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 Hi,
I was interested in both messages about assessment and, especially, reflective
journals.  Few of my students will take the time to keep an effective
reflective journal so I have them complete a one page paper I titled
"Reflection" ( I teach below grade level "at risk" 8th graders).  It's format
is simple, open ended questions with space for students response.  Completion
of the "Reflection" is required for projects but does not take them more than
10 minutes to complete.  I have been generally pleased with the responses I
have gotten.  The questions include:  "What was the hardest thing about this
assignment? Why?", "what do you think you did best and why?",  "what would you
do differently if you could do it over again?"  "Given a choice would you put
this assignment in your portfolio and why?"
I found some students were not giving enough detail in their answers initially
so I modelled a "good" reflection by explaining that I did "reflections" on my
own teaching.   I used the example of the oral history project and modelled an
ineffective "reflection" on the what I had learned from assigning and
assessing the oral history.  Then I modelled a 'reflection" with more complete
answers explaining more thoroughly my thoughts on the assignment.  Then I had
them write another "reflection".  This time I got excellent, well thought out
answers.
Laura