Reflecting on learning - end of the lesson

It gets to the end of a lesson. The activity is finished, or nearly finished. What do you do to close the lesson? There are so many options! At my school we call the final bit of our lesson 'Reflection' time. This can include sharing, answering revision questions, completing exit tickets, making anecdotal assessment notes, giving feedback. It's a fabulous, meaningful time of your lesson.

Hi, I'm Jem from Jem's Bright Buttons.

When I started teaching I thought the closure of the lesson was a time to just get each child to share one thing they did in the lesson. No follow-up questions, no feedback, no assessment. I tacked it on to the end if I had time, and if I didn't have time we just packed up and got our lunch. I've learned over the past few years that the last 5-10min of a lesson can be incredibly powerful! Your Reflection or Closure time for a lesson can impact on student understanding of the topic, how you plan for the future, and how they feel moving away from that subject/topic. It's a fabulous time to assess and to encourage valuable peer-to-peer feedback.

Searching on TPT or Pinterest there are hundreds of fabulous Reflection Tools, and I'm going to share some of my favourites.

Reflection wheel

Last year I came across this Reflection Wheel (I'm almost certain it's by Kath Murdoch, but I can't find an original source for it). I had it on display in my classroom and I would use it as sentence starters for our reflection. I recorded student reflections in our Learning Journal. It helped students create meaningful responses about their work - so instead of saying "I did a colourful drawing" I could encourage them to say things more along the lines of "I tried to get my letters to be the same size". The focus of the reflection was on the learning intention and success criteria, rather than the activity.

10 Minutes Tops

My school has been lucky to work with an educational consultant for the past couple of years, and she created an awesome set of reflection tools that we use regularly. The resource is called 10 Minutes Tops. Andrea Hillbrick is a wealth of knowledge on reflecting, and her Reflection Pinterest Board has some fun ideas. A couple of my favourite 10 Minute Tops reflections are:

Buses: where am I on the bus? If students are really confident with the topic they are at the front of the bus, if they're still figuring it out they are at the back of the bus. The one below was after a lesson on odd/even numbers and you can see that nearly my entire grade felt they were confident about odd/even numbers, which meant my following lesson was harder, and moved to the 'next steps' and application of odd/even numbers.

World wide: where would I use this skill in the real world? This connects their classroom/content learning with the broader applications, so they understand the purpose of their learning.


Asking summarising questions is great too. I often ask "What did we learn?" so that students have to articulate the main point of the lesson, or what they took away from the lesson.

Wondering Questions are a great 'exit ticket' style reflection. After doing an introductory lesson for our Inquiry each student wrote an 'I wonder...' question about our content. This informed my lesson planning, and students were able to show how they had connected with the learning.

Rubrics and ratings

When I started group work we created a list of behaviours that each group should be following. At the end of group work we look at the list and give our group a score out of 5 for each point - it's like a rubric on group work and gives me an idea of how each group is going. We did this last week and I discovered most groups thought they did a poor job of "using quiet voices" so it became our whole class goal for the next group work session.

Learning goals

Does your school have student learning goals? We do, and I love them! I regularly use Reflection time to get students to share what they have been focusing on for their learning goal. A few of my students were learning to read 5-digit numbers so, as a quick assessment, I wrote out some 5-digit numbers on the board and had each student read a couple, when they did it successfully they could colour in one of the boxes on their goal card. It was great for sharing success in learning and for students to encourage each other with their learning goals.

Rating effort

I love reflecting on student effort! My school has a focus on linking effort and achievement (we've looked at Growth Mindset, Effort Ratings, Goals, etc) and this is the Effort Chart I use.
Students have to explain what sort of effort they put in for the lesson, and if it wasn't Green Effort, they come up a with a plan to improve for next time. I've seen some wonderful Effort Charts on TPT, and I think it's a great tool for students to articulate how they should be working and contributing in a lesson.

Peer feedback

Peer-to-peer feedback is also a wonderful tool to use during Reflection time. A colleague told me recently that she is using 2 Stars and a Wish during Reflection time so that her students are practicing giving positive and constructive feedback. Her class are doing an amazing job, they are the preps at my school (5/6 year olds) and the practice they are getting now giving feedback will improve throughout their schooling.


During all of these Reflections I have my anecdotal record book (which is a set of crosschecks) nearby so I can record student responses and achievement, based on learning intentions and success criteria. Their responses during Reflection time can often show some wonderful evidence of learning, and often how they are connecting their learning to prior knowledge.

I hope I've given you some ideas that you can add into your Reflection time at the end of your lessons.

If you're looking for some more tools to use as part of your Reflection time check out the iSurf store on TPT. This is their reflection tools for maths (which can be used in other subject areas) and it's fantastic!

Enjoy reflecting on learning with your students!


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