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Harry G. Lang Rachel C. Lewis

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1 Promoting Literacy in the Classroom Through Writing-to-Learn Strategies End-of-Class Reflection
Harry G. Lang Rachel C. Lewis National Technical Institute for the Deaf Rochester Institute of Technology

2 End-of-Class Reflection
This is another type of “Writing-to-Learn” strategy. With 5-10 minutes left in a class session, ask students to write down two important things they learned OR ask two questions about what they just learned.

3 End-of-Class Reflection
There are many other variations to the End-of-Class Reflection. One goal is to see how well students can prioritize what is important from a recent lesson. Another goal is to see how they have constructed knowledge from the lesson, and whether there may be misconceptions developing.

4 End-of-Class Reflection
The End-of-Class Reflection can be helpful in planning the next class. It can help a teacher see individual strengths and needs in the students and plan accordingly.

5 Try It Yourself In your journal, please write down two things you learned about Writing-to-Learn strategies from the other PowerPoint slide shows. If you have not seen the other shows yet, just list two things you know about the benefits of informal writing as a form of communication in the content areas.

6 Reflect and Share If you are working in a group, please share with others what you have written in your journal.

7 End-of-Class Reflection
Film clip EOC1 shows a math teacher giving instructions for an “End-of-Class Reflection” after a very busy mathematics lesson. Film clip EOC1

8 Reflection Examples In the following slides, we will show you a variety of examples. In addition, we will summarize what other middle school and high school teachers thought of this approach to embedding writing in the science classroom.

9 End-of-Class Reflection
Writing to Learn Science - A Naturalistic Study* Samples from Classrooms Around the Country *Lang, H.G., & Albertini, J.A. (2001). Construction of meaning in the authentic science writing of deaf students. Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 6,

10 End-of-Class Reflection
In a lesson on “Extinction of Tigers,” a teacher established the following objectives for her action research: Assess each student’s ability to remember points about the tiger lecture. Assess each student’s ability to pick the more important and relevant points. Use student writing to structure the next day’s discussions in small groups.

11 End-of-Class Reflection
Upon completion of the lesson she asked her deaf students to list three things they learned about extinction of tigers.

12 Teacher’s Plan “I plan to list the points from their index cards on the blackboard, then prioritize the points with them. I will discuss the criteria for prioritizing with them. Hopefully, it will become obvious that some of the points they recorded were right on and others were irrelevant.”

13 End-of-Class Reflection
Some examples from her students follow…

14 End-of-Class Reflection
Student 1 Don’t put the dirty air on the tigers Feed them everyday as they are hungry Don’t kill all the tigers cuz people want to save the tigers

15 End-of-Class Reflection
Student 2 Put endanger tiger in zoo Don’t go near where tiger life. If you do then tiger will attack you then you will have to shot it. Then tiger is gone. So don’t go near. Stop people to poison to anmals because tiger eat them then tiger have poison too then it will die.

16 End-of-Class Reflection
Student 3 Girl need get boy Need food Save tiger in the zoo don’t hunt kill tiger….Cannot kill it. I want stop kill it.

17 End-of-Class Reflection
Other than some spelling errors, these students did seem to capture some important points about helping to prevent extinction of tigers. For Student 3, by “girl need get boy” was meant that for tigers to continue, they will need to breed. This would be a good place for a teacher to follow up and help the student to express this point more clearly.

18 Action Research Teacher’s reflections: If I were to do this end-of-class reflection activity again, I’d: Have a scoring system set up for choosing the relevant/irrelevant points Have more follow up activities about tigers. It was too much information in one lecture.

19 Additional Teacher’s Comments on Using End-of-Class Reflection
“Writing sentences is definitely not their strong point. I would consider having them sign about their tiger lesson, then write down what they signed.” “I would definitely repeat the end-of-class summary method many times during the year. As the year goes on, I’m sure these students would improve. They barely understood what to do the first time.”

20 Another Reflection Another teacher attempted to use reflection before a lesson. She asked her students to list questions they had about sponges.

21 Attempt to Generate Questions
Teacher Reflection: “I told them the next day we would be learning about the first group of invertebrates, “sponges.” I showed them a picture and asked them to write three questions about what they would like to learn about sponges.

22 Attempt to Generate Questions
Student 1 Why are there is sponges sea? Who are sea sponges? Where is sea sponges are the creatures?

23 Attempt to Generate Questions
Student 2 Why you have a no bone? Do you have a sponge? Do you have a fun with sponge?

24 Attempt to Generate Questions
This teacher was at first discouraged. “Wow, was that hard for them. First, they don’t know how to ask a question…so it really showed me how we need to incorporate this technique much more frequently.”

