When it comes to high-yield classroom strategies, it seems that reflective processes pack the most punch. Analyzing work and really thinking about your thinking is powerful stuff for all learners. Here’s a digestible version of the idea from The Adolescent Literacy Guide:
I like that the guide emphasizes that students need to "reflect on their learning and engage in conversations to explain, question and refine their thinking.“ Teachers role then is to "engage students in reflective writing and learning conversations to expose thinking.”
I wish that the guide provided readers with better examples and actionable items. Section 4 and 5 are good, but they don’t really provide educators with concrete starting points.
I wonder if these TCDSB portfolio reflection cards might be good place to start.
Reflection cards are short, specific pieces of metacognitive work that are not intimidating for students. Students can pick appropriate response cards, fill them in, and file them with the work in their portfolios.
The process could be amplified by periodically looking at their collection of work and reflections (by themselves, with their peers/teachers) and using them to think deeply about individual learning trajectories.
Maybe they could use this reflection format from Leaders Of Their own Learning:
“At the Springfield Renaissance School in Springfield, Massachusetts, students follow a structured reflection process that includes these questions:
– What does the learning target mean?
– Describe the work and all the steps that you took to complete the work:
– What did you have to learn? How did you learn it?
– What did you have to practice? How did you practice?
– How did you put the pieces together to complete the assignment?
– What does this piece of work say about who you are as a learner?”
Even better, maybe students could share their reflections with others, like students in Scott Kemp’s class do on a weekly basis.
I wonder if there any any other ways to scaffold this process?