Most teachers know that closure, otherwise called an “exit ticket,” is an essential part of a daily lesson plan. By definition, closure is “a sense of resolution or conclusion at the end of something.” Therefore, at the end of a lesson, when we as teachers have (hopefully) imparted some selection of knowledge from our minds to our students, we would wrap up that knowledge-passing (a lesson) with closure.
According to Brown University, there are multiple purposes for providing closure for students.
- provide feedback to the teacher about the class;
- require the student to do some synthesis of the day’s content;
- challenge the student with a question requiring some application of what was learned in the lesson.
Closure to the lesson does not have to be a long, drawn out process. In fact, 1-2 minutes is really all you need. The list below is a small sample, again taken from Brown University, of exit tickets.
- Name one important thing you learned in class today.
- What did you think was accomplished by the small group activity we did today?
- Write/ask one question about today’s content—something that has left you puzzled.
- Read this problem… and tell me what your first step would be in solving it.
- Do you have any suggestions for how today’s class could have been improved?
Today’s lesson in US History was to learn why the Patriots fought in the Revolutionary War. As part of the lesson, we discussed fighting for the fledgling country and taking a stand, even if that meant losing your life. After all, at that time we were considered traitors to the Crown. For closure, I asked students to pretend that ISIS had taken control of our country. Then, I asked them to respond to the following question, write their response on a sticky note, and post that sticky note to the door as they exited class for the day.
If it came down to it, would you be a martyr for the American cause if ISIS had taken control of our country?
Here is an up-close look at some of the responses. Love it!