@TeachThought Day 19: Student Self-Reflection

Self-Reflection is essential to growth. Today's post asks educators to reflect on how students think and learn in their classrooms. Three powerful methods I use to encourage my students to reflect are exit slips, self-grading, and the I Used to Think But Now I Think Visible Thinking routine.

Exit Slips are a great end-of-the-hour activity. I do daily slips that may simply ask students to state the most important piece of information they learned in the hour and explain why or the most important event from the week's classes, and state why. Exit slips enable me to easily check to see what students are retaining and they get an opportunity to practice the claim-evidence skills that are so important in social studies education.

Having students grade themselves on activities is incredibly insightful and their grading is often harsher than I grade! (I, of course, have final say but I value their insights.) They have to cast a critical eye on their performance and effort and these are useful life skills that will benefit them throughout their school and work careers.

Finally, the I Used to Think But Now I Think Visible Thinking routine is an awesome student reflection opportunity. I was introduced to Visible Thinking four years ago when my Effective Teens volunteered at a nearby elementary school that implemented Cultures of Thinking. I am continually amazed at how deep students think when asked to complete these routines in class.  I Used to Think But Now I Think asks students to step back and look at their beliefs on a topic before they learned new material in class and then make a mind shift to explain their current reality.

Student reflection is essential to creating 21st century thinkers and learners. #reflectiveteacher 


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