New Teachers

Explicit Reflection

Hello! I'm an Integrated Sciences major from KSU who is currently in their practicum. I'm placed in a 7th grade science classroom, and will be teaching a unit on Nature of Science in the coming weeks. A large part of my unit is having students reflect on how NOS was used in the lab/demonstration by identifying key details that exemplify specific elements of NOS (empirical, tentativeness, subjectivity, etc.). I was looking for some testimonials where students engage in a reflective process that is NOT discussion or writing/note-taking. I want students to be more engaged with the material, rather than just walking through the steps. I'm currently using things such as pair share, class discussion, exit slips, and data collection journals. Any advice is greatly appreciated!

Best,

David 

David Michl
David Michl
573 Activity Points

Hi David,

I use several writing strategies called Classroom Assessment Techniques that help my students reflect on their thinking. Below I have described several that I use most often with my high school students. Most of these techniques came from the book, Classroom Assessment Techniques: A Handbook for College Teachers (DeAngelo and Cross, 1993). Even though they were intended for college-age students, my high school students use them quite successfully. They could also be modified for middle school age students.

One-minute papers allow my students to answer one or two questions or prompts at the end of a lesson. I typically use these to help students make connections in the lesson that they would not otherwise make on their own.

I used to think, but now I know allows my students to reflect on their thinking from the beginning of the lesson and then write about how their thinking changed as they have learned new information. As students are responding to this prompt, they are also required to give evidence from the lesson, lab, reading, etc. that supported their change in thinking. We primarily use this writing exercise at the end of a lesson or unit.

When I ask students about the muddiest point from the day's lesson, I want to know the areas in which they are still confused. Students can also reply to this question by telling me where they want more information because they are interested in a particular topic.

What do others use to help teach their students reflective thinking?

Ruth Hutson
Ruth Hutson
58310 Activity Points

Pamela - Some of these are great! I went through the 14 Reading Strategies, and believe that some of them will work for my students. They are pretty short on the attention scale, but some a lot of these strategies are concise. They like the idea of being able to write down any concerns of confusion from the lesson at the end of class. Thank you very much!

Ruth - self-reflection is a powerful tool for learners of all ages. I think reflecting on how misconceptions have been corrected is a great strategy, and is working very well as I'm currently in the middle of a unit). We've tried the 1-minute papers ideas, and the results were overall very good. I usually call them exit slips, to keep it sounding more casual, but the content is the same. My students also sometimes write concerns of confusions they have on the back of their sheets, which can be addressed in the next class. Thank you for the help!

You two have helped to give me some more rigidity in my end-of-class material. Much appreciated!

David Michl
David Michl
573 Activity Points

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