As I move into the final step of my 'supercharging student reflection' blog post series, it is my hope that teachers trying these ideas out in their own program will take the time to share with me how things go. I'd like feedback on the struggles you may have experienced, things you have tweaked, modified, or deleted and successes you may have had in implementing the steps outlined in this blog post series. It's been a great experience having to sit down and actually write out each step as it had me clarify and think deeply about the process in which I have students reflect in my PE program.
It can be a hugely rewarding experience to see students take ownership over their goals and to make legitimate progress towards achieving these goals. We can never really predict when a student will actually achieve their goal, so careful observation is obviously necessary throughout their journey. As a teacher, when you have seen enough evidence that clearly indicates that the student has made substantial progress, it is important to have a conversation with them about how they feel they have done in regards to their personal goal. When both teacher and student feel as though it is time to move on, Step 7 in the process really kicks into gear!!!
There are several different ways that we can celebrate student success in regards to achieving their personal goals in PE. I will share some of the ways in which I have helped students to celebrate reaching their goal, but as you can imagine there are so many other ways to do this as well. You'll figure out what is best for you and your students.
A Celebration Through the Learner Profile and PYP Attitudes
When my students have reached their personal goals in the past, depending upon what their goal actually was, I would connect it to one of the PYP Learner Profile Attributes or PYP Attitude posters seen below and give them a certificate of achievement along with a quick explanation of what they had accomplished. This is extremely time consuming, but if I had the certificates ready to go and everything organized, it was manageable.
I should've mentioned this in one of the earlier steps, but setting up a visually rich teaching space is imperative in helping to guide and facilitate important discussions in PE. I created the posters that you see below and have always kept them up in my teaching space. These visuals have always been extremely useful in helping to have important dialog and discussion about core values in regards to striving for personal excellence in my physical education program. And they are a great tool for making strong connections to their personal goals as well.
The PYP Attitudes
The PYP Learner Profile Attributes
If a student had a personal goal related to demonstrating better teamwork and communication skills, once they had achieved their goal, it was possible for me to connect their achievement to the PYP Learner Profile attribute 'Communicator' for example. I could then give them a certificate of achievement that highlighted the fact that they had demonstrated being a great communicator in regards to their personal goal.
The PYP Attitudes and Learner Profile Attributes are at the very heart of everything that we do in Primary Years Program, so connecting their personal goals to these attitudes and attributes is pedagogically sound practice and should make total sense.
Another example could be a student whose personal goal is related to showing better sportsmanship in PE. Once he or she had achieved this goal, a strong connection could be made the the PYP Attitude of 'Respect'. Giving them a certificate is a celebration in itself and worthy of recognizing their success with everyone in class. As well, they would have the certificate to bring home to show their parents.
A Celebration Through Student-Led Portfolio Conferences
Every year we have something called Student-Led Portfolio Conferences that takes place in April or May. These conferences are all about the students celebrating their achievements throughout the year by sharing their favourite pieces of work from each subject area with their parents. Most of this is done in the classroom, but I set up my gym in a way that allowed the students to bring their parents into their physical education space and take them through their learning in PE. The first thing the students do is show their parents their 'Sportfolio' which includes different types of assessment pieces from throughout the school year. This is also the time that the students would have a chance to show their goal-setting sheets and all of the reflections that they had done in regards to their personal goal. If they had already achieved their goal, it was a great time to celebrate this success and to provide specific examples of how they were able to accomplish their goal.
If they had not achieved their goal as it was still in progress, it was still a great time for them to share the strategies that they were working on in relation to their goal and any small successes that they had made.
Once they were done doing this, I had stations set up in the gym that allowed the students to take their parents through, showcasing their specific skill development in the different units done in PE throughout the year. They also teach their parents how to do certain skills and actually play games with them as well. The feedback from parents is astoundingly positive as they rarely get a chance to see what is actually happening in PE.
And the CYCLE Begins Again!!
Once the students have achieved and celebrated their accomplishment in regards to their personal goal, it is now time to begin the process over again. The students will return back to the initial visual that was created at the beginning of the school year and select a new growth area to work on. The original visual that you see below is simply a reference point for them now. They do not have to choose an area identified in the visual itself, they can select any goal that they feel as though the need to concentrate on.
So ladies and gentlemen, there you go. My 7-step 'supercharging student reflection' blog post series is now complete. Hope you have enjoyed reading through the different steps and that some of the big ideas that I presented in this series have resonated with you. The very best of luck to you if you decide to implement these strategies with your own students. Let me know how it goes!!