So, teachers, the school year is finally coming to an end. PHEW! I can hear your gasp of relief from here. You are beginning to wrap things up and wind things down in class in anticipation of a well-deserved summer break. But, before we put on our sombreros and hit the poolside bar, let’s talk about some final class activities to get our kids reflecting on their year at school.
It’s been a long year
After a whole year of teaching and learning, we have all done a lot. Different methods have been tried and tested. New and fun activities have been added to our lessons. Even new technologies have been given our seal of approval. This list of all the new things we’ve been doing in our classes could go on and on. What’s really important to remember though, is that our students have also been doing and learning new things too. If you think about it, the vast majority of what we have covered has been new for our students. They have just had a whole 9 months of acquiring fresh ideas and skills. A whole 9 months! When we look at it that way, that’s quite a lot!
Let’s get reflective!
So let’s take a breather. Put your thinking caps on. Now take a step back in time with your students to reflect together on your year at school. Collaborative reflection is a valuable activity for our students as it allows them to connect concepts, share thoughts and ideas and thus further embed their learning. It can also generate engaging discussions and get them to think more deeply about the learning process. It’s always a good idea to try to fit in some reflective practices together at the end of a class or a unit. So, what about the end of the school year? September through June, our students learn so much that it’s hard for them to assimilate and connect everything they have learned.
So why not ask your students to think about their favorite lessons and topics they learned about from September to June. Kids could be asking themselves, “What did we learn this year, anyway?” and “What can we talk about now that we couldn’t talk about a year ago?” Get the creative juices flowing and then set the students a fun task to create a 30hands video describing their learning experiences with images and narration!
But there’s a lot to reflect on there… How would I structure this? Well here’s an idea….
Reflective Activity: A video describing some topics or skills developed throughout the year.
Student grouping: Individually, in pairs or in groups of 3 – whatever suits you and your students!
Steps to take:
1. Together with your students, brainstorm topics and lessons you covered throughout the year. You don’t have to touch on everything, as you’d never get your summer break! (Eugh!)
2. When you’ve made your brainstorm ‘cloud’ or list, ask the students to pick 1,2 or even 3 of their favorite learning experiences. This could be a specific topic you covered that they liked, an experiment your tried, or perhaps a field trip you went on.
3. It’s good to structure things for them, so have them reflect on a) what they learned, b) how they learned it and c) what they liked about the activity.
4. Let’s get them planning things well, so now ask them to write a quick script on how they would describe this reflection in their video. This will be their narration!
5.Then have them create a new presentation in 30hands, and begin to storyboard out their script with slides. This will enable them to split things up and visualize what their video will look like.
6. Now it’s time to draw and add images to your slides, or even take some photos or videos!
7. Then have them narrate their script over the slides they have developed.
8. Finally, they can publish their video!
Sound like a fun idea to wrap up the year? It’s creative and engaging, and it get the students thinking about what they learned. If you want to get into more detail, perhaps your students could do a timeline of topics they studied throughout the year and make a video of the timeline! In fact, there’s lots of ways you could do this. Make sure to share what you do with us at 30hands! We’d love to learn from your reflective activities!
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