Writing Reflectively

According to the dictionary, reflection means serious thought or consideration.

Not sure what to write for a reflection post?  Here’s a few questions you could ask yourself to help you get started!  Some are more suited to Writer’s Workshop or Reader’s Workshop reflections.  Some are suitable for Science, Social Studies or Math reflections.

Choose the ones that work best for what you would like to say about your learning.

  • What did you do well?
  • What didn’t go so well?
  • If you could do this again, what would you do differently?
  • How could you improve your work next time?
  • Is what you are currently reading/viewing or studying challenging you in any way? In what way?
  • What is puzzling you as you are reading at present? (About the author, characters, ideas etc.)
  • What specific questions are being raised by what you are reading?
  • Can you make any connections between what you are reading/viewing and everyday life, history, situations in the world, any other subject you are studying or your own life?
  • Write down 3 questions you have for an author of a text you are reading/viewing/studying at present. Explain why you have asked those questions.
  • What are you learning about yourself from what you are reading/viewing/studying? (Your own values, attitudes and beliefs)

Instead of a question, you could try some of these sentence starters

  • This week I learned…….
  • What I have found difficult about what I have read/viewed/heard this week is…….
  • My writing and reading skills……..(reflect on them and your efforts, areas of strength and weakness providing specific examples)
  • My listening and speaking skills……..(reflect on them and your efforts, areas of strength and weakness providing specific examples)

Or you could try this: (adapted from Service Learning)

—What happened?
—What did you observe?

So What?
—Did you learn a new skill or clarify an interest?
—Did you hear, smell, or feel anything that surprised you?
—How is your experience different from what you expected?
—What impacts the way you view the situation/experience? (What lens are you viewing from?)
—What did you like/dislike about the experience?

Now What?

—What seem to be the root causes of the issues you experienced? OR
—What seem to be the root causes of the issue addressed in this project/learning?

—What other work are you doing help address the difficulties you experienced? OR
—What other work is currently happening to address the issue?
—What learning occurred for you in this experience?
—How can you apply this learning?
—What would you like to learn more about, related to this project/piece of learning?
—What follow-up is needed to address any challenges or difficulties you had with this project/learning?
—What information can you share with your peers/teachers/family?
—If you could do the project/learning again, what would you do differently?

These questions/sentence starters are just a guide to help you get started.

Reflection Image: AttributionNoncommercialShare Alike Some rights reserved by David July

3 thoughts on “Writing Reflectively

  1. What a great starting point for reflective writing, and a set of tools. Thank you for sharing :-) I hope you don’t mind, I’m hoping to adapt some of your points here (with full attribution of course), with some EAL students in NZ, as well as, possibly with some teachers undertaking Professional Development (https://prezi.com/axvbbw1in-n6/bringing-the-learning-to-you-virtual-professional-development-communities/).

    I’m not sure if you will have come across it (and it’s not necessarily useful for your current students ‘as is’), but you may find something handy: https://intralibrary.rlo-cetl.ac.uk:8080/intralibrary/open_virtual_file_path/i1026n24186t/reflective_writing/reflective_writing.html.

    All the best

    • Hi Hazel,
      Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting. I’m so pleased that you want to use some the points and adapt them for your students’ needs (and thanks for the attribution too!). If I can be of any further assistance, please don’t hesitate to ask! I hadn’t come across the link that you left for the intralibrary reflective writing – thanks for sharing that!

  2. Pingback: Some strategies for evaluating teaching practice and student learning outcomes | ICT Enhanced Learning and Teaching's Blog

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