It’s that time of the year again! A time for celebration, festivities, meeting our near and dear ones, and reminiscing! It is also a great time and opportunity to reflect on our progress and the goals we had set at the beginning of the year.
The process of reflection is invaluable to the teaching and learning process. Looking back on the learning journey is equally essential for teachers and students. As we resume the classes after the holidays, we can utilize this opportunity to reinforce the power of reflection for our students and help them in goal setting for next year. Not only can we evaluate the learning journey so far, but also figure out better and more efficient ways to do things in the coming year.
As a PYP teacher, it is marvelous to behold the deep insights students present when they are empowered with proper tools for reflection. Younger students have unique and original thoughts. These children are pure, raw potential. If we provide them with the proper channels for expressing these thoughts, they will amaze you with their keen observations. As a teacher, it is an effective way to analyze and adjust the learning journey for the coming year.
Today we will be sharing some effective ways in which you can get your students to reflect on their personal and academic growth over the past year.
- Picture slideshow of key moments in the past year
With the advent of technology and ease of access to camera devices, we are constantly documenting every moment in our lives. Students especially respond wonderfully to visual stimuli. You can ask students to choose their top 10 moments from the last year. The moments could display struggles, challenges, achievements, or experiments. They could also simply share the objects, events, or images that sparked interest and curiosity in them. Ask the students to come up with a catchy caption/short description for each image. A witty hashtag could also work wonders!
- A letter to themselves
Students can write a letter to their one-year younger self. So, an 11-year-old can write about the lessons they have learned and the things they would want to know their 10-year-old self. They could give valuable advice to themselves or talk about how they overcame certain challenges. Many students love to express themselves through writing, as it is an intimate way to converse with themselves. You will find this technique effective for the quiet thinkers and introverts in your class.
- A podcast
For many children, a podcast is a great way to talk about their personal and academic growth. It allows them to express their feelings and thoughts in an open, non-structured way. Some of our deepest insights come through in casual conversations. A podcast takes the pressure of organizing your thoughts away and can reveal more about the student than a structured written piece.
- Sentence starters
How often have you come across students who say, ‘I can’t think of anything to write or say’? These are the students who have a lot to show and tell but need directions or structure to channelize their thoughts. For such students, sentence starters work beautifully. Some effective sentence starters are, ‘My favorite topic in the class was…’, ‘This year I learned to…’, ‘Next year, I wish I could…’ etc. Keep the sentence starters open and fun. You will get some amazing insights!
A reflection is a powerful tool. It helps to keep several reflection tools and strategies in your arsenal. Students can figure out what works best for them and soon you will find that reflection becomes more of an ingrained habit for your students and that is a definite achievement in the classroom.
Wish you all a merry Christmas and a Happy new year from the Wockhardt Global School family!