My focus this year has been around student self-reflection to direct their personalized learning in my classes. My goal is to have students move away from a focus solely on the final answer to assess what they know but more on the process of solving a mathematical question.
At the last F2F session, I was able to gain some clarity on my action plan and felt I was able to more clearly articulate what was the root of my concern in my classroom. Walking away from that day, my driving question remains "HMW have students reflect on their learning in a lesson to help personalized their next steps?".
My hope is to take students from confusion about what to do or what knowledge to choose:
to confidence in their ability:
This year, I have ended lessons with students generating a "I can ..." list to identify the skills covered in the lesson. Essentially, students were identifying the success criteria of the lesson. This was a good first step, in my mind, but my students just saw it more as a thing that we did and not as part of the learning cycle. My vision was that students would use these statements as self check-ins to assess what they knew in the unit and what they still needed to master.
To help with this shift, I have started asking students to write out all the "I can..." statements from the unit on a separate sheet of paper and hand it in on test day. Here is an example of one student's work:
What stood out to me were the * and check marks beside some of the statements. This student was already self-reflecting and identifying what they knew and what they still had to work on. Unfortunately, this was the only one like this. All the other submissions were just a list of statements. But I was not deterred, I believe I am on the right track.
We are now into the third unit of the course and though we continue to end lessons with "I can ..." statements, I did not ask students to write them out on a separate sheet to submit. However, an interesting thing happened in our review class. As students were working away, I overheard a conversation about a student sharing her "checklist" for the unit that she created with her friends. Her peers wanted a copy of this magical checklist and I had to chuckle. I did have to mention to that group that this wasn't a new concept and they had done this in previous units but I had called it an "I can..." list. It was great to see the students make the realization of the value of this list.
Things that I am considering as next steps:
- creating the "I can..." list and having students self-assess their ability pre-test and then again post-test with some sort of reflection
- have students use their Unit 1 and Unit 2 "I can..." lists and their tests to reflect and set up next steps to further improve their knowledge before the final exam.
- connect these "I can..." statements to the work we continue to do at the white boards.
And so the journey continues...