about what they've learned, what they think they've mastered. That's what today's closure asks them to do in rating the figurative language terms in order of what they're most comfortable with and least comfortable with.  Of course, you have to take students' self assessments with a grain of salt (idiom alert!), but they are a good starting point for seeing how comfortable students are with the material.


  What Do You Know? What Do You Think You Know?
  Student Self-Assessment: What Do You Know? What Do You Think You Know?
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Figurative Language, Part 1

Unit 4: Analyzing Literature in Socratic Circles with Chaim Potuk’s “Zebra”
Lesson 5 of 11

Objective: Students will be able to demonstrate understanding of figurative language by writing Cornell notes and choosing from a set of examples.

Big Idea: Briefly reviewing the common types of figurative language early in the year allows you to constantly review figurative language in throughout the year.

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