The Advantages of Early Year Student Reflections

The Advantages of Early Year Student Reflections

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The Advantages of Early Year Student Reflections

In the same way as other educators, I esteem understudy criticism as a fundamental method for establishing a drawing in climate and guarantee that my understudies are esteemed.

I experienced an interesting turn of events a few years into my career. Several of my students interpreted the questions on my feedback form incorrectly: When they read the question, “What would you like to see change?” They believed I was referring to them. Instead of giving my class ideas, they gave me reflections on what they wanted to change. Not only did it serve as a useful reminder to write questions and instructions in a clear way, but it also gave me important insight into how they viewed their work in my class.

The Advantages of Early Year Student Reflections

Reflections at the end of the year were something I had used frequently. However, after this unfortunate mix-up with my students, I was reminded of how crucial it is to not only provide my students with the opportunity to reflect on their own work early in the year but also to ask for feedback, which I continue to do.


Utilizing student reflections early in the school year can provide useful data while there is still time to change courses. Additionally, it assists students in practicing metacognition, which is the process of considering how we think. When we ask our students to think about how they study, how they work, and what they can do, they can see connections between practices that work, like asking a friend to quiz them or drawing notes, and things they might want to let go of.

This is helpful for our students who may be having social or academic difficulties; They can think about and reevaluate practices that they might like to change or that help them see where they might need to ask for help or be willing to support others. Stronger students benefit from the process as well because they are able to consider any necessary adjustments and celebrate their successes. This inspires a sense of accomplishment in them that our students can immediately see.

Reading student reflections also helps me comprehend the requirements, ideas, and objectives of my students. I get a sense of how they see themselves and what they carry outside my classroom. A student in my class was having trouble, but upon reflection, they were proud of how much they had progressed from the previous year. It was a crucial reminder that each student comes to my classroom at a different stage in their journey and that I can support and celebrate their progress.

Three Effective Reflection Methods

1. an inquiry. For a reason, the survey is a classic: It can be set up quickly, allows you to ask a variety of specific questions, and is relatively simple to use. Students will have 20 minutes during the first or last 20 minutes of class to reflect. We can examine responses in a variety of ways, such as a word cloud, if the survey is conducted online, making data analysis even simpler. A lot of people use Google Forms to collect responses. I’ve used one as an example here.

A significant note: It’s critical to make certain that the questions we ask are insightful and provide a secure setting in which to reflect. Effective questions, such as “What are two things that helped you learn this quarter?” or “What are two things that helped you learn this quarter?” are upbeat and can assist students in writing insightful reflections. I avoid inquiries that inquire about “What went wrong?” because it may appear to be critical. I ask them, “What will help you thrive?” instead. or “What can you do to help yourself succeed?” I got some great ideas when I asked teachers for examples of questions they used online.

2. an email. I’ve seen students write letters to friends or teachers in addition to writing to themselves. There are many reasons why I adore this method. First, it gives students a more open and free environment in which they can explore their thoughts and beliefs about their work. You can ask them the same questions you would in a survey to get them thinking, but the letter format lets them think more naturally. I can see what my students value and focus on in their writing by participating in this activity. In addition, it provides a more casual writing sample in a low-stakes format to get a sense of their voice and fluency. Lastly, it’s a nice place to teach students how to write letters.

3. a board of goals. Though they can easily include more reflective questions, vision boards are typically ways for us to visually process our goals and ideas for the future. Students can use vision boards as effective tools to help them visualize what success actually entails for them, both academically and outside of school. They might be able to make better connections between their objectives and the work that needs to be done by using these visualizations.

When the school year starts, many teachers feel like the days go by too quickly and they just have to keep up. Our students, no doubt, share this sentiment. Even though it might seem impossible to stop, taking a moment to stop, take a deep breath, and look around us can help us make sure we’re on the right track. By slowing down, we can ensure that we acquire all necessary tools to advance.

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