If in doubt, always ask the kids.
We’re approaching the end of the summer term, which means schemes of work drifting to an end and whole-school events interrupting a few more lessons than usual.
With new challenges ahead, I’ve decided to focus largely on reflection and review – working out what happened this year and thus what should happen next year. Weirdly enough though, it only occurred to me this week that I should encourage the kids to do the same.
Cue my patented self-reflection lesson, tried and tested twice this week.
Note: This all followed a whole-school assembly in which the kids made notes on their whole school year.
Step one: Get all the books out
I dug out every exercise book from the year, and got the kids to go through each one, page by page, after reminding them of the topics/ units we have covered this year.
Step 2: Food for thought
Five questions to consider along the way:
What did you find most interesting?
What did you find most challenging?
What did you find most surprising?
What did you find most enjoyable?
What are you most proud of?
The kids then wrote a paragraph for each of these prompts. See?
Step 3: Pair share
Once finished, students swapped books with their partners (who they’ve worked with all year, decided using my Lego Brick Profiles). They had to read through the responses above, then quickly scribe one big conclusion and one big question raised.
Step 4: Coaching
After this, I modelled a coaching conversation with one student, whereby I explained my own conclusions and asked probing questions based on what they had written. The kids then did the same, with a focus on drawing out detailed responses.
The kids really went for it. Lots of thoughtful questioning and interrogation, which led to some useful conclusions overall as to the shape of the year.
Step 5: Whole-class review
Finally, I gathered the class together to discuss their aims, hopes and dreams for next year. The conversation was a lot more meaningful and detailed than I think would have been achieved, had the kids not gone through a process of reflection and self-critique.
That’s it really. If you have any lessons left, I suggest having a go.
As ever, yours, in teaching,