So how do we make students really reinforce concepts and ideas we spend our precious class time showing, leading and/or guiding? How do we make sure they are reflecting on the lesson objective, using the practices - that they are making connections? It is an interesting question - I often ask how do I make sure my students understand the concept and embrace their learning - but perhaps I should be asking how do I make students reflect?
Thinking about student reflection was part of a speech from Naomi Harms at a professional event I recently attended - she spoke about the need to only do 15 minutes of teaching, lecturing, practicing, working, etc and then 4 minutes where the students reflect. That reflection can happen any number of ways - but the key is to allow that time. And I am now working hard to set up my daily teaching to make sure students are reflecting, and that they are really embracing their learning.
It may seem like a modest change, but after reflecting on it I am hopeful that it can have a large impact in my students. I think this reflection can have a large payback - the investment is small, about 8 minutes per period - but if students can make their connections in those few minutes then the impact will be much greater than 8 minutes of more lecture, or more practice, or more anything,
Seriously only 4 minutes reflection for 15 minutes of attention, seems too easy. But when I think about myself - even now as an adult I struggle to pay attention and connect ideas when a lecture or speech is more than 15 minutes straight. I am shifting my classroom, I had provided time to make connections but never said "Reflect on this," or "Discuss this with a partner," etc.
So I am going to add it and see how the first month goes. Nothing ventured.....
Finally I just want to thank Juda, JAM'M, WTI and Morgridge Family for making the conference possible - hearing Naomi is making me think about my teaching and work on making it better. So it was a good day.