The following tips are designed for teachers and students to get the most from the Check-in experience.
- Invest in building a strong connection with the learning objective. This should be referred to frequently throughout the lesson, as students transition from one activity to the next, before returning to it at the end to consolidate learning and provide a framework for students to monitor their progress. Reflection is not a test to see if students can remember what was shared at the start of the lesson. Focus on all parts of the learning objective. There should be a verb, noun and context and all three elements are important to the process.
- “Find time to take a moment” Reflection should be seen as an essential part of the learning process and as such it needs to be valued. Make sure to allocate sufficient time and avoid asking students to reflect as part of a homework assignment. The check-in needs to be in the moment.
- Explain why reflection matters. Use the Verso teacher guide to explain the process to students and ways that their feedback can make a difference.
- Model the process with your students. Talk to your students about your own learning process and how you reflect on your own learning. This will help them understand what reflection is and why it is important.
- Build trust. Students need to feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and feelings about their learning. Make sure they understand that their check-in responses can not and will not be seen by their classmates.
- Practice. Reflection should not be something that students do only once in a while. It should be a regular part of their learning process. Consider checking in with students when:
- you have made an adaptation to your practice,
- at a critical stage of the learning journey such as preparing to transition from surface to deep.
- Walk students through the questions and prompts. Talk about how each question requires them to think. Explain what a great response might look like. Provide copies of the Verso Student Reflection Guide to support their thinking.
- Hold students accountable. Give students feedback on the quality of their responses. This will help them improve their reflective skills.
- Show that their voices are being heard. Start the next lesson with statements such as “I read your reflections and noticed that…. So today we are going to….”.
- Build a language for learning. Make sure the language of the classroom is focused on learning rather than doing. Try to be precise. Avoid vague statements such as “We are learning about….” as this, in the absence of strong success criteria, lacks the clarity required to support self assessment.