I’m always trying new things each year. Some things I love and others I don’t use again. One new thing I have tried this school year is doing a weekly reflection with my students. This is a keeper! I love it. I created the template I wanted using Google Slides and saved it to my Drive. Then using Google Classroom, I have it saved to assign every Friday throughout the whole school year. You could also do a paper form, but I am trying to go paperless this year.
There are so many reasons I love this!
~I can see what my students felt successful at this week.
It is interesting to see what they felt was their biggest success and then to make sure that I comment on that to help build a positive relationship with them and at the same time encourage them.
~I can see what students felt was challenging.
I can then make sure that I touch base with them on Monday and make sure they get the help they need.
~I am able to see what students learned that week and/or what they felt they learned that week that was important.
~I am teaching my kids goal setting. This example was from our first week of school. Now, I have students writing more in depth goals that include how they will reach that goal. My first blog I wrote, Taking Ownership of Learning, talked about the importance of teaching students to set goals. This is one way I am teaching my students to do this.
This student recognized that his biggest challenge was not talking when other people were talking so made a goal to address that the next week. Guess what!!! He was very respectful the next week. I just love that. It puts ownership back into the student’s hands.
~I can give immediate feedback.
I can easily insert comments into their reflections by using Google Slides. I try to comment at least once on every reflection to show the kids I take what they write seriously and that I care.
~All of these weekly reflections sheets are saved in files in Google Drive and easy for students and myself to access. For conferences, we can pull them up and show parents and have great dialogue about the goals that students have set, what they have learned, and how students feel they are doing. We used to do this at conference time and students would fill out a sheet, but they had a hard time remembering the past and how they felt. Now we have a record from each week as we go.
~TPEP – This is also a great way to show student voice and goal setting for TPEP.
So there if my big new idea for this year and why I love it so much. I hope that this inspires you to try something new and to maybe try a weekly reflection sheet. I’d also love any feedback or ways that you think maybe I can improve on this idea for next year!