Monday, June 26, 2017

Self Reflection.

Calm, Lake, Mirror, Reflection, Water  As a teacher, it is strongly recommended we stop and think about our lessons.  How they went? What could I have done differently?  How can I make it better?  That is one reason I always read books and try to find ways to engage my students more.  I do not take time to have my students reflect on their understanding of the current material.

What would it do if we had students reflect on their learning?  Would it help us clarify and reteach material sooner than if we waited for a quiz or test?  Unfortunately, if I do not provide guidance to help them learn to write their thoughts down, I'll get many who will just copy things from their notes.

This site has a wonderful question with ideas on how to answer the question.  The question she used "How did you improve as a Mathematician today?" is so much better than "What did you learn?" or "What do you remember?".  Both questions would get me "nothing" as the answer.  She offers five suggestions for students to write on.

1. Describe a new strategy you learned today.
2. Tell a math word you learned today and what it means.
3. Describe a mistake you made and what you learned from it.
4. Explain how you challenged yourself today.
5. Tell about something you noticed today and how it helped you solve a problem.

These are great questions to help guide students in answering the overall question.  The self reflection can actually help students change their mindset from fixed to one of growth. 

Other ways to encourage self reflection are:

1.  Have students keep math journals based on certain math prompts.  The above five suggestions would work quite well with the journal.  In addition, it is quite easy to find an assortment of math prompts.  I figure it is quite easy to do via technology by setting up a google doc for each student and then checking each doc to grade.

2.  Implement Student Led Conferences in which students bring their assessments and reflect on. The idea is to have the student determine where their weaknesses and strengths lay so they can focus on the topics they need to work on.  This is actually a nice way to work on figuring out where you need to differentiate so as to meet the student needs.

3.  Anchor charts.  After a formative assessment or test, have a classroom discussion to get student feedback on problems they had trouble with or questions on.  The concerns form the basis of the discussion on the process to solve each problem and the mathematical process itself.

4. Blogging.  Use blogging to have students explain how they solved a problem, their thoughts, and problems they had completing the problem.  When they blog, they have to slow down and think about the words they need. 

These are some great ways to encourage students to reflect on their learning. I will tell you, I don't do it because I have not had any idea of how to do it.   Let me know if you have any suggestions on this topic.