The Best Reflection Question E-V-E-R

10 May

Image“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.” 

― Søren Kierkegaard

This quote screams TRUTH louder than a Blue Whale’s lustful invitation during the mating season (200 decibels!).  Children are constantly searching for ways to understand their own world.  And as educators, it is our responsibility to facilitate this process.  When I was working toward my master’s degree in education at Columbia University, my professors loved to tout the importance of encouraging children to verbally reflect on their experiences in the classroom.  But that’s just part of the whole enchilada (or pizza if you’re more into the American/Italian clichés).  What about the other part of the reflection equation?  Like, um, me?  I mean, it’s all-good that we need to help kids learn how to reflect on their learning.  But don’t I, the teacher, need some reflection time as well?    YES! Because Teacher reflection + Children’s reflection = Super Awesome Happy Success Reflection!

But what are some good questions to ask the children and ourselves?  There are many of course.  But there’s one reflection question in particular that I hold in the highest regard.  I give this question Knight status.  Yeah that’s right.  It is Sir Question to you. I believe Sir Question is extremely vital to the quality of the satisfaction a teacher will feel in and out of the classroom. And the award to the most important reflection question goes tooooooooooooooooooo….

What did I (we) learn from this experience, and how will I (we) us this new knowledge to move forward?

You’re probably thinking, “Hey! That’s two questions in one!  Allen wrote an entire paragraph – and a circumlocutory paragraph at that – to make a big deal about how this one question was so important.  And then he put in a second question?!”  Ok maybe you’re not thinking that.  But I’ll bet you’re wondering what hell “circumlocutory” means.  I felt like using a big word to describe being unnecessarily wordy, so I went to and found it there.  Get the irony? A wordy word to describe a wordy paragraph? He-he.

Ok so anyway, back to this awesome question for teacher to ask.  I try to ask this question at least twice/per day: one time to the kids as a whole group, and one more time to myself after the kids go home.  Since I started doing it consistently, the positive impact on our learning in the classroom has been tremendous. 




One Response to “The Best Reflection Question E-V-E-R”

  1. kilad14 May 10, 2013 at 5:08 pm #

    Reblogged this on The Inspired Teacher.

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