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I took a course that had to do with assessments. For the course, we watched a video of a teacher allowing them time to share back their successes, problems they ran into, new things they discovered, if they had an area they wanted to go back and spend more time on.
An end of the Science Lesson reflection/discussion which is student driven is helpful.
I think that is important to give the students the time to reflect on what they learned in Science, problems they solved, conclusions they came to and so forth. When the students are able to express their thoughts they are able to solidify their learning and learn from what their peers shared. Journaling is also important because it provides time for the student to share their thoughts without any criticism.
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Have you read the following article in he Learning Center?
Is There Room for Reflection in a Science Course for Nonscience Majors? A New Way to Look at Assessment
You might find it interesting.
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I teach in a middle school classroom, and I feel that quick formative assessments are so important in guiding further instruction of a topic. My school district is putting a big emphasis on them this year as well. I like to start my kids out with fill in the blank type "Exit Slips" during the last 6 or 7 minutes of class. I gradually work up to them composing more in depth, critical thinking type answers to open ended questions as we move through a unit of study. I can quickly glance over students responses and group for tutoring, etc. I also keep these responses from time to time as documentation for administrators.
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Reflections really do give me an insight on what is working with the students and what isn't working. My state is also putting a bigger emphasis on formative assessments and reflections can be used as one. I even do a quick count of raised hands to test the students' water for understanding. I sometimes give short quizzes as well to make sure no one is being left behind or if I have a part time teacher they can do a two on one or one on one session with the struggling students.
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I am teaching my high school physics course as a project-based class and I am having them keep a portfolio. As part of the assessment student need to write an a reflection on different aspects of their project and include that in their portfolios. I think it makes the students look more closely at the process of learning and to think a little deeper about concepts and what they really understand and do not understand.
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I agree that end of lesson reflections are important in science. It helps students connect what they have learned to the real-world and make connections between learnings in other areas. Reflections allow students to recap what they learned and gives them time to process new information. This is also a time when students may want to write down any questions they have or ideas for further study. I am thinking of implementing a daily reflection journal in which students can spend a few minutes at the end of each school day reflecting on what they learned. I think this will help to solidify concepts and help them take responsibility for their own learning. I also like to have my students fill out a lesson reflection form from time to time, letting me know what they liked about a lesson and why and what they would change about it to make it better. It is a great way to get the kids involved in planning their educational journey. They get very excited when they can participate in the process in planning future lessons.
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I find reflecting on lessons very important to informally evaluate the students' understanding (and possible misunderstandings) of what they are learning. I personally like journalling with my students where they are able to recite what they have learned in their own words. You can have the students answer questions that are content specific to what they have learned for the day/unit or general questions such as:
-What did you learn?
-Why is it important?
-How does this apply to real life?
-What is confusing?
-What questions do you have?
Similarly, students can do a fast and simple DLIQ where they answer the following questions:
-What did you DO?
-What did you LEARN?
-What was INTERESTING?
-What QUESTIONS do you have?
As important it is to know how much the students have learned, it is also important to know what the students are misunderstanding or any misconceptions they have. This reflecting after each lesson could take 5-10 minutes depending what you want students to reflect on. I have my students write their reflections in their tablets to look back at and see the growth or change in their thinking and learning. Students' reflections help teachers plan better as well as guide future lessons. I still need to practice reflections more often rather than just ending the lesson and assuming all of the students have grasped the concepts. It is definitely something that should be incorporated daily.
Question: Does anyone have other forms of reflections students can complete that can still show their understanding? Maybe something more creative rather than just reflecting through writing?
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An easy way to check what students have learned in a lesson is to have them journal the following statement. In three minutes write down what you learned today in science that you were most interested in. You can tell quickly what interested and excited them and what they learned that they will probably be the most likely to remember.
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Sometimes instead of journaling I will have the students write down three things (like Betty suggested) and then get into small groups and make posters of what the group learned and have them put stars next to things that were learned by more than one person - more than one star, more than one person. Then the groups share with the class. The benefit of this is that they have prompts from multiple people who remember different things that any one student may have forgotten they learned :)
Doing this too often (like weekly) gets boring but every month or so it mixes things up and sometimes (if the test isn't too near) we will post them around the room as reminders that we are learning new things all the time. A few times a year, if we are covering something where it fits, the poster has to be made with only pictures (and labels for people like me who do not draw very well!) and not phrases.
I suppose if we had enough computers, we could also do this with Powerpoints or Prezi's or something and add pictures or animations as well.
The science teacher across the hall sometimes has students make haiku or acrostics about her biology topics or challenges them to make up raps or nursery rhymes.
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I really enjoy all the different ways that reflections are done in this thread! I really believe that reflections are one of the best ways to conduct assessments and is key to having student remember important components of lessons.
Through reflections, I ask questions: "What did you do in the experiment?", "what did you think about....?", "How can the experiment be improved?", "what possible human errors could have led to your data/results?"
I try to steer away from purely content questions that have only one main answer (e.g. "state Newtons three laws of motion") and I try to keep that for a more formal formative assessments. Instead, with reflections, I like to get a point of view of how the students view the bigger picture and how they apply their knowledge to everyday life (I want them to understand that science can be viewed everywhere, and maybe have them eat, breath and sleep science!).
Sometimes my reflection consist of showing the students a picture and then having them discuss and apply what they learned to the picture (e.g. show a picture of surfing, skydiving and have the students discuss how and where does Newton's laws of motion apply). To make it more personal I have students apply what they have learned to "simple" everyday events like walking or talking or breathing.
I like to have very open-ended reflections that does not limit the students ability to expand on an idea. So i might start with a simple picture, but I love it when students start to expand and extend from the starting point into their own thoughts on a subject. It helps student 'own' the subject and makes science more personal.
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