#1: Closing greetings
A simple but fun way to say goodbye to your students is to sing goodbye to them! If your first graders are working on sol-mi, you could sing “Goodbye first grade,” on sol-mi-sol-mi and they could sing back “Goodbye Mr./Mrs. ________.” Then you could sing “Have a good day,” and they could echo that. You could even sing to individual students and have them sing solos back at you.
An effective way to end a class is to do a live performance or to sing a book, whether you are playing dulcimer and singing a song tale (like the ones found in this book) or singing a book (check out this post for my 10 favorite books to sing.) You could make this a routine, having it be the way you end all of your lessons, which can be calming because you are singing to students AND because some kids love to know what to expect!
#3: Sing as lining up
Sometimes, I have students sing as they are lining up. I figure, the more they sing, the better! I recently created timers to help students keep on track during transitions, including lining up at the end of the day. You can purchase the timer slides by clicking below; they come in PowerPoint and Google Slides versions. Note: only the bell timer is included in the Powerpoint, not the music.
#4: Review of lesson
A great way to get students thinking about what they just did in music class is simply to ask them, “What did we do today?” or “What did we learn today?” You might get simple answers, such as “We played ‘Bee Bee'” or “We sang ‘Apple Tree,'” but sometimes you can get deeper answers, such as “We created patterns with ta and ti-ti,” or “We played instruments to the beat.” This can be a wonderful way to have students really think about their learning, which can make it “stick”! This can also be a great time to review your “I can” statements or ask Essential Questions.
#5: Exit slips
Another great way to have students review what they've learned is to have them fill out exit slips. These can ask a question about their learning from the music class, and can give you an idea of where they are at with that concept. You could write a question from the lesson on a piece of paper and hand it out to all of your students, or if you want ready-made exit tickets, my friend Tracy King (AKA The Bulletin Board Lady) has made this great set of exit slips for the music room.
#6: Star student
I choose two star students at the end of every music class, and that child gets to come up to my SMART board and roll a die for a reward. Those students have to have shown great behavior during music class; I keep track of star students and try to choose every student before cycling through a second time…but if a child isn't showing great behavior, they'll have to wait until they do until I choose them!
You can download the file for free here; if you don't have SMART Notebook, you can view the file for free at express.smarttech.com. You can easily edit the rewards for your own classroom! Note: The text and die might get jumbled when you download it, but you can drag them back to where you want them to be.
You can use just one of these ideas at the end of your music class, or combine them. For example, at the end of music class, you could sing a book to them, then choose a star student, then have them sing as lining up! These strategies can also work well as time fillers, if you get through a lesson a bit quicker than expected.
I hope this has been helpful for you! What are your favorite ways to end a music class? Feel free to comment below, and happy teaching!