Closing Circle Idea: Good-bye Cadence
The end of the school day can be a hectic time in the classroom. With children heading out in different directions, it’s common for teachers to feel overwhelmed and frustrated as the end of the day draws near.
A Closing Circle can help bring closure to the day in a positive, structured way. It doesn’t take long—students gather for five or ten minutes to do a brief activity or two and then go on to dismissal—but it can have a big impact on students’ learning and behavior, and on the classroom climate.
Wrapping up the day this way benefits the teacher, too. A hectic dismissal leaves teachers feeling exhausted, even if the majority of the day went smoothly. After using Closing Circles, many teachers report more positive energy and attitudes not only in their students, but in themselves as well. It’s a small investment of time that makes a big difference.
For more information about Closing Circle including what to do and some keys for success, check out Closing Circles: 50 Activities for Ending the Day in a Positive Way, the new book I co-authored with Kristen Vincent.
Here’s one K–6 Closing Circle activity idea to get you started:
Send students off on a high note with this rousing call-and-response chant.
Lyrics to this group activity:
Leader: I don’t know but I’ve been told
Group: I don’t know but I’ve been told
Leader: This school day is about to fold
Group: This school day is about to fold
Leader: We worked and played our best all day
Group: We worked and played our best all day
Leader: But now it’s time for us to say
Group: But now it’s time for us to say
Leader: Sound off
Leader: Sound off
Group: School friends
Leader: Bring it on down now (whisper the rest of the chant)
Group: Good-bye, school friends
All: Bye, bye!
Tip for Success:
- Post the words of the chant so students can refer to them if needed.
Skills: keeping rhythm, reading
- Instead of “school friends” insert any two syllable name for the group, such as “first grade,” “classmates,” or “readers.” Or ask your students for suggestions!
Dana Januszka is a Responsive Classroom consulting teacher.