Student Self Reflection When Problem Solving

Today I am sharing an idea I call Eye on the Target sticks. I always look for ways to help students self-reflect and monitor their learning. These sticks can do that. I have seen many versions of sticks used with wiggle eyes and icons to help students remember key ideas, so I wanted to try this. All you need is jumbo-colored craft sticks, wiggly eyes, and some labels.

Math problem solving is an area where I like to help students persevere and feel successful. Students learn different strategies or steps through modeling and guided practice. When it comes to applying these strategies and steps during independent work time, sometimes the transfer is not as smooth as we would like. This version of an Eye on the Target stick is a visual reminder of steps to take when problem solving in math. So when a student needs some additional support, these sticks might help. If students ask for help, I can ask, "Have you kept your eye on the target? Show me what steps you have taken. At what step did you get stuck? What did you try?" The wiggle eyes get them every time :)!

These sticks are effective after initial instruction has been given, and students are familiar with the icons. Using a poster after initial instruction can help as a visual reminder for students. Click the image below to grab the poster.

It is important to help students be as independent as possible in the journey of learning while providing them with appropriate scaffolds and tools to help them. Different sticks can be made for different learners and different learning goals. Add icons or reduce icons based on student readiness. Keep sticks handy so students can grab them when they need to keep their "Eye on the Target."

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