Crick Software blog

Andrew Cumming

Interactive plenaries

July 26, 2023

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 students are expected to move to the next task of the day.

This was something I struggled with when I used to teach 3rd grade. Having to stick to the 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 utilize activity sets in several ways to create plenary opportunities. Lesson-appropriate activities only take a couple of minutes to plan and create but enable students to reflect on what they have learned.

The first example of a great plenary builder is a Talk Set. Sometimes, we can over-rely on students physically writing their ideas on paper, rather than communicating with peers. Building a Talk Set allows students to share their ideas verbally, without you worrying about, “How will I show their progression if they haven’t put it on paper?” 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! Students can truly reflect and share ideas within their recordings, consolidating their understanding. This is a great way to round off a lesson.

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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 students have understood the concepts covered, like adverb phrases 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 students to share some of their own ideas from the work they have completed in the lesson.

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Plenaries are an integral part of the lesson: they allow us to consolidate understandings and reflect upon what we have learned. They don’t have to be time consuming or overthought either; a simple retrieval activity or voice recording can be the difference between all students demonstrating their knowledge at the end of the lesson versus only those who flourish with pen and paper.

For more information on how you can use Clicker in your lessons, check out our on-demand webinars or speak to a member of our team.

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