Reflections to Process Feedback & to Learn From Fails @Flipgrid #edtech #edtechchat #reflection

I was recently talking to some teachers on the topic of ensuring that students read the feedback they received on work they are handed back. And that conversation is the basis for this blog post…

In the past couple years, as I have thought about the power of reflection in my teaching, I asked myself how I could incorporate similar exercises into my classroom. One way I do this is by asking students to do a bi-weekly task where they summarize three main takeaways from my feedback on their assignments. Sometimes I ask students to write or type this out and other times I ask them to create a Flipgrid response and chat things out to the camera. I enjoy seeing students respond in multiple formats and some students certainly feel more comfortable with one format over the other, which is all the more reason to switch things up.

The goal of this assignment is multi-fold. Of course, by asking students to reflect on my feedback, I am able to check that they have actually read my annotations. But more importantly, by asking them to summarize their main takeaways, they are being required to synthesize my comments, look for patterns and trends, and think about the work they had done over the course of the week. This also gives me a chance to see how students are taking in my feedback. Particularly when they are responding via Flipgrid, I get a clear sense of how they are processing my notes, whether they are picking up on big themes or getting lost in the minutiae, and if they are left feeling more confident or still feeling confused or frustrated.

Beyond the feedback reflections, I also do general reflections with students once or twice a month. They are instructed to give themselves 5 minutes to reflect and write (or record) on the prompts that I outline below. If the assignment is written, they do not need to write in full sentences. They know that this is not meant to be a formal, polished presentation but rather a quick goal setting / reflection activity.

Talk about a failure —
<< General Reflection >>
What’s a major fail you had this week? This does not have to be related to class.
How did your initial approach to the problem/situation lead you astray?
How has your approach to the problem/situation changed now? How has your thinking shifted?
What is one thing you can takeaway as a lesson learned from this “fail”? How can you turn this into a future “win”?

<<Calculus Specific>>
What question did you royally mess up on first attempt?
How did your initial approach to the problem lead you astray?
How has your approach to the problem changed now? How has your thinking shifted?
What is one thing you can takeaway as a lesson learned from this “fail”? How can you turn this into a future “win”?

Talk about a win —
<< General Reflection >>
What’s a major win you had this week?
How did your initial approach to the problem/situation lend way to your success?
What is one thing you can takeaway as a lesson learned from this “win”? How can you apply this lesson to help you find future successes?

<<Calculus Specific>>
What question did you totally crush this week?
How did your approach to the problem lead you to success?
What is one thing you can takeaway as a lesson learned from this “win”? How can you apply this process to help you find future successes?

I enjoy asking the general reflection questions, particularly in my online class, to help me gain a more holistic relationship with the student. Their responses help me get a sense of the student beyond just the math classroom. Often, their wins are something completely outside of academics – ie: catching a fish, making a goal in a game, picking up a sibling… But most importantly, I hope that by repeating this activity throughout the year, using the same format, my students will begin naturally reflecting on wins and fails in their life and use the prompts I have given them to help them bounce back from their “fails” and to learn from their “wins.” I hope, also, that some students will see the value of these activities for their own self-improvement and continue the practice of regular reflection.

If you’re interested in doing a similar activity with your students using Flipgrid, I’ve added some topics to the Discovery Library to help make setting things up easier:

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