Friday, September 19, 2014

Reflective Teacher Day 19: 3 Powerful tools for student reflection.....

   I almost did not respond to this tonight. I just got home from the football game and I am beat. It's Friday and the week beat me up. (Doesn't it always?) But I have so many days under my belt and I have worked so hard to complete the challenge, that I am going to do this one now. You have to have persistence, not allowing the situation or excuses to dictate your dedication. Rub some dirt on it and move on. Oooo rah!
     One tool that I like to use for students is Socrative. I used it a little last year but really started to use it this year more often. It is an on line formative tool that allows you to make a variety of questions that students can get immediate feedback as they are taking it and also allows you to collect data for each student. I like to do these after a lesson or two to see where the kids are in terms of understanding. I also like to go through each question to allow students to think about their thinking. (A little meta cognition never hurt anyone!) It's quick it's easy and you can track a lot of data very easily.
     A second tool is Kaizena. I love this tool. It is an online program that allows you to put comments on documents created in Google Drive. While you could argue that this is as much of a tool for me as it is for the students, it still allows students to reflect on what they have learned. This is a wonderful way to add comments to documents and then students can read them. I like being able to have students read these comments and then reflect on what they could have done better. I am thinking of moving towards having discussions with students once the comments are read and see if they understand what they did wrong. I know this takes time, but I think it will be worth it.
     The third tool I like to use is, ironically two blogging tools: Kidblog and Pro Boards. While Pro Boards is more of a forum, they both do a great job of getting students to reflect on their learning. I like to post essential questions that they can respond to, and here's the best part: other students can post comments on other students comments. While at first this made me nervous that they would say something inappropriate to each other but I have been pleasantly surprised. Most students have been very mature and have not attempted to make fun of anyone in the class. I have seen some great comments on their essential questions. I also have the students work on a semester long project and we use the blog a lot for it. The students posted their essential question and I as well as the other students were able to make suggestions on how to improve their essential questions. This was very productive and some great questions came out of that. I am trying to have the students use it more to reflect on what they are doing on their projects but I just started working with these so I have to do a better job of making them use it. I would love for them to find how much doing this is benefiting me.

Okay folks, night!  

1 comment:

  1. You are a better man than me, Michael. I waited until today to post.

    Nice seeing you at the picnic. I think that was a great idea. I hope there are more!