After a recent mindfulness training by the amazing Robyn Harwood (@rsharwood1) at the AEC Conference 2017 in Nairobi, Kenya, I started beginning the day with structured and intentional mindful breathing exercises to help my students find some inner peace after their highly stimulating morning. The success of these breathing exercises to get students “in the zone” for learning pushed me to think about ways to end the day just as well as we started it.
The following are five reflection activities that I have done successfully in my class, followed by 22 from Edutopia. Enjoy!
1. Weather Check
This is one that I learned as a camp counselor. At the end of every day of summer camp, after all the teeth were brushed, we would come together as a cabin and talk about our day in a time called “embers”, which I now call “campfire” in my classroom. This was a time to reflect on the day and to look forward to the days that lay ahead. Weather Check is just a way of using metaphor to explain the feelings that you had in the day that anyone can relate to. If your day was gloomy at some point in time, it tends to be cold and rainy, and if your day became nice, the sun came out.
2. Rose, Bud, Thorn
Another easy closure activity I picked up working at a summer camp is is Rose, Bud, Thorn, which is great for having students think of what they want to learn tomorrow (the bud). It is also nice to hear students explain their thorns, and why they allowed their thorn to affect them. So today, my rose was. . and my bud is . .
Great for both anonymity and to get kids moving, snowball is a nice reflection activity as well. Simply have everyone write their reflection about their day on a piece of paper, have everyone ball their paper up, have everyone throw their ball across the room and each player picks up someone else’s snowball and reads a reflection aloud. This activity can also be modified as a way to have students give each other compliments, review for a quiz, or ask each other questions.
4. Glow and Grow
In this easy activity that just sounds nice, students name one thing that they are proud of for the day (their glow), and one thing that they would like to improve in their learning, or possibly one goal that they would like to achieve in the near future (their grow). Great for keeping things positive and for looking ahead to the learning experiences ahead.
This is a great activity to take advantage of social media as a tool for learning. Have students type up the 3 good things that happened to them that day or week and make sure that the character count is on so that they don’t go beyond 140 characters. This forces students to really keep their thoughts concise and to use abbreviations or search for shorter synonyms. It also might be the only social media exercise that will actually lower the amount of emojis students use! Once students have created their tweets and included #3goodthings, tweet them out and look through the other responses on the hashtag that people are making all around the world!
I hope that you found these useful, and thank you for visiting educationrickshaw.com, an international teaching website that is constantly updated by the fabulous Stephanie Groshell (@Sgroshell) and her goofy husband, Zach Groshell (@mrzachg). For more reflection and closure activities to do with kids, check out this edutopia article.