Mrs. Cook's Corner

Thinking about Thinking

For this cycle, I have taken a look at ISTE standards 5 (Designer) and 7 (Analyst) for Educators. I have decided to concentrate on #7, Indicator 7a-Provide alternative ways for students to demonstrate competency and reflect on their learning using technology.

Reflecting on what we do helps us to think critically about the experience and helps us discover strategies to improve how we do it. “Reflection is a combination of retrieval practice and an elaboration that adds layers to learning and strengthening skills.” (Brown, Roediger, McDaniel 2014) Reflecting on our learning helps us make connections between what we know and what we are learning.

I have been asking my students to reflect on their learning process for the past few years. Getting my students to reflect on their learning can be a difficult process. I have tried journal reflections, self-assessment rubrics, and a pretty lengthy reflection form after tests. I don’t always get a response that shows me that my students know where they are, where they need to be, and how they are going to get there. And I am wondering if the singular structure of writing is getting in the way of students being able to share how they learn.

Writing takes a lot of effort and time trying to put into words their thoughts and feelings. A majority of my students treat reflection sheets as just another thing to do, not something that is intended to grow their learning. I want my students to be active and strategic about the way they learn.

So, this got me to thinking, how could I integrate technology into student reflections and make it available to not only me, but to classmates and parents as well!

That is where Flipgrid comes in. Flipgrid is an app that is becoming quite popular in classrooms that allows students to respond to prompts by recording short videos. Classmates and teachers can respond back to the student’s video. Flipgrid can be used for virtually anything, but I thought that the format would be a great way to achieve student reflection. (introduction to flipgrid video below)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_A-pbE9qXD4

In the book, Make it Stick, The Science of Successful Learning, (Brown, Roediger, and Mc Daniel 2014) reflecting on learning is a learning strategy that they encourage to grow. Some Reflection Starters they suggest are:

What went well in today’s lesson?

What could have gone better?

What other knowledge or experience does it remind you of?

What might you need to learn for better mastery?

What strategies might you use the next time to get better results?

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I think that getting my students excited and engaged in the reflection process would be enhanced with Flipgrid. I can just imagine all of the rich learning opportunities between students and student engaged in the process of reflection.

Sources:

  • Moss, C. M., & Brookhart, S. M. (2016). Learning targets: Helping students aim for understanding in today’s lesson. Moorabbin, Victoria: Hawker Brownlow Education.
  • BROWN, P. C. (2018). MAKE IT STICK: The science of successful learning. Place of publication not identified: BELKNAP HARVARD.
  • Flipgrid. Ignite Classroom Discussion. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://flipgrid.com/
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2 thoughts on “Thinking about Thinking

  1. I second your statement about getting students to reflect on their learning – it can be a ‘pulling teeth’ experience for an instructor. Allowing students to record a video answer with FlipGrid is a great ice breaker – and allows students to be creative. The instructor can model good etiquette in FlipGrid responses – and open the door for students to video respond to other students.

  2. I often notice that when I get my students to reflect through a video they put much more time and effort into it. I think Flipgrid would be an amazing way to have students reflect. It could be neat for students to create a grid for themselves in which they can track their reflections over time for a unit of study! 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

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