It has been quite a while since I blogged, I got caught up in real life situations- namely being a Dad and Teacher! I hope to try and update this a little more often…..
Reflection is one of the most powerful classroom techniques you can implement. It is also the one most easily forgotten when the bell suddenly rings marking the end of the class period. This is what I implemented for my classroom to hold myself accountable for using the reflective tool.
I set a timer for myself each class period to allow students to fill out an exit pass. I decided to support my Language Arts teacher and have students write a paragraph reflecting on what they did either that day, during the week, or sometimes over the unit. At first responses were: we came in the classroom, did a warmup, did homework, and ended class with an exit pass. I allowed these type or responses for the first couple of ones, but then as a class the next day we would read 2-3 of the passes and talk about the quality of writing and thought that was put into them. Students are very critical of themselves and their classmates and know what good work should look like, you just have to hold them accountable for it. Now they are stating an idea, giving me supporting details supplementing that idea and closing their paragraph.
As an added incentive, I created posters that are hanging in the hallway for each hour. As I receive the exit passes, I put examples of good student responses on the board. Students from other grades are having fun reading what our class is doing, and my students are now bugging me why their own work wasn’t chosen for the board. So this has become a great activity for my students to write about math. I keep using different colored paper to differentiate the different ideas presented, at the time of the picture the posters are displaying four different exit pass concepts.
Using reflection is necessary for my students because once they leave my classroom, they admit that they do not think about math (at least formally). Hopefully this helpful tip will also encourage good math thought and writing with your students.
I have had a couple of questions on the writing, here is the general Paragraph Rubric that our team uses for all core classes.