Last week, I shared with you some important things to do in the first ten minutes of class. Adding those things to your classroom routine will greatly improve the meaningful learning that happens in your classroom. Did you know that what you do in the last five minutes can improve the possibility that what you have taught is practiced outside of your classroom?
There are probably several things you can do to improve the odds the principles you taught are practiced outside of class. These are a few of my favorites:
- Remind students of the main command or principle of the lesson. Sometimes the main point you wanted your students to take away from the lesson was lost somewhere along the way. Asking students to state it or stating it yourself one last time will improve the chances of them being able to articulate and remember what you wanted them to learn. If you aren’t sure yourself, check our Bible lessons for learning objectives and our activities for guided questions (which your students should be able to answer by the end of class).
- Challenge them to do something specific before your next class. Our teen lessons have a challenge at the end of every lesson. You can easily fashion one for children’s Bible classes – especially for older children. Keep it simple and within the skill set of your students. Often my challenge is for them to read or find something in the Bible before the next class. Not all of them will accept the challenge, but any who will get a little extra benefit from your lesson.
- Send home a parent letter or email. Make sure the parents of your students have accurate information about the scriptures and or Bible story you taught, the activity you did and why you did it. Make suggestions for something in the Bible they can review or share at home before the next class and even something small they can discuss or do that pertains to the lesson. Parents who have that information are more likely to reinforce your lessons at home.
- Send home a parenting resource. The parents of your students may want to raise their children to be mighty men and women of God, but have no idea the things they need to do. Consider sending home one of our free printable parenting resources to help. You can also encourage them to read our Christian parenting blog, Parenting Like Hannah. There are usually three posts a week with ideas, tips, suggested resources and more. They can even sign up on the site to have the posts delivered directly to their email account. Or encourage them to “like” the Parenting Like Hannah Facebook page for daily Christian parenting challenges. (Note: To keep receiving the challenges in their newsfeed, they need to choose “top of feed” or regularly “like” or share posts from it.)
- Give students a warm send-off. Students should leave your classroom knowing you love them and can’t wait to see them again next week. A hug, your eyes lighting up as you tell them good-bye and to have a great week and a sincere invitation to return to your class will leave a warm feeling in their hearts. That feeling of love and acceptance will make them more likely to want to return for your next class.
Being intentional in the last five minutes of your class will improve the odds what you taught will become a part of the lives of your students. Try it and see what happens.