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Sunday, November 18, 2012

Reflecting on Trimester I

Whew! The first trimester of the year is over. (Do you all go by trimesters? Quarters? Semesters?)

On top of the usual report cards and parent conferences, my charter school is also going through its charter renewal. I don't know what the process of charter renewal is like in other states but in California it is pretty intense. Needless to say, all of this has made for a stressful few weeks.

When the school year gets busy it is so easy to get caught up in the moment and forget to reflect. I didn't want that to happen so as we approached the ending of the first grading period, I came up with a few quick activities to help my students reflect on the first trimester of the year and look forward to the rest of the year.

Part 1: Slide Show 

The first thing I did was put together a quick little slide show. It wasn't fancy. I basically uploaded all of my pictures from my phone and threw in some music.

The kids were beyond excited to watch themselves on the "big screen". As they watched the slide show I had them fill out this simple little organizer.
I was happily surprised at how seriously they took the organizer! They filled in all of the squares which made the other parts of the reflection easier.

Next, they used there organizer to complete two quick reflective writing pieces.

Part 2: That was Easy!

The first, was this little gen from One Extra Degree.
(Click on the image to get your own copy from Amanda

We watched a staples commercial before they filled out their sheets. They were so entertained by the idea of watching commercials during class. :)  The kids actually had a hard time picking just one thing "that was easy" and they were so thoughtful in the way they chose exactly what to write about. 

Step 3: The Essay 

The last writing piece was much more involved. Each student wrote a 3 paragraph essay. The first paragraph discussed what they enjoyed most in the first trimester. The second paragraph focused on what they learned.The third paragraph was about what they hoped to achieve in the next trimester. 
It was given as an on demand writing sample and I was very impressed with there work. (I told them that I would be showing the essay to their parents at conferences and I could tell that they wrote to impress!:) ) 

What do you do to help your students to be reflective? How do you recognize progress in your classroom? 

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