These activities will work as “cool down” activities for almost any classroom.
1,2,3 Summary Activity: A 1,2,3 activity can be used in any classroom for almost any subject. This activity helps kids make their own personal connections to what they are learning. It also gives them an opportunity to distinguish main ideas from details. Students can partner up and ask each other the 3 questions they came up with. Check it out at http://literacyteacher.com/teaching-literacy/123-summary-activity/
What I Learned Today: This activity can be done by simply folding a piece of paper in half “hamburger” AND “hotdog” style. This creates 4 areas for writing: “What we learned about today,” “This is important because,” a picture or diagram that shows their understanding, and a place for students to write any questions they have. Check it out at http://literacyteacher.com/teaching-literacy/what-i-learned-today-quad-fold-activity/
Use your Vocabulary: Write down the vocabulary words associated with the day’s lesson on the board. Students write a short summary of what they learned using each or most of the vocabulary words.
Answer EQ/Ticket out the Door: There should be a culminating question that is answered during the day’s lesson. Some school districts call these questions EQs, or “essential questions.” Have students answer this question on a scrap sheet of paper to demonstrate their understanding. They must have this question answered correctly to leave the classroom or transition to the next activity.
Learning Log: Have students keep a “learning log” journal where they write down what they are learning and their response to their learning. They can include questions they have, misunderstandings, or areas of weakness. This gives students the opportunity to explain, in their own words, what they have learned. It also gives them a safe avenue to ask questions.
KWL Chart: (What do you Know? What do you Want to know? What did you Learn?) At the beginning of a lesson, introduce students to a concept such as fractions or adverbs by asking them what they already know about it and what they want to learn. Then, as the closing activity, have students fill out the “What did you learn?” column. Check out a printable PDF at http://www2.scholastic.com/content/collateral_resources/pdf/l/lessonplans_graphicorg_pdfs_kwl.pdf
Finish the Sentences: This quick and easy activity helps students make connections to their learning and summarize what they learned in a way that is meaningful to them. It also incorporates writing across the curriculum. Check it out at http://literacyteacher.com/teaching-literacy/finish-the-sentences-writingsummary-activity/
Write a Quiz: Have students write a simple multiple choice or true/false quiz with about 5 questions about what they learned during the lesson. It can serve as a warm-up for the next day– just pass them out randonly.