Intention and Reflection for the Classroom
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 four ways to help your students have some planned reflection time throughout the year:
Intention and Reflection
- Begin with the end in mind: Have 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 end the school year and feel that they have been successful?
- Create Milestones: Set up a regular time during the year to reflect and determine progress on accomplishing their intention. Identify what it should look like if they are on track as planned. Determine what to do and changes to make if they are not on track. You can do this as frequently as you wish but I recommend at least three times; the beginning of the year, half way through the year and at the end of the year.
- Document their experience: 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. Have the student keep the letters to reflect on in the future/or have the student meet with a partner or small group of students and share what they have learned.
- 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.