New Teacher Toolbox: 4 Strategies for End-of-Year Student Reflection that You Can Try Right Now!

As teachers, we know that reflection is key to helping students learn. By guiding students through the reflection process, we can help them to think about what they learned and how they learned during the school year. 

It can be challenging for students to remember everything you did this year! How can you help them to remember all of the engaging learning experiences you shared? Here are a few ideas!

Artifact Gallery:

Set up items from learning activities on the tables with sticky notes or butcher paper. Examples of items could include science tools (microscopes, balances, beakers, or other tools used for labs), specific books (read alouds or class texts), copies of articles you used for close reading, or any other supplies that were a part of your learning this year. As students move around the room in groups, they should write down a memory of the activities that match the artifacts. 

Student Work Samples:

Over the course of the year, photocopy student work samples, being careful to put a sticker or marker over the student’s name. Store the student work samples in plastic page protectors in a binder. At the end of the year, post important pieces of work, such as science lab reports, essays, or art projects. This will help students remember some of the specific academic activities from your school year.

Pictures of Students Collaborating:

Over the year, use a cell phone or camera to take pictures of students working. Snapping pictures during outside learning, recess, electives, field trips, and reading time are great classroom memories. Create a slideshow of the pictures and set it to music as a fun end-of-year slideshow. Make sure any students included in the slideshow have photo permission through your school or district!

Take pictures of students collaborating with each other to remind them of projects that allowed them to work together to build a deeper understanding of the content.

Video Interviews of Specials (Electives) Teachers:

Ask teachers and staff around the building about their favorite memory of the year. Have teachers email you their memories, or take a video of them sharing the memory. Use a slide deck to share the school-wide memories of the students’ year.

The key is to pick one way to reflect with your students at the end of the year. Don’t overwhelm yourself (and your students) by packing in too many reflection activities at the end of the year. First and foremost, end-of-year activities should be a celebration of your time together!

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