Reflecting on your teaching practice is always important. It is also vital that the students reflect on their experiences. The final step to our adventure was for the students to reflect on their 20% Project. Time for me to reflect also!
The students were instructed to utilize some technology as an aid to their one and a half minute presentation in class. This could have been a Prezi, a Google Presentation, PowerPoint, Flowboard, Wikipage, etc… There were a couple of students that missed this information and didn’t have the technology piece, but they all did the reflection and that is what I considered the most important part. Next year, I will be sure to be discussing the requirements with the students on a more regular basis and will post them on Haiku to make sure everything is clear.
The kids’ reflections were great! They really did put a lot of thought into what they shared with the class. I know it is difficult to get up and speak in front of others as it is not my most favourite thing either. There were categories that they had to address…brief summary of project, their successes, their weaknesses, any unexpected changes, and what they would they do if they could do another project. They were allowed to use notecards to help them with their speaking points. I would say that most of the kids chose not to use them and they utilized what was in their digital presentation to guide them.
Things I noticed about their digital components…they were quite wordy. We had a chat after day one and I shared with them that the important thing was for us to listen to their speaking and not be trying to read too much on the board where their work was projected. After that quick chat, the students that came after made changes. I was not grading their digital presentations, so by talking to them in the midst of our presenting days didn’t affect anyone except to make future presentations stronger. A lot of the students chose to put titles and some images rather than typing out everything they were going to say…I was glad I had intervened.
In the future I think I also need to give them more direction in the reflections I am looking for. There was a lot of summarizing of the project in their successes and failures. I need to figure out how to get them to go deeper…what were the big picture successes and the big picture of what they learned from their experiences??? Must work on this!
This project will definitely be something I will do with my seventh graders again. The highlights of what they learned: How to work well with others and compromise, make adjustments to be successful, how to plan and accomplish a long range project, how to present to community members and build their confidence, and so much more! Not only did they learn their content…they learned MORE! Life skills that they can carry with them to the future! 🙂 This makes me happy and I know they will remember this experience for a very long time.