25 Attempt to Generate Questions
One week later, however: Teacher Reflection: “I have been incorporating the end of class reflections as we study about each different group of invertebrates. It is like part of their workbook to fill out. That has been real helpful. They don’t seem to think of it as ‘writing’….”

26 Attempt to Generate Questions
One week later: “…. They are so motivated if I try to just discuss or at the end, I have a few who will tell me to let them write it instead….They have definitely improved on their comprehension and writing about what they understood. It definitely helps me to see it more from their perspective to clear up any misunderstandings that may have occurred.”

27 End-of-Class Reflection
She provided what she considered a very good response from a student using the “End-of-Class Reflection”… Student 3 Sponge can’t not move and sponge has holes Fish do not like to eat sponge because they smell and taste Sponge get some water and it get some oxygen and when it eats food when get finish with the food it get rid of food

28 End-of-Class Reflection
This teacher also recommended that other teachers “look for the ‘good’ in their students’ writing.” We will always be faced with variable skill levels.

29 Another Teacher’s Comment
“I would say that the end of class reflection definitely gave me a framework to begin with. Knowing Krissy as I do, I knew that she had retained more details than she wrote about, but this gave me a chance to pull the additional information from her. Therefore, I don’t see the response being the end all as to whether or not she learned the information, but rather whether or not she can express a thought completely. For others, it can provide the basic starting point for reflection.”

30 Another Teacher’s Comment
“The students basically had a great reaction to my request to do this exercise. They seem to enjoy pulling out their science journals. They get a great feeling of accomplishment from using it. I also notice, they enjoy reflecting on past projects and entries. The one drawback is that sometimes some of my students do not put their best work into it. They tend to get a little sloppy. This varies from student to student.”

31 End-of-Class Reflection
A third teacher’s comment reveals the importance of dialogue in the Social Constructivist approach to teaching: “... As I worked with him [in a lesson on the human eye] I asked him to put more terms to his descriptions. For example, ‘it has a lot of water inside eye…’ I asked him what the water was, then he labeled it as vitreous humor. I was pleased with his responses, because it showed that he had fully grasped the terms and their placement in the eye. His descriptive terms also showed me that he was processing the information in a way that was fun for him, therefore leading to continued interest.”

32 Mathematics Example Sometimes the End-of-Class Reflection can reveal learning that goes beyond the content objectives. In the following example, the teacher had the students set up a “Math Exhibit”. At the end of the activity, she asked the students to list three things they learned.

33 Mathematics Example Student 1:
I think that our exhibit is exciting and more interesting I like the way the games and brochures were shown! Its’ unique. I thought it take only about one hour to decorate the display but it took us two hours and 30 minutes to do it! It’s challenging and lot of team work, especially the communication! I was amazed that how well we did cooperate and the situation was handled like a mature young adult! About time!

34 Mathematics Example In this example, the first two points are not very helpful, but the third point shows that the student had learned something important about “team work.”

35 Biology Example: Canning Food
Three things I learned: When I go to shopping I have to look at the jar and date. When I feel like pop pop pop that was not good. When I feel not pop pop pop that was good (bulging jar/can) When I smell the fruit or food in jar. If that smelled good that’s fine. But if it smells bad. I don’t taste the fruit or food. If I look the bacteria I will throw away.

36 Biology Example: Canning Food
This teacher also experimented with having students ask questions (for the next class) after the lesson was over.

37 Biology Example: Canning Food
Three things I learned: When I go to shopping I have to look at the jar and date. When I feel like pop pop pop that was not good. When I feel not pop pop pop that was good (bulging jar/can) 3. When I smell the fruit or food in jar. If that smelled good that’s fine. But if it smells bad. I don’t taste the fruit or food. If I look the bacteria I will throw away. Questions What causes the bulge? How do bacteria get inside close can? How people clean the metal can?

38 Social Studies Example: “Social Class”
I learned from the paper that the lower class is aware of things, but try to overcome things that separate the high class and lower class. I learned from the group to listen to other opinions and not to judge it. And that your opionion is yours, but does not neccessaryly mean it’s correct.

39 Summary What teachers learned after using the End-of-Class Reflection
Instructions: Be very clear with instructional prompts, and have patience. Don’t give up if the approach doesn’t seem to work at first. End of Semester: Avoid trying to use the End-of-Class Reflection for a full course. There are too many topics. Follow-Up: As with other writing-to-learn strategies, follow-up dialogue is critical to teaching and learning.

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