This past week, students in grade 2 were asked to honestly reflect on their own growth/learning/ability within each of the 10 'Learner Profiles' that we talk about and strive towards during our school year. We did this because these self-reflective scores will be the scores imputed on the upcoming report cards in January.
For this, I gave the students a simple sheet with a box for each Learner Profile. The box included a simple sentence describing the Learner Profile, space to give relevant reason for the score they chose for themselves, as well as a place to circle their scores. It's taken about 6 days total, doing one or two reflections a day, to get them finished, and now I'm putting the scores into the school's electronic report card program. When I am marking the score on the actual physical report card, I only record the number grade that each student chose for themselves, not the explanation. The explanations are more for them to prove their thinking and reflect in words.
Of course, I am always amazed at what second graders write. One of the largest joys of my job is the simple spelling mistakes they make ('shit' for 'sheet' or 'penis' for 'pennies', as examples). But, sometimes the written sentences and ways they describe things are a joy as well. In this case, their answers are not only honest, but sometimes as shocking as they are funny.
As always, it's my pleasure to then share them with you, hoping you'll find them as enjoyable as I do. So below, I have listed each learner profile, added the description in italics, and sampled a few of the best reflections for you. To save your sanity, I have correctly spelled and punctuated each child's words, as well as added [brackets] where clarification was needed. Please also enjoy my comments, where applicable, within parentheses...
I use my words to share my thinking, and I listen to others when they are speaking.
"I'm a awful speaker - my brain seems to run away. When I'm in trouble I can't communicate and I know I can do better."
"I think I have to work more on communication because at home I am very very very mean to my brother. But after all, I think I am perfect."
I take care of my friends and the classroom, and I treat others with kindness.
"I scored it 4. Why I think that is because I give stickers to my friends everyday."
"I am so much caring to my BFFs, people I don't play with very often, and people in my family, also people around the world."
I am curious and ask a lot of questions, and look for the answers too.
"I ask lot lot lots of questions. I try to find the answer. I wonder a lot."
"I think I'm good at inquirer because I always ask my mom questions like, 'Where's [brother's name]?' and at least I ask 5 questions a day. Also because I try to look for the answers by my mom says: 'Wait!' (I think because she's tired of answering questions)."
I use my brain to think about what I know, and use it to help me understand new information.
"I am sometimes a thinker but not that often. But I do take time thinking about something. Because of that, I have the perfect books in my book box."
"Because I don't use any old information to tell, or think. I don't use my brain to talk about." (Evidently you don't use your brain to finish sentences, either!)
"I'm good at doing this. In [the book] '11 Planets' I thought '11? But aren't there 9?' I thought hard... and I got the answer if you add two dwarfs like Pluto and Eris does 10, and then the asteroid belt. So it is 11."
I try new things and am not afraid to make mistakes.
"I can improve better. I try new things but I'm afraid of making mistakes. If I make a simple mistake, my dad will do this: 'Bla Bla Bla', so I think [a score of] 3."
I listen to the ideas of others and consider their thinking too.
"I listen to others but I forget what they say. I can improve better."
"I suck (huh?) at being open-minded. I always think my ideas are good. I don't listen so well."
"My listening sometimes gets carried away because after Ms. Foreman talks about something it makes me think about something else."
"I think I can improve on Open-Minded because when people say their thinking I don't really listen and I just thinking about my thinking. Also because sometimes I try new things like eating chicken hearts."
I do the right thing, even when nobody is watching.
"Sometimes I find money on the ground and pick it up, but I need to be reminded to put it back."
"I marked it a 3 because I don't usually behave wrong. This doesn't mean I do wrong not at all."
I am healthy and take care of myself in many different ways.
"Sometimes I just eat the rice, but not the meat or chicken. Sometimes I want candy and don't eat any good food."
"I think I can help myself in winter and sometimes when I am wearing three shirts and it is cold outside I think I can win but it's so cold I need to get a big jacket still."
"I am very balanced because I take or do healthy-junk, non-fiction-fiction, run-walk, play-work."
"I marked it 3. I practice stretching everyday, and on every Saturday and Sunday, I go to 'onsen' spa to take a bath. This helps me balanced."
"I think I am balanced sometimes because when my family goes to McDonalds I always get the same burger."
I try to learn a lot about myself and the world around me.
"I graded it a 3. I want to know more about the wonder like, why the color in the sky changes from morning through evening to night. I'd like to learn many things."
"Sometimes when it's math time I feel like learning and sometimes I don't feel like learning. That's just the way I am."
Lastly, my two personal favorites from the Learner Profile 'knowledgeable':
"I am knowledgeable because my knowledge gets stronger when Miss Formen teaches me. I am also knowledgeable because I take care of the world around me and Gondy said to be the change in the world..." (bless any second grader who quotes Ghandi!)
"Sometimes I want to know more about the world, but just sometimes I just want to give up."