Cool down exercises are as important part of the class routine as the first two parts, the warm up or the core of the lesson.
With the cool down part you make sure kids go home happy and they take away a good experience with some new knowledge.
So for cool down exercise you can come up with some entertaining idea a game to play, a song to sing or an activity to do. It could last 5-10 minutes.
With younger children it is really important that they know this is the end of the class so as part of the routine you can invent a Good-bye song that you sing every time before they leave class. With the smallest children I used Super simple songs. The “Good bye to you” or “one little finger” are nice songs to finish the class with.
With older, more advanced students you can also use the Word ping-pong game to see how many things they remember about the class. It is a good way to force their mind to think.
You could also try “Exit cards” with older children. Exit cards are great feedback for you to know how much kids learned, what was interesting for them or what they liked doing.
My “exit cards” vary. 5 minutes before I finish class, I give them a piece of paper to either with a sentence starter that they need to complete or just a piece of blank paper they need to write two or three things they remember about the class. They need to hand it to me completed to get out of the class.
I can give them the following sentence starters:
- Today I have learned about ________________________.
I liked doing _______________________________ today.
I enjoyed ______________________________________.
It was fun ______________________________________.
We worked on __________________________________.
This is five ________________________, we have talked about today.
You can do the same with younger students only they don’t have to write the things. They put their hands up and complete the sentence when it is their turn to talk. Everybody has to say something before they leave the class. Try to ask them to come up with different ideas. Although, let lower ability children speak at the end and let them repeat whatever the others have already said. This is a good way for them to learn.
How do you finish your class? Have you got a nice cool down activity to share?