A lot of the time, we can forget the most important part of the lesson: reflection.
This period is often found during the plenary aspect of a lesson, once the main activity has been completed. However, due to time restraints, a plenary can sometimes be forgotten and the children are expected to move to the next task of the day.
This was something I struggled with when I used to teach year 4. Having to stick to the compulsory 55 minutes per lesson, which needed to include engaging starter activities and enough time for everyone to understand and complete the objective, meant that plenaries were something that I couldn’t always plan for.
The great thing about Clicker is that we can utilise activity sets in several ways to create plenary opportunities. Lesson-appropriate activities only take a couple of minutes to plan and create, but enable children to reflect on what they have learnt.
The first example of a great plenary builder is a Talk Set. Sometimes, we can over rely on children physically writing their ideas on paper, rather than communicating with peers. Building a Talk Set allows children to share their ideas verbally, without you worrying about, “how will I show their progression if they haven’t put it on paper?”
Because what’s great about Talk Sets, is that you can record ideas on the activity itself, so you don’t need to worry about losing them! Children can truly reflect and share ideas within their recordings, consolidating their understanding. This is a great way to round off a lesson.
The second example is a Connect Set. Although these are very useful for the main activities to support writing, using one at the end of a lesson would allow you to see if the children have understood the concepts covered, like fronted adverbials, keeping familiar themes and expanding sentences. They could work in groups using whiteboards or even use an interactive whiteboard to create some sentences of their own.
You could even get the children to share some of their own ideas from the work they have completed in the lesson.
Thirdly, why not try creating a Labelling Custom Set, where the children need to use their prior knowledge to correctly label each shape or image, almost turning the end of the lesson into a game!
This will keep them engaged all the way through to the end, preparing them for the following lesson as you can directly see which children have understood the objective you set.
Plenaries are an integral part of the lesson: they allow us to consolidate understandings and reflect upon what we have learnt. They don’t have to be time consuming or overthought either; a simple labelling activity or recalling and recording the lesson’s content can be the difference between a child meeting the objective or not being able to retain future learning outcomes.