I’m Done, Let’s Move On! As I work with teachers on creating and implementing project based learning, I’ve seen the teachers battle the overwhelming need to get all their curriculum covered. This usually leads to skipping the final and extremely important step of reflection. The attitude of reflection should exists throughout the project based learning steps. Every turning point, every new discovery or even a failed attempt should be met with reflection. But the reflection that takes place at the end of the public product is crucial.
What’s this got to do with anything? It needs to be our goal to help the students answer this question by reflecting on the work through out the project. Project Based Learning is at its best when it’s authentic. It deals with real world problems or uses methods that are similar to the methods used outside the school. Reflection is the bridge between the project and its authenticity. It requires the child to internalize skills and strategies. What did I learn and how can that learning benefit me in the future?
School Work = Real Work Beginning this year, our school has adopted the use of eportfolios. A key portion of portfolios is reflection. When an item is placed in the students portfolio (we us Evernote) it must be accompanied by a reflection. Part of this is to justify why the piece of work symbolizes the child’s learning and development. The other reason for the reflection is to give the work meaning. By allowing the student to talk about their work, you show them that their efforts are noticed and appreciated. You are giving them the opportunity to relate their work to work that’s done in the “real world.”
I can make that! Our portfolio committee made the recommendation that we send out short weekly reflection prompts. About that same time, I had decided to try out the app and website Canva. When you put the two ideas together you get my attempts at reflection info-graphs. Please note that at the bottom of each info-graph I give full credit for the ideas and prompts that are listed. I will continue to add these to the reflection section of my blog site. Let me know if you’ve found these helpful in starting your own student or personal reflections.