Reflection Ideas


When I was teaching 3rd and 4th grade I had my students write their own newsletter every Friday. They chose the topics they felt were important and wrote about things they had learned that week. They wrote a first draft, edited and typed. It was a great written communication activity and the parents loved it as well.
Carla Chaffin, LMS
  I used to have the kids keep a learning wheel journal that they wrote in on Fridays. It is similar to the idea that Tobi shared except we filled in the wheel as a class ( I had made a circle template that was divided up like a pie cut into pieces.) I had an overhead that I filled in as the kids gave suggestions and whoever gave that contribution got their initials written in and gave them credit for their idea. During recess I quickly ran off copies of the learning wheel and then the kids shaded in one (or more) sections, cut the learning wheel out and stapled it on one side of the notebook and wrote to their parents about the topic on the other side. At the beginning of the year I asked the parents to write back to their kids and many families did. Even if the kids didn't write about all the topics the parents could also see what else went on during the week and it provided information besides saying" What did you do in school this week?" Ended up being a nice keepsake for the year too.
Terry Archer
  I observed a teacher who had her students write a "Dear Mom or Dad" letter every Friday. She had them tell one thing they learned, the best thing that happened that week and the worst thing that happened that week. They had to use proper letter format. As they finished, they brought them to her and if it was correct/complete, she stapled it on top of their mail. I thought it was a great idea!
Tobi Layton 
  Here is an example of an online reflection that I had my students complete at the end of each week. I used the survey tool at The format that I used is adapted from Stephen Brookfield's book "Becoming a Critically Reflective Teacher" (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1995). Quia collects the data and provides a summary page that can be displayed on the SMART Board to guide a class discussion about how to make the classroom a better place. The questions I asked didn't just pertain to what they had learned or still had questions about, but also included questions that helped focus on building the classroom community or developing character traits.

If you have access to Moodle, the journal tool allows for communication that can only be viewed by the teacher and individual student. Sometimes this approach is more appropriate.
Diana Dell





Center School District
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August 24, 2006

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