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Blog: Wednesday, November 1st, 2017

Does self-reflection help students?

Does self-reflection help students take more ownership for their learning? As part of Madame Bellavance’s inquiry for her graduate studies, she has made self-reflection part of her Grade 7 students’ weekly routine. Her goal is to develop reflection habits in her students that will transfer beyond the classroom and encourage taking more ownership and responsibility for their learning.

She has created a safe platform where students are able to speak what is on their mind, celebrate successes, express concerns or admit holes in their comprehension, while writing their weekly reflections. Students know that it is only being read by their teacher and trust she will follow up with their concerns in a supportive manner.  Although she responds to their reflections, there are no marks assigned. It also provides Madame Bellavance a temperature check on student comprehension and can guide her teaching. With practice, students are recognizing the impact and developing skills that allow them to independently reflect in more meaningful ways.

The written reflections allow students to look back on their learning journey and see where they have made growth, address areas of weakness and set learning goals. This requires students to focus on the learning process, rather than the end product.

As we transition towards student led conferences this year, students’ learning reflections will be used for students to review their learning and guide them as they prepare for sharing with their parents.

As Madame Bellavance reflects on her learning journey and continues to gather evidence to support her inquiry, she notes that her students have increased their ability to create personal goals. She will continue guiding students to develop self-reflecting skill and hopes to see a more noticeable increase in students taking ownership and an active role in their learning.

LORI WHITMAN
Vice-Principal, Chief Dan George Middle School