At the end of each school year I ask my students to reflect on their learning. I explain that this not only helps them to think about their growth but helps me to plan for the next year. I love seeing the twinkle in their eyes when they find out I actually use what they write to help me become a better teacher. They feel empowered and take the assignment very seriously. This year I asked my students to reflect on three questions:
What did you like best?
What would you do differently next time?
How did you go beyond the expectations to become a better student?
For what they liked best students named projects we did and books we read. A favorite was Flora and Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo. In response to what they would do differently students reflected on assignments and how they could improve them if they had the chance to do it again. But my favorite response was from the last question.
“I am a better student because before I didn’t stretch my mind. I didn’t go as far as I could have. The questions required me to go a bit deeper, to think and stretch my thinking. So I have better explanations than I did at the beginning of the year.”
After reading this response and other similar ones, I am so proud of what my students accomplished this year. They are self-reflective thinkers ready to tackle the next grade level!