Resources for Teaching Reflection Strategies in the Classroom
Discover resources to help you when teaching reflection strategies and supporting your students reflect on their learning and actions.
Teaching Reflection Strategies in the Classroom
According to the IB learner profile reflective students “thoughtfully consider the world and [their] own ideas and experience. [They] work to understand [their] strengths and weaknesses in order to support [their] learning and personal development.”
Teaching your students to reflect on their learning is an important part of positive life long learning. Reflection empowers your students to consider their actions, behaviour and learning, and analyse personal strengths and weaknesses.
Having time to be reflective helps your students focus and then modify their actions and work in a purposeful way. Give yourself plenty of opportunities for teaching reflection strategies, including individually, in groups and pairs. Also, provide opportunities for written, verbal or visual reflections. Here are a few questions you can ask your students to get them started:
- How do you think other people see you? Do you think it is the same as you see yourself?
- Do I interact with other people in positive ways?
- In what ways could you improve your social interactions?
- Think about the ways you work? Are there any improvements you could make?
Teaching reflection strategies is just one part of the self-reflection process. We need to monitor whether a student’s reflections lead to action; are they making the necessary changes or refinements. We can help them keep on track and support them in finding ways they can improve on past actions and learning. As their self-awareness develops their ability to self-monitor will grow.
It is not just your student’s academic progress they should consider. Self-reflection helps them make changes to improve their interpersonal skills that affect family, friends and the wider community.
In a previous post, 36 of the Best IB Learner Profile Reflective Books I have put together a list of picture books you can use to help students reflect on their learning.
Characteristics of Reflective Children
Reflective characteristics will reveal themselves at different times, depending on a child’s self-awareness, age and experiences. Help your students reflect on their learning and recognise these characteristics and their benefits. They include:
- recognising and reflecting on strengths and weaknesses
- assessing the actions to take in a given situation
- recognising the feelings and needs of others
- understanding how our actions affect people and the world around us
- being willing to learn from mistakes and make changes
- recognising the outcome of reflection is change
- understanding learning never ends
- communicating and sharing feedback and ideas
- seeing constructive feedback as a positive process
Resources for Teaching Reflection Strategies
These resources support you when teaching reflection strategies to help your students reflect on their learning and behaviour. You will find a list of reflective picture books, questions, short videos and online resources.
Reflective Picture Books
These picture books illustrate characters going through a journey, helping them develop self-awareness, actions your student can learn from. After the books, you will find a list of reflective themed questions to use during read-aloud sessions.
Reflective Discussion Questions
- How did [character] change throughout the book?
- Did [character] consider how their actions or behaviour would affect others? How they could have acted more positively?
- What were [character’s] strengths and weaknesses?
- Did [character] reflect on the consequences of their actions? Would they have acted differently if they thought before they acted?
- What lesson did [character] learn? Do you think they now have better self-awareness?
- How could [character] reflect on their behaviour and improve their actions?
- What previous knowledge did [character] use in the story? How did it help them?
- How did [character] deal with feeling [scared, anxious, etc.]?
- What was the most important or relevant moment in the story? Why?
- What do you think [character] learnt about themselves by the end of the book? How do you think they will use this knowledge in the future?
- What factors hindered [character] from being successful?
- Explain how [character] could have done things differently for a better outcome?
- Is there anything [character] should do differently next time? Why?
Reflective Online Resources
- CBeebies Grown-ups: Why asking questions is important
- Learnings Works for Kids: What is Self-Awareness?
- Michigan State University: The importance of perspective-taking for young children
- Parents: 30 Questions to Ask Your Kid Instead of “How Was Your Day?”
- Psychology Today: How Do We Help Children Take Other Perspectives?
- Psychology Today: Self-Awareness: How Kids Make Sense of Life Experiences
- Psychology Today: Teaching Children to Think
- TES Teach: Open-Mindedness Resources
- Understood: 6 Ways Kids Use Flexible Thinking to Learn
- Edutopia: Scaffolding Student Reflections + Sample Questions
- Edutopia: Resources and Downloads for Teaching Critical Thinking
- Edutopia: Inquiry-Based Learning: The Power of Asking the Right Questions
- Edutopia: Resources and Downloads for Teaching Critical Thinking
- Equality and Human Rights Commission: Job Done!
- Global Digital Citizen Foundation: 10 Great Critical Thinking Activities That Engage Your Students
- iSix Sigma: The Change Game: Engaging Exercises to Teach Change
- Scholastic: Creating Curious Thinkers
- Scholastic: Point of View: A Unit on Perspective
- Speech and Language Kids: How to Teach Perspective
- TES: Effective Questioning for use with children
- Teach Hub: Teaching Strategies: The Value of Self-Reflection
- The Teaching Center: Asking Questions to Improve Learning
- User Generated Education: The Future Belongs to the Curious: How Are We Bringing Curiosity Into School?
- We Are Teachers: 10 Tips for Teaching Kids to Be Awesome Critical Thinkers
Reflective Discussion Videos
These short videos can be used as discussion starters when teaching reflection strategies to your students. Watch the videos before playing them in class. Some of them are simple while others are more complex and not suitable for young children.
Supporting your students reflect on their learning and behaviour independently will help them become well-rounded individuals as they move through their schooling and beyond. Do you have any suggestions for resources for teaching reflection strategies I can add to this post? Please add them to the comments below. Remember to check out the post 36 of the Best IB Learner Profile Reflective Books.
- 36 of the Best IB Learner Profile Reflective Books
- An Overview of the Benefits of Early Reader Books
- 7 Reasons Why Wordless Picture Books are so Powerful
- 5 Stages of Reading Development
- 6 Powerful Strategies on How to Choose Books to Read
- How to Use Picture Books to Teach Cause and Effect
- Discover the Benefits of Picture Books for Older Readers
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