When it comes to the education world, things change on a regular basis. As a teacher, I'm constantly analyzing and evaluating my lesson plans. I definitely look at everything to see what works well and what doesn't. If it doesn't work, I change it. If it works well, I still change it! It is important to truly evaluate your students wants and needs, so you can make their experience in your class a great educational experience.
The best way to evaluate my lesson plans, I like to have my students reflect on the class each quarter. I don't do this for every project or unit, but I do find it important to do this every quarter.
At the end of each quarter, answer the following questions:
1. What did you learn in science class this quarter (be specific)
2. What did you like most? Why?
3. What did you like least? Why?
4. What percentages of effort/achievement did you give this quarter?
5. Do you have any suggestions how Mrs. Gaunce can help you be more successful next quarter?
By doing this, I'm able to hear from the students what they like and what they didn't. Of course, many of them like to tell me that they hate doing homework. I have listened to them and changed homework assignments to be more focused for project completions. This is what I like to call compromise!! :)
As a way to get my students to take ownership in their reflections, I like to have a class discussion beforehand about the importance to reflections. How it helps the students really evaluate their own performance in class as well as mine as a teacher. It also allows me the opportunity to listen to my students without them feeling intimidated. This is due to the fact I have the student reflect anonymously first quarter, but by fourth quarter they take ownership and write their names on their reflections. I do this as a way to make my students feel comfortable in my class. By the end of 4th quarter the students and I have developed relationships where they feel comfortable telling me the truth about the class!
Now, that I have taken a technology class, I've learned there are multiple ways to create methods of reflection beside a written format. These include things such as blogs and polls using cell phones/iPod touches. Personally, I still enjoy the written format, but I look forward to using these ideas for some quick project reflection ideas instead of just at the end of the quarter.