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Notable notes: Reflection

Notable notes: Reflection

Written by Deanna Mascle
August 03, 2015

This week’s notes revolve around the ideas of reflection and thinking. My first note comes from Traci Gardner who shared “Ten Multimodal Reflection Questions” on her Bedford Bits blog. I love her 10 questions as I know how important it is to support students in their reflection process. Perhaps it is simply a symptom of our fast-paced world, but we don’t spend enough time reflecting and our students need scaffolding to practice it successfully.

In my second note, Vicki Davis shares her tips for helping students to reflect on your class and your teaching. I love her post “3 Ways of Getting Student Feedback to Improve Your Teaching” because it is a simple and yet effective process to involve students. While the feedback we receive from our students helps us learn and grow as teachers (as Vicki explains in her conclusion), it also sends an important message to our students that we value and practice reflection. It also models for them how they can intregrate reflection into other aspects of their lives.

I want to conclude with this note which emphasizes for me the importance of reflection and thinking – and why we must continue to find time and space in our classes to practice this essential skill – because reflection is thinking. In his column for The Washington Post Fareed Zakaria argues that we are not doing enough to foster critical thinking, problem solving, and creativity in our schools today. My favorite quote from his column, “Why America’s obsession with STEM education is dangerous,” is this: “Critical thinking is, in the end, the only way to protect American jobs.”

In the spirit of this week’s reflective theme, I will share my “My Secret Formula to Facilitate Reflection and Workshop” post which also includes a link to my “Why Self-Assessment Journals?” post. I am so obsessed with reflection that I frequently have both a reflection and self-assessment assignment each semester and include a final reflection at the end of the semester when I ask my students to share the best and worst parts of the class as well as suggest things to change (much like Vicki suggests).

How do you support reflection in your classroom? Do you think reflection is important?

Notable Notes” was first published on my Metawriting blog at: where you can read more about writing, teaching, and teaching writing.