“Self Reflection and Growth Mindset with Early Language Learners”
from April 4, 2018
On April 4, language teachers from grades K-8, and beyond, met for the biweekly #EarlyLang chat. Participants discussed the importance of self-reflection for all learners and how to encourage young learners to begin a reflective practice. They also made recommendations on how to set measurable goals and how to encourage students to document their progress toward those goals.
Q1: What does self-reflection look like with early learners?
@kellycondon pointed out that it should be quick and easy to boost their confidence. Some simple ways to incorporate self-reflection are thumbs up/thumbs down, hold up fingers to show ability toward the Can Do Statement, or a sheet of statements related to goals and how often students apply them. For hand signals, students can also close their eyes as they think about their response, this could reduce embarrassment or lessen the possibility that they are influenced by their peers’ responses. They can also put their hand close to their chest and shield it with the other hand to keep it private.
Q2: How does self-reflection impact learning?
Goals provide direction and meaning; they can also communicate that teachers don’t expect them to know everything. It helps them to realize that they do know some things in the TL. Reflecting on their progress allows them to take control of their learning. It also shows them what they do well and what might be challenging for them. Finally, reflection is part of a growth mindset. By monitoring progress, students can see that learning is not always linear, but there is always growth.
Q3: What supports do we provide for students so they can self-reflect on their language learning?
Sometimes it can be something simple like an encouraging word from the teacher to get students started on reflecting, it may be all they need to feel that they can do it. Other suggestions included to remind students to compare themselves to themselves, modeling what self-reflection and goal setting looks like, and looking at errors as progress and the opportunity to learn. In addition,
@ mundodepepita, “I have a visual for our community goals posted outside my door; kids use it to state their goal, & to choose a new one (as appropriate) when they’ve met the one they’ve been working on”.
@doriecp, “I use visuals to ask students to reflect on language proficiency and growth throughout a unit in concrete ways. You can read more about it here: https://t.co/VxJRgVUzjI”.
@nathanlutz, “I talk to Ss about setting SMART goals = specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-limited Check out @WLClassroom’s post on goals: https://t.co/x8YDnA2Tya”.
Q4: How can we make sure students’ goals are measurable?
Kid-friendly language is important to making it measurable and ensure that they understand the expectation. Once that is established, ask how they know if have achieved it–they should be able to respond yes or no in the TL. Finally, working with the different proficiency levels and showing students what they look like/ sound like can help them see the end goal.
Q5: How do we guide students to document their growth?
For all young learners, this can be a challenge. It needs to be both comprehensible and meaningful. Several participants use Seesaw (https://web.seesaw.me/), a digital portfolio which easily allows students and teachers to review progress. Recording peer-to-peer conversations in the beginning of the year, then repeating the activity also lets students see their growth. Online tools certainly make documentation a bit easier, however, even a quick turn and talk with partner accoutability can be a means to document progress.
Reflection–how do you intend to encourage students to use self-reflection and develop a growth mindset in your early language classroom?
Participants mentioned that they would try some of the suggestions offered throughout the night, including Seesaw and the thumbs up/thumbs down technique. @nathanlutz linked Carol Dweck’s TEDTalk on The Power of Yet https://t.co/VJLvk4IdSB.
Thank you to all who participated in this #EarlyLang chat! Thank you to our lead moderator, Nathan Lutz, (@nathanlutz) for leading the chat and to our co-moderator, Julie, (@mundodepepita) for helping guide the conversation. Thanks also to EMC School (@EMCSCHOOL) for sponsoring tonight’s chat.The next chat is April 18, 2018 at 8 pm EST. Hope to see you there.
Want to vote for our upcoming #Earlylang topics? https://t.co/l1VbHqzLU1