Saturday, November 15, 2014


Like most teachers I return home each day thinking about the success and challenge of the day's learning.

As a blogger, I typically turn my reflections into a blog post.

Lately, I've been sharing my lesson reflections and next steps with students. I read through the post demonstrating the lesson's strengths, challenges, and next steps. They offer thoughts and questions, and we continue the learning path.

There are many reasons why this is a successful strategy.

First, writing down my reflections, and writing for an audience, creates commitment and depth to both the ideas and the follow up actions.

Next, often the reflections are deep and include actions, thoughts, and more reflections. It's hard to keep that depth in my mind for ready retrieval the next day. Writing the thoughts down and then sharing the written post frees my mind for other activities and priorities such as family life, hobbies, and other professional work.

After that, if a student, colleague, or family member wants to understand the learning path better or create follow-up plans, the information is readily available.

Also, this process provides modeling for students and demonstrates the ways that reflection and writing can support successful learning and action.

Finally, the process is serving to heighten the depth and breadth of my lessons and develop a learning community with greater strength and promise.

Do you use a similar learning/teaching process with students? If so, what are the strengths and challenges that you notice? How could you develop this process with greater intent?

As I write, I'm thinking about how I will get students started with their own reflective online journals, and rather than just me sharing, opening up the classroom efforts so that children are sharing their lesson and follow-up learning reflections regularly. If you already do this, please lead me to your descriptions, posts, templates, and models. I can see how student learning journals will be a powerful piece in the overall learning/teaching program.