Study after study has shown the benefits of student reflection, and that’s why SowntoGrow is one of my highly recommended sites to use in the classroom.

But instead of me grading the work and then giving the score to students to reflect upon, I decided to switch the order. Instead, students first reflect upon their work, and then I share my thoughts and reflection with their score.

If the student reflects first, he/she isn’t influenced by my thinking. Instead, I get a better idea of what they’re proud of or what they want more work on. I’ve often found that if I put my grade and comments on a work first, they simply regurgitate what I told them as their next goal. That doesn’t lead to their ownership–it’s just putting down what I think they should put down and moving on.

I can then read not only the student work but also his/her thinking. Most of the time we agree, but occasionally our scores are far apart OR their future goals of improvement are different than mine. This becomes a great entry point for a conference.

I also like how easy it has been for my students to use. This process only takes students a few minutes to log into the site, reflect, and move on to the next task at hand. After the first few times, students can do this own their own as part of a self-paced system or a blended learning classroom, and then I can conference with them after perusing their reflections. Most of all, I’m excited for them to review their work at the end of each semester and see how much they’ve learned and grown!