REFLECTION with and by students

In Uncategorized on December 12, 2010 at 10:02 am

“We do not learn from experience…but from REFLECTING on our experience.”

This is equally true for any learner – may it be teachers or students. I will give you examples of our reflection process and how it unfolds within a unit of inquiry.

Reflection can be on knowledge, skills, attitudes and action/activity. It may be self-reflection, peer-reflection (when students reflect on their collaboration within the group), it may be oral or written, spontaneous or not. 

NOTE: All my students are second-language learners. I teach the same class of students from 1st to 4th grade. You can see how the complexity of reflection changes in time. 

Grade 1    Unit of inquiry: OUR SCHOOL 

We inquired into organizations – what they are, how they work, what are the responsibilities of each member etc.  Since it was the beginning of the school year I relied mostly on drawings as a form of expressing reflection. 

Reflection can be also on MY work – the activities I designed throughout the unit. I use students’ feedback to inform my future teaching. I always do that during or at the end of a unit. 

GRADE 1 Unit of inquiry – HEALTHY IS HAPPY

We inquired into food, hygiene, sleep, rest, and how they make us healthy. I will post examples of activities in future blog entries. 


At the beginning of the unit students had a a goal sheet. Basically, a bull’s eye -like paper – they would write in each circle every week until the last week of the unit. They would see whether they achieved their own goals (e.g. Ï want to go to bed early.”, or “I want to eat more veggies.”) 


We inquired into seasons, season formation, animal and plant adaptation to seasonal changes etc.

GRADE 1: Unit of inquiry: OUR NEIGHBORHOOD

We inquired into our surroundings, created maps etc. 


GRADE 1: IT’S OUR RESPONSIBILITY We inquired into connections between natural elements, cause-effect relationships (pollution, deforestation etc).


As students become more confident in using language I encourage free expression of their thoughts, ideas, opinions. We created a Learning Journey wall on which each students drew and wrote his/her learning “journey” – obstacles, successes, progress etc. I also had my own learning journey I would share with kids :). 



We also had Reflection Logs ( and I had one , too!) – I would share my reflections with students every day). 


I also use a Profile Sticker…Students would write their names and then we would have open-discussions on their choices. 



Now that we are blogging…reflection takes place there , too !:) 



How do YOU encourage reflection? 🙂




  1. An excellent collection of reflective prompts for elementary students – lighthearted graphics and great scaffolding. Please leave a comment at my blog post "The Reflective Student" with a link back to this page. It would be a wonderful resource for my readers.

  2. Hi Peter, Thank you for the comment. I already commented on your reflection blog and added the link. 🙂

  3. This is really wonderful. As a college writing instructor, I give reflection assignments throughout the semester, including a reflection on their final portfolios. I don’t know why more teachers aren’t asking for explicit reflection. It’s true that sometimes students will say things to please the teacher, but, more often than not, I think they try to be genuine, and I think that they learn a great deal from stepping back and seeing their growth. Sometimes, they just don’t see it until they are forced to think about it. Plus, they begin to see value and purpose in the work that they are given.Your reflection prompts are visually pleasing and well-constructed. I think you have found a really awesome way to engage your students and enhance their digital literacy simultaneously.

  4. Thank you – I am trying to. :)As for reflection with young students they DO give you a very direct and honest answer, trust me!And yes, sometimes they underestimate or overestimate their growth at first but once you develop this reflective attitude they are more objective in what regards their strengths as well as their weaknesses. Consequently they can establish realistic goals and achieve them.

  5. Good , & thank you. Got to see real reflections of the students’ learning.

  6. Good effort, Keep going guys!

  7. Good work. It reflects students learning.

  8. Thank you, Rose, Vishnu and Raji.

  9. Superb samplers and different ways of reflecting on the learning and learning needs.Thanks

  10. Thank you for the feedback, Bindu.

  11. I am so glad to have come across your blog again.I thought that I had lost it because the link I had in my pinterest didn’t work anymore! In that link, you had a file with several reflective handouts to share with students and I can’t seem to locate it above. Would you by any chance still have that file?

  12. Hi Lisa,
    I had to switch from Posterous to WordPress and many documents that were embedded on Posterous got lost. I will check them on my USB at the weekend and I will upload them here.
    Thank you for stopping by!

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