During the last weeks of school, I always experience a whole slew of emotions — anticipation, excitement, relief, and exhaustion. And I think all of these emotions are perfectly valid. So when it comes time for data review and end-of-year reflections with administrators or mentors, this can often feel like just another box I need to check off before the much-needed recharge time that is summer break.
As the end of the academic year approaches, we teachers have a lot to look forward to: end of year celebrations, summer vacation and…data conversations!
The end of the year can provide us and our students with a great opportunity to use data to reflect on our growth.
Reflecting on the Past Year With Piktochart
We know that great teachers are reflective practitioners, and that the end of the year presents a great opportunity for reflection. For many of us, this reflection is mandated, in the form of data conversations or progress-to-goals meetings with administrators or mentors.
Below is a sample of one of Tracey’s end of year reflection reports.
But whether it’s required or not, it is important for us to look back on our achievements and areas of growth from the year. This can then inform our preparation for the year to come.
Over the past seven years, I have completed my end-of-year data reflection in several different formats — spreadsheets, Google Docs, pencil and paper. But none of these mediums have been nearly as helpful as Piktochart.
Here are a few reasons why:
Helping Students Reflect on Their Growth and Performance
Our students can also greatly benefit from completing end-of-year reflections. The process of looking back on their work, naming their strengths, and reflecting on their progress throughout the year empowers students.
It helps them better know themselves as learners, and to recognize the relationship between their efforts and their achievements.
Below is a sample of an end of year report made by a student.
This is the first year I’ve tried having my students use Piktochart to create reports on their growth, and I fully intend to do the same every year from here on out.
Following these steps, you can facilitate your students’ reflections.
Choose an area of focus for student reflection
You might choose to have students focus on their growth in one or more subject, their performance on standardized tests, or just generally look back on the year.
Hit play to listen to Tracey share a story on the positive effects of student reflection.
Provide guiding questions to help students focus their reflection
Help students narrow their focus and stay on topic by providing a list of guiding questions. Your questions should speak to all of the information you want students to include in their report.
When you’re ready to get started, you can find templates for reports on Piktochart under the ‘Printables’ section.
Reflection as a Tool for Growth
Given all the hard work we and our students have put in throughout the year, we owe it to ourselves and to our students to use the last weeks of school purposefully and thoughtfully.
Through the practice of reflection, we provide ourselves and our students the opportunity to let all that hard work sink in, celebrate our growth, and bring the year of work full circle.
In this way, when we close our doors on the school year, we feel a true sense of completion. And then, let the celebrating begin!