Adding More Reflection into Interactive Notebooks

Our school district uses the Marzano model of teacher evaluation.  There are 41 elements that my principal observes in my classroom strategies and behaviors.  Number thirteen is helping students "[reflect] on learning."

My favorite quote from the Arts and Passion-Driven Learning Institute was a John Dewey quote shared in our small discussion group:


“We do not learn from experience...We learn from reflecting on experience.

This is a weak spot in my teaching.  I'm pretty good at providing learning experiences, but I don't allow time for reflection and processing.  I'm determined to do better this year.

Marzano resource A Handbook for the Art and Science of Teaching (not an affiliate link- just a courtesy for those who might be interested in further reading) suggests a section of academic notebooks filled with "end of class, lesson, and segment reflections on their conclusions, reactions, and insights related to key content they study" (pp 73-74).  I've used interactive notebooks for a few years, and I'm going to attemp to insert reflection.

Marzano's The Art and Science of Teaching (again, not an affiliate link, just a courtesy link) suggests three reflection questions (p 57):

  • What were [students] right about and wrong about?
  • How confident are [students] about what they have learned?
  • What did [students] do well and what could they have done better?

Using the examples in the above two resources, I've come up with the following reflection prompts:

  • How would you explain_______________________ to a friend?
  • How comfortable are you______________________?
  • What did you do well today?
  • What could you do better next time?
  • What do you need more time to practice?

Students will respond to the day's question(s) on the left side of their notebooks (the right side will be reserved for input activities we do in class).  To add a little accountability, students will show me their reflection before they put their notebooks away.  I will keep track of completion on a clipboard.  (Maybe we'll even get to the point that I start evaluating reflections according to a learning scale!  Yowza!)

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