VII. Reflection

Reflection was a critical aspect of this project and we used three strategies – pre- and post-surveys, interactive journaling, and reflections. It was a way for high school teachers to check in with their 10th graders on a regular basis and provide coaching, additional resources, and information as needed.

Heritage students, and their elementary buddies, completed three written reflections. The 10th grade students were asked to reflect upon the content they would be teaching, such as the scientific inquiry process, and key steps in presenting findings from a research investigation. Answers to these questions helped teachers decide on critical content and processes to prepare their students. This resulted in lessons around communication, mentoring, scientific inquiry, and questioning strategies.

During the pre- and post-survey, Heritage students were asked about relationships, content, and engagement. For the pre-survey, the students reflected on their own experience of being a fifth grader, what they hoped to accomplish within this partnership, and what was most exciting and challenging. For the post-survey, Heritage students described how they helped their elementary buddies get excited about learning and described what they accomplished as a result of working with the elementary students.

Tenth graders and their fifth grade buddies were also required to complete an interactive journal after each mentoring session. This tool was a mechanism for the students to share their reflections with each other.

The final reflection asked students how they thought the science fair went, what they learned and what they would have changed. Students were also asked what they learned about the scientific process.

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