In just a few days, we will be gathering for the final F2F session of this year's Cohort 21. I'm excited to share my journey.
I came into Cohort 21 with an idea of what I thought my classroom was missing. Having used VNPS regularly, I thought the missing link was getting students to better document the work they completed at the white boards so they could refer to it as the unit progressed. But after the first 2 F2F sessions and talking to some of my students, it became clear that there was a bigger piece missing.
In a conversation at the end of the second F2F session, I was struggling to put my thoughts into clear words and after rambling on about what I was trying to say someone stopped me and said "it seems like you want to get your students to be better at identifying what they know". (One of the wonders of the Cohort 21 experience - having the chance to chat with educators from various backgrounds and a common goal of helping each other). And just like that, a light bulb went off. What was really missing was a way for my students to self-reflect on their learning throughout the unit and not just rely on the final unit assessment as a measurement of success.
What evolved over the course of the year started with having students generate "I can..." statements at the end of each lesson. This has helped them get a better view of the key skills of the lesson and not just focus on answering specific questions. This then led to having students create a master list of the unit's "I can..." statements on a separate sheet of paper during the unit review class and self-assess their knowledge. A star beside a statement indicated mastery, a - meant practice still required and a 'x' meant help was required to further clarify the concept. On the day of the test, students were asked to hand in their "I can..." list. My current iteration of this self-reflection piece involves a pre-test self-assessment around the success criteria of the unit as well as a post-test self-assessment. It's interesting to see how this has helped direct students to personalize their studying for the test.
The end: (or the beginning of the next step)
Though I have been intentional in incorporating self-reflection into my lessons, a next step would be to have individual conversations with my students around comparing their pre and post test self-assessments. In addition to this, I hope to use this process to personalize their exam review and possibly have the students create some questions based around their strengths.
I would also like to investigate ways to incorporate more peer feedback into the learning process in my classes. While coaching volleyball, it struck me how natural it is for a player to give feedback (both positive and negative) to teammates. As the team has the same goal, every team member is invested in the goal and held accountable. This got me thinking, I wonder how I can recreate this team mentality in the classroom and incorporate more peer feedback into the learning process?
So with all that said and done, I look forward to the last F2F on Friday. And though I think I know what the next steps will be, Cohort 21 has taught me that this is just the end of the beginning...