The end of the semester has come. As I grade through the seemingly never-ending pile of papers, I reflect. How did the students respond to the textbook and certain activities this semester? How engaged did they seem during class? I consider the success level on student assignments and how that success was determined. Should I modify the assignment? The rubric? Do I allow for students to “show what they know” in a variety of ways, depending on their personal preferences and learning styles? Although the semester is over for students, my learning continues.
In fact, I learn quite a bit each semester. Did that new approach produce the desired results? Was that structure a headache or worth it? Were there student needs I was unprepared for? How can I better set each student up for success, while still allowing them to meet high standards?
One of my favorite reflection tools at the end of the semester is the exit ticket. Each student completes one, whether in a face-to-face or online course, before they leave the course. It’s their final task. The exit ticket provides me with student insight for the course but also assists me in learning more about each student. Although I modify it slightly every semester, here’s what the exit ticket entails:
When answering the following, reflect on the entire course.
- Top 10 takeaways
- Favorite aspect or activity
- Talk about the textbook
- Syllabus assessment
- Personal growth/new insights
- Do over- what is something you’d do differently?
- Greatest achievement
- Anything else you’d like me to know…
Don’t get me wrong, I look forward to semester break like the next person, but I also recognize the importance of reflecting during those final hours. In fact, this is a crucial step in reflective practice. According to Educational Psychologist, Dr. Kenneth Wolf, “Reflection is what allows us to learn from our experiences: it is an assessment of where we have been and where we want to go next.”
After the final grade has been entered, I will take a break to celebrate the holidays with family and friends. This short break provides me with a much needed breather so that I can return next week, ready to apply what I’ve learned and move forward in planning the next semester.
What tools do you use for self-reflection regarding your teaching practice? Comment/Reply below.
I’m pleased to announce that MN participants of our Beyond The Pages book study (Goffin) may earn 6 training hours for active participation. This is an approved course through the MN Center for Professional Development! This course applies towards the Core Competency Area of VIII. Professional Development and the CDA Content Area of Maintaining Professionalism.
Participants can participate LIVE each week following the book study schedule OR may complete it as a self-paced course.
The following guidelines are for participants seeking MNCPD/Develop hours or a certificate for active participation in the Beyond The Pages Early Childhood Book Study (Goffin):
- Participants will SUBSCRIBE to the Enhancing Young Minds (EYM) blog. Then, drop me a note stating your participation by visiting my Contact Me page. Include your name and email address. Put “BOOK STUDY” in the subject area and “I PLAN TO PARTICIPATE” (and anything else you’d like me to know) in the message area. Simply follow along each week to access the new discussions about the book.
- Participants will pay for training hours/certificate by visiting the top-right of this blog and click Donate under PAY for Book-study Certificate Here. ($30)
- Participants will obtain a copy of the chosen book– Professionalizing Early Childhood Education as a Field of Practice: A Guide to the Next Era by Stacie Goffin.
- If you are on Facebook, JOIN this event! https://www.facebook.com/events/1078301142189381/
- Participants will read the chapters according to the timeline and review the correlating expert commentary on my blog.
- Participants will participate by posting thoughtful and reflective responses (regarding book readings and expert commentaries) in the comments section of the blog post each week for the duration of the blog study. That means that participants will post 8 reflections. If participants are bloggers themselves and are blogging about this experience, including their reflections, they are able to simply post the weblink to their blog post in our blog comments section.
- Participants will keep an organized log (Word document) of all comments or blog posts (with dates and chapters) and email them to Dawn Braa (firstname.lastname@example.org) at the end of the study.
- Participants are responsible for submitting their certificate to Develop to be entered in their learning record UNLESS they JOIN DEVELOP (free to create an account). If participants submit their MNCPD Develop ID# to Dawn along with their organized log of participation, course completion will automatically be entered onto their MNCPD learning record!
*Participants must successfully complete all requirements to be eligible for training hours/certificate.
**Duplicate certificates will not be sent.
If you live outside MN and are seeking training hours, I suggest you also document your active participation and inquire with your state about approval possibilities. I am not guaranteeing approval of any kind outside of MN, but you will receive a certificate after successful completion.
To learn more about this study, including the FAQs, click HERE!
Jennifer from MN is the first to have completed my first Beyond The Pages blog book study for training hours. She participated in all 14 discussions – way to go!
Jennifer says of the study, “I enjoyed the wide variety of topics covered and thought all the guest bloggers brought helpful insights. I can’t wait to hear what we will read this spring!”
Thank you for your participation Jennifer! It was lovely to have you as a participant.
*If YOU missed the fall study, don’t worry! Since it’s online, you can participate at any time 🙂 Simply visit my college program blog where it’s hosted. Decide on a pace that works for you. Get Rae Pica’s book, read it according to the timeline (not necessarily in order), and read the correlating guest expert commentaries (click on chapter links) and comments for more insights and resources. Be sure to comment on the blog – share your thoughts and stories – be heard!
The announcement for the next book study will be coming next week…stay tuned!
This site is dedicated to supporting early childhood educators and parents in enhancing young minds. You’ll find good articles and neat features like early childhood guest speakers, Adventures in Eating, MomEnough programs, Bam!Radio programs, and my newest feature- blog book studies! Spread the word- please share this site with your social networks.
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