Showing posts from October, 2014

Reflecting on Reflecting

We can probably all agree that reflection in an integral part of the learning process. It is essential. We can probably also agree that not all reflections are equal. Reflection is a skill. Students need to practice the skill of reflecting, and they need scaffolding with the basics of reflection. Reflecting on reflecting becomes a necessity to build that skill. I see a lot of reflections in classes in my current role, and I have asked my students to do a lot of reflection in the past. There are many forms of reflection, all of which are valid, and all of which need to be practiced. Oral reflections with partners, oral reflections individually (via audio or video), written reflections individually, etc. One is not better than the other. They are different. Everybody has a personal preference on how they like to reflect. Many of our young students are still trying to discover their preference, and they need to be exposed to a lot of different possibilities. That is not what I want

What do you pass on?

Does your school have a pass along folder? Something that you record at several intervals along the school year, stick in a folder (digital or literal), and then it follows the student to the next level of their education? Is it useful? Do future teachers look at it? Does it inform their practice? Why do you do it? What is the purpose of it? During a brainstorming session with our school head, we wondered about what it would look like it we passed on strategies instead of work samples. A rubric that really helped students write meaningful stories A visible thinking strategy that they understand and are excited by A list of verbs that help them design their own summative assessments An artefact that became a tool that had influence over the group, and led to deeper and more meaningful learning. These ideas that we come up with, that really work, what happens to them in the long term? Are they forgotten? Are they lost? Does it continue to influence a students thinking an