Begin School with Intention-Plan for Reflection

How Intention and Reflection determine Learning

What was the most memorable and significant year of school for you?

The first year you attended school?

The year you starred in the class play?

The year you won an award?

The year you graduated?

Research has shown that an important part of learning in any environment is reflecting on our experience, the information we learned and the essential life lessons we incorporated. However sometimes we are so quick to move through an academic year that we barely scratch the surface of being in the present, never mind take the time to reflect on and apply the lessons learned. Regular and planned reflection however results in ownership of new knowledge and practical application of those skills, strategies or facts.

Here are some ways to help your student have some planned reflection time throughout the year:

Intention and Reflection

  1. Begin the year by having students set an intention for the year.  What do they want the theme of the year to be for them?  Where will their focus be?  What will need to happen for them to be happy with the school year and feel that they have been successful?
  2. Next set up a regular time during the year to reflect.  You can do this as frequently as you wish but I recommend at least three; the beginning of the year, half way through the year and at the end of the year.
  3. At each point have the student write a letter to themselves about their current experience, what they have learned and what they might expect for the future.
  4. Have the student keep the letters to reflect on in the future/or
  5. Have the student meet with a partner or small group of students and share what they have learned.
  6. Celebrate the learning and insight that has taken place!  Have a party, write a letter of advice and reflection to next year’s students or to themselves, give awards for lessons learned and goals met. Help students recognize and feel pride in their achievements.

It’s back to school for lots of kiddos.  Here’s a great book for those kids just starting kindergarten…

Wyatt Goes to Kindergarten

Wyatt Kindergarten

Wyatt has never liked change, at least not at first.  Once he tries something new, he usually finds he really likes it.  Now that he is about to begin kindergarten, Wyatt is really worried.  Will he make friends?  Will he get lost in the new school?  Will he miss his mom?  Join Wyatt in his latest “wonder-full” adventure! Also available on Kindle.

This book is destined to be a classic in every home and kindergarten classroom.  It is a fun and gentle way to introduce young children to that every exciting-but scary big step in their lives–the first day kindergarten. ~Deanna Trott, Kindergarten, First Grade Teacher

Wyatt the Wonder Dog: Goes to Kindergarten


  1. […] the same imagery to plan and create the best school day.  I’ve written in previous posts about setting an intention for our day.  What if we went beyond intention and using Phelps’s example, we created a positive story for […]

  2. […] an earlier post this year, I suggested that students set an intention for the year and review that intention midway through […]

  3. […] Set an intention–-Not to get all woo-woo on you here but this is a useful technique for whatever you are doing that is new.  Athletes, entertainers and CEO’s use this technique successfully to create optimum performance.  It can work equally well for educators. […]

Leave a Comment