How can I implement reflection in my lessons?
Someone asked once what my employer pays me for.
My answer was: Teaching the students maths.
I was wrong. The correct answer was: Teaching students to learn things by themselves.
Although we focus on teaching our students subject topics every day, we are actually training them to become self-aware people who eventually leave the school to experience the ‘real’ world and continue learning on their own.
Wouldn’t it be great if we could do as much as possible to help our students with this?
CLIL is an excellent way of doing this, as student awareness of their own learning is a vital part of the CLIL methodology. However, it is also the trickiest one.
Applying effective lesson reflection is tricky for anyone trying to work with CLIL at the early stages, but it can be very rewarding. It also makes activating prior knowledge in the following lesson a lot more effective, as you can refer back to their reflections of the previous lessons. This will not only help them to become aware of the overall curriculum, but learning about reflection and evaluation also makes them more independent learners.
And that’s what we want right?
The activities in this course can be done without a lot of preparation and require little experience with CLIL. If you have any questions however, don’t hesitate to ask me!
A simple way of reflecting on the lesson is by asking your students to write down what they learned this lesson. However, that is the most basic of reflections and although it is a great way to get students accustomed to reflection moments, this question only falls short of reaching effective reflection.
When you have asked them to reflect on their work a couple of times, you can expand your reflection activity with exercises like:
- Write down one question you still have.
- Write down which new words you learned today.
- Rate yourself on a scale of 1-5 on how you think you worked together this lesson.
- Rate yourself on a scale of 1-5 on how well you understand this lessons topic (This type of reflection requires a clear defined topic at the beginning).
- Write down the most important thing you have learned today.
- Write down your opinion on the group work of today.
- What did you spend most time on? How come?
- You can probably think of more yourself!
This week’s activity, as well as the final one in this challenge: Create a reflection moment in your lesson and ask you students to do these reflection exercises. Depending on both your skill and your students’, you can choose either one or multiple exercises.
These challenges are supposed to make you think about what you are doing and why you are doing it. Also, depending on your experience and skill, the challenges can result in different solutions.
The challenge of this week is to do a little research on the importance of reflecting. A lot of research has been done regarding this topic, explaining why it is vital to not skip this part of the lesson. Find some articles on the internet and write a short summary, of about 5 lines, on the importance of reflection.