Celebrate This Week: Student Reflection

It’s time to Celebrate This Week with Ruth Ayers. Thank you, Ruth, for this weekly practice and place to share our lives. Read more celebrations here.

celebrate link up

This week I noticed a subtle change in our classroom. There is a level of comfort and a sense of urgency.

It happens every year, and every year it’s different.  The difference is the child. This is their year.

Every time I sit with a child, I’m looking for their next step. What instruction do they need right now? Can they hold on independently in this place with this text, or do they need support? For how long? In what way? How can they reach for independence? What tools might help sustain independence? That is the beauty and purpose of assessments, formal and informal. Not for just the number or letter on a spreadsheet, but for what we do next.

And there are excellent tools available to help measure and guide student understanding. More than ever before.

This week I celebrate an assessment that doesn’t show up on any report or print out. One that moves the ownership towards those that need to do the work: student self-assessment.

This week we started student-led conferences. Students sit beside their parents and reflect on 1) what they can do well and 2) what is difficult.  That reflection pushes students to name where they are and what they struggle with. This is powerful work that can be revisited and reflected on again and again.

If you think this is too difficult for students, consider Trevor Bryan’s post here that describes a flexible and replicable  reflection process. He asks students: is the task easy, just right or difficult. And then, why. Simple and I’d argue an essential step for learning.

This week, and this year, I celebrate regular student reflection.  Without this piece, our students miss out on a tool that could move them towards continual independent growth.

9 thoughts on “Celebrate This Week: Student Reflection

  1. Student reflection is so powerful!!! I just had my students write me letters about where they are on their reading goals. I can’t wait until they are finished! What I’ve read so far…BRILLIANT!!!! Amazing what WE can learn if we listen to our students!!! 🙂

    • I love the idea of having students write on their reading goals. I really want their opinions about what they are doing as readers. What is valuable to them and why or why not. I get so much when I ask them to share what is in their heart.

  2. At my school, reflection is key to striving toward independent learners. It’s exciting to hear that you have moved to student-led conferences. We’ve done it for a long time, even with the youngest ones. You will be blown away by their knowledge, Julieanne! Can’t wait to hear about what happens.

  3. I hope to get to our self-refelction that I was talking about on the g2great chat the other night. It will be interesting to see their thoughts. I held student-led conferences my last year in 4th grade and so wished I had done them from the beginning. Now, we don’t have conferences in 6th grade, and I actually miss having that time to talk to parents. Have a great weekend.

  4. Student led conferences haven’t made it here yet, but I can certainly see the value. It places the learning in the hands of the learner, as it should be. I like Michelle’s idea about reflecting on reading goals. May need to add this to my week.

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