Posts Tagged ‘reflection’

Why #FF Is Cute….But I won???t Use It Anymore

In Uncategorized on February 18, 2011 at 8:53 pm

I assume this post will be read because people are usually stirred by two things instantly: curiosity and ego (evidence:  I noticed that the blog entry that got almost instant reads – over 500- was the one mentioning Edublog awards).


Before I proceed I have a confession to make: I am a sort of an asocial being. I get along way better with kids. And I dislike words like “award”, “prize”, “punishment”, “boss”. OK, these are three confessions.



With that in mind…let me tell you why #FF is a sort of strange graphic creature to me. #FF is bipolar.



#FF celebrates excellence

Not always. It also celebrates cliques. Or friendship (which is completely subjective).

#FF is based on objective skills, knowledge and inspiration

Not always. It is sometimes based on how often you RT someone’s blog entry or tweet.

You might think that there is a dose of envy lurking within me that prompted me to write this post…Not at all.

What actually got me write it was a realization: Twitter, like any other social media channel, is a matter of being active in this medium. And that, in as much as promotes leadership and excellence, also discourages the community. Paradoxically so. It connects and disconnects. People whose blog posts are interesting or at least genuine remain peripheral. They never get the chance to get into the conversation…because the “leaders” rarely if ever bother to read them and encourage their thinking, work, experience, effort.

What follows is that…the conversation is becoming a monopoly. And that really tires me out…People who RT the same people over and over again.


I value everyone in my PLN. That is why I have a hard time to label them through a hashtag.

There are the geeks who bring us all the new cool stuff…and then the reflective philosophers of education who have a great vision…and then the artists that make our soul dance once in a while…and the conversationalist types that can brighten your day sometime…and the educator who needs help…and…and…

If they are on my list…they mean something to me. I do not need to #FF them.

If they are not…then it doesn’t mean they are not worthy. They simply do not get into my radar of interest.


You might say, “But (s)he is a poor blogger “. Or, “(s)he does not inspire me at all”. I can agree on that…but then…I remember my students who lack some skills at a certain point in time. If I marginalize them…they would never get the motivation to go on. Or try again.

Besides…not ALL blog posts of the most experienced bloggers are great ALL the time…


I am new to blogging myself. And I do not do it for popularity (I dislike SM as a form of self-advertisement) …but because I am happy if a single person can take something from me and use it…try it in their classroom. And improve their lessons. Or get inspired.


I am certain that this post will get many readers drop me. I know anyone and anything can be misjudged. And I can live with it.


While loving my PLN. Regardless of its size. 

*Smile a little now … because it’s weekend. 🙂


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? 🙂