We use the Reflection Cards in different ways depending on the lesson, the group of students, and our goals for student learning. Sometimes we introduce specific Reflection Cards during a Chef Meeting or small group circle as a focus for that lesson. Other times we may ask students to select a card for the group to focus on during the lesson. Either way, we prompt students to generate a brief explanation of what the card means, or describe examples of how it looks in the context of the kitchen. At the end of class we lead a brief group reflection and discussion on how that skill was practiced or not during class that day.
Other times we may select a Reflection Card as a focus at the end of class. For example, perhaps we noticed that many of our students were forgetting to clean up their stations as they went, instead leaving all the cleaning to the last second. During mealtime or right before eating, we may pull the “Clean as you go” card from the deck and prompt the group to reflect on how they practiced that skill. We find that prompting students to reflect on their actions and behavior tends to result in far more thoughtful and meaningful learning than when we as teachers tell students that they haven’t done something as well as they could. We sometimes even use Reflection Cards in one-on-one interactions as a tool for prompting individual students to reflect on specific skills or behaviors.
The Reflection Cards play a role in students’ experience throughout their three years in our program. They are always available for students to look at in the toolboxes at each table, and we have large versions of the Reflection Cards hanging in the kitchen as decorations to serve as a reference and reminder of expectations and goals for learning.