To reflect is to pause, to take a moment to check in with yourself to see how, or what, or why, you’re doing what it is that you’re doing. When you reflect, you’re considering where you’ve been, where you are, and where you might go. There can be many purposes for reflecting – but all share the notion that it’s the pausing and the creating/composing that’s helping you to do the thinking that needs to happen.
In the language arts classroom, reflection can begin with the student OR the teacher. But it should be a common habit and practice for both. Getting started, though, can be a challenge. Thoughtful reflection takes time, practice, and intention.
Some questions to consider when reflecting, along with a few of the many possible answers to them, are below.
What’s my purpose in reflecting?
- to remember
- to process
- to evaluate
- to explore further
- to share knowledge or process
- to document growth (both in the moment and over time)
- to be evaluated
- to think out loud
- to pause
- to reconsider
- to begin again
- my current self
- my future self
- a teacher
- my peers
- others who might share my interests
- on a regular schedule
- when the mood strikes me
- at the request of another
- at major project or learning milestones
- online in public
- online in private
- offline in public
- offline in private
- in a shared space with a few trusted others
- in an anonymous space with an unknown number of others
- some combination of the above
In the long term, COW folks want students to develop the habits of reflection for the purposes that they choose, but sometimes teacher can, should, and will need to suggest and even require that students do other things with their reflections.
How are you making reflection a habit and a routine in your teaching and learning? What does that look like, and how does it work?