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5 Ways to End Class with Optimistic Closures

Think of: 

  • Something I learned today
  • Someone I was able to help
  • Something I want to share with an adult 
  • Something I am looking forward to doing tomorrow
  • Something I enjoyed about the day
  • Someone who was kind/helpful to me

Source: SEL Playbook OUSD 

One Word Whip Around

Prepare a statement or question prompt that is aligned to the content of the class. For example, “Think of one word about how you are feeling now that you have participated in this engagement,” or “Share one word that sums up your learning for today.”

2. Invite participants to stand in a circle.

3. State the prompt, explain that everyone should prepare a one-word response, and allow a minute of think time.

4. Ask for a volunteer to start off by sharing their word. The volunteer then chooses a direction to go in (left or right), and participants continue to respond in turn around the circle. As always, it’s okay to pass by saying, “Pass.”

5. If time allows, debrief the activity by asking participants if they noticed any themes or similar responses and ask what that might that tell us about the engagement or participants.

Source: SEL Playbook OUSD 

Suit Yourself

Pass out a playing card to each participant. The suit the participant gets describes the category of their response as follows:

Hearts: generate conversations about something from the heart—how you felt, what it meant to you, etc.

Clubs: describe things that grow—new ideas, new thoughts, a new point of view.  Diamonds: are gems that last forever. What are some of the gems of wisdom gathered from people or content?

Spades: used to dig in the garden, so generate conversation about planting new ideas or things participants dug up during class.

2. Provide 1-2 minutes of quiet time for each participant to jot down (or think about) their answer, then use one of the following three options:

Ask for one volunteer from each ‘suit’ to stand and share their response. Do not comment between sharing.  

Ask participants to turn to a neighbor and share their response. 

 Invite each participant to answer aloud to you as they walk out door, or hand in their written response as an exit ticket.

Source: SEL Playbook OUSD 

My Next Step

 Ask students to think of their first next step based on what they learned during class. It might be a conversation, gathering additional resources, or thinking more about the topic.

2. After giving participants a minute to think about what that step would be, ask them to share their next step with a partner or at their table.

3. Ask participants to write their “next step” on a stickynote and post the note somewhere where they will be reminded of their task, such as on their desk, inside the cover of their related text, etc.

Source: SEL Playbook OUSD 

I Am Curious

At the end of class, ask participants to complete this sentence, "I am curious to learn more

about..." or, "I am curious about..."

2. Give participants a minute to think and write a "note to self."

3. At the end of the minute ask participants to share their “curiousity” with a partner or their table group.

4. After 1-3 minutes of partner talk, ask for for 2-3 people to share what they are curious about with the whole group.

5. Collect the “notes to self” if you are using this as a formative assessment for future planning.

Source: SEL Playbook OUSD 

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