Educator Resource: End Each Term with a Reflection Week

Khan Lab School
June 3, 2021 / 5 mins read

Try This: Make Time for Reflection with a Reflection Week

"Try This" is a series of blog posts geared towards educators that features smart but simple tips from KLS teachers. Our hope is that these bite-size ideas are something you can implement in your own classroom right away. We'd love to hear how it goes. Leave a comment or tag us on social media @khanlabschool if you try any of these strategies!

Our mission here at KLS is to empower students to navigate their own paths. Teaching students thesocial-emotional and executive function skills they'll need as adults is an important part of this empowerment process.One way we've encourageddeeper self-awareness and metacognition in KLS learners is by asking them to reflect on their learning process.

Students do this throughout each unit, but this year, our team decided to formalize the process and set aside time just for reflection at the end of the Term. We added a full reflection week at the end of this Term to allow students to reflect on their learning. During this week, students looked back at their work from the termand added their favorite pieces of work to a portfolio.

Since KLS used Canvas to manage classes this year, students are using the Bulb portfolio tool to collect and showcase their favorite pieces of work from this year. In addition to uploading the final productthey've created, students are also documenting their learning process by reflecting on how they grew in each unit.

We thought we'd share a bit about how our students are using the Bulb portfolio tool here in case it's helpful to other teachers. Our big picture goal is forKLS students to create a portfolio that highlights their best pieces of work throughout their entire time at the school.

To make it easier for lower school students to start their Bulb portfolios, many teachers have created templates of collections students can use to get started. Above is a skeleton collection I created for my ELA 3 students to use. Each page has instructions for what students should upload there, and reflection questions to guide them through thinking about their learning process for that component.

Here is an example of a reflection activity that ELA 2 Specialist Shannon Rossi worked through with her students.

Above is an example of a reflection activity that Math 3/4 Specialist Michael Hurley did with his students.

"John Dewey said, 'We do not learn from experience. We learn from reflecting on experience.'Bulb is just a tool, but it is a tool that helps facilitate students' ability to self-monitor and evaluate their own learning," explained Brandon Lee, KLS Director of Experiential Learning."The process of reflection itself leads to new thinking and new learning."

We're hoping to implement even more reflection and portfolio updates in future years, but we hope it's helpful to see how we're allowing space for student reflection and portfolio building this year.