Reflecting With a Difference

Why do we ask our students to reflect on their learning?

Because reflective practice encourages them to go beyond memorisation and surface-level learning. By contemplating what they've learned, why it matters, and how it connects to their prior knowledge, they deepen their understanding of the subject matter.

We recently had an amazing session with a forensic expert who not only explained what his job entailed, but he’d recreated a crime scene and had the students discover footprints and fingerprints to help find the suspect involved. Total engagement!

Afterwards I contemplated how to get the students to reflect on their experience - in a way other than simply writing about it.

I’d read about ‘word splash’ as a thinking routine a few days earlier and been pondering how it might be helpful. This seemed like a great opportunity to use it.

Combined with the word ‘Creativity’ which is our focus for this term, our reflection task became the following:

  1. We used Magic Media in Canva (the text to image option) to create a scene that a forensic expert would be called to.
  2. This required the students to really think about what they had learned about when forensics experts were called in - but also what words could be used in Canva. (They quickly learned it wouldn’t create an image if they used the word ‘blood’ and they substituted it with ‘red substance’ - which worked. Great critical thinking!
  3. They then imported that image into Keynote and locked it in the background. They used the shape tools to add a shape of something that a forensic investigator would use. Many of them wanted to add shapes a suspect might use so again lots of great discussion was had about the differences.
  4. Once they had their shape, they duplicated it 10 times. On each one they wrote one keyword about forensics that they had learned from the session and grouped the word and shape together. There was so much rich discussion about what was actually used in forensics. 
  5. Magic Move was used to ‘splash’ two words together. They had to choose two words that were somehow connected and bring them together.
  6. The record audio option was used to explain the connection orally.
  7. They repeated the same process six times (so they couldn’t just choose pairs from the start 😉)

The focus and discussions were much richer than any written task we would have done and the way they helped each other with the technical aspects was so great to see. 

As a teacher it gave me more information about each student also and what they had taken away from the experience.

Here’s a snippet (with the student’s permission to share 😁) of how the reflections looked. 

 

How might you get your student’s to reflect on their learning?




 

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