Part of becoming a powerful thinker is reflecting on progress. Take the time to reflect on new skills and experiences students have learned during the past year and especially during the pandemic. Then, set goals (SMART ones) that can be achieved in our new reality.
Because student work in Wixie resides in the cloud, students will see the goals over and over at their Wixie home page. The digital nature of the collections and reflections of skills and experiences also makes it easy to share with family and friends.
Collecting and Reflecting on the past year
While not at the stage where they need to craft a resume, elementary students can use a resume-like template to learn how to identify their skills and experiences. This gives them an opportunity to reflect and identify what they did well, what they enjoyed, and how they grew.
You can use a template like the end-of-year Round Up (Templates>Month-by-Month>December) to highlight student growth during times of online learning and life at home under quarantine rules.
Secondary students are growing skills in connecting and communicating with adults as they mature in their ideas and thinking and prepare for life in the workforce.
Ask them to reflect on their experiences over the past nine months and create a resume highlighting new (albeit very different) skills. Search “resume” to assign a resume template.
Margaret Hale, at Thought Lens, suggests having students consider these questions to identify their strengths and skills for a resume:
- What things did you notice people asked you to do?
- Did friends or family ask for your help on projects?
- What things did you so enjoy doing that you lost track of time?
- Did people come to you for help on gaming, homework, cooking, or simply to talk?
She also suggested reaching out to others for assistance.
"Ask (3) people that know you really well and have them tell you what they think your biggest skills/strengths are. Sometimes people that know you best can help remind you of the things you do so well naturally. Skills, strengths and passions change and grow all our lives and it is wonderful to always learn new things."
Taxonomy of Reflection
You can also use Peter Pappas's Taxonomy of Reflection to help students take stock of their learning and identify specific new knowledge learned, actions taken, and skills acquired and improved.
When students reach the top of the taxonomy, "What should I do next?" they are ready to begin setting goals.
Many students feel anxious and powerless during the pandemic. Teaching students how to set goals leads them to believe in themselves (confidence) and their own power to take actions that influence their lives (agency).
Wixie includes several goal-setting templates, like "Reach Your Goal", that include places for students to write specific steps they can take to make progress on reaching their goals. Search "goal" in the field at the top of your Wixie home page to find a template you can assign or customize.
It isn't enough to simply write a list of goals. It is essential to teach students how to set goals they can attain and teach them that reaching goals requires action. Teach your students how to write SMART goals, or goals that are: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Timely.
Once students have written their goals in Wixie, revisit them regularly with your students. Students will see their goals in their My Projects folder each time they log in to Wixie. Ask students to open the file, read their goals, and add text or audio notes to reflect on their effort and progress.
No matter exactly how you choose to do it, celebrating progress and setting new goals helps students gain confidence in their ability to take action and pride in their efforts.