Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Weekly Student Reflection

A major focus of mine this year is trying to give my kids multiple opportunities throughout the day, week, month to reflect on their learning in many different ways. One way that I have been having students reflect, for the past couple of years, on a weekly basis is by having them fill in their STAR reflection sheet (a fabulous creation made by my all-talented-and-wise mentor teacher!). On this sheet they are to fill in something (usually our learning goal) that they learned that week for each subject. This is my "weekend homework" along with reading and must be signed by a parent. I have found that parents REALLY seem to appreciate this small, but consistent, glimpse into what their child is learning on a weekly basis. Many of them respond that their child explained their learning in depth to them with it as well or will write their child something they learned from them or want to share that connects with our learning in the classroom! Parents often leave notes to their kids, which I find neat too since it allows them to reaffirm their child's learning and show them they are proud of their accomplishments. It also helps the kids separate their learning and identify where the skills they learned fits since our learning is very thematic and subjects can get muddled. 
I put this out for morning work on Friday mornings. I encourage them to use what they remember, the learning goals written in their thoughtful log notebook, friends knowledge, and the anchor charts around the room to help them reflect on their learning from the week.
Something new that I added to it this year was having them really internalize the actual SKILL that was learned and focus less on the activity that got them there. 
For example, A student may put "We practiced division" under the math heading. This is an action that they did this week, however, I'm now asking students to add to this and break it down to show the Skill/Focused Objective that goes with that. "We practiced dividing 2 digit numbers by 4 digit numbers, I learned that you want to use an educated guess when deciding how many times the divisor can go into the divined."  
                                            Non- Example                                         
"We learned about the Explorers"
 "We learned the five reasons why the early explorers came to the New World, they included gold, a water route to Asia, spreading of Christianity, new lands/products, and adventure."
What do you do to help your kids reflect on the learning that happened through the week, month, day? 
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