A Taxonomy of Reflection

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1 A Taxonomy of Reflection 1. A Taxonomy of Lower to Higher Order Reflection Assume an individual has just completed a task. What types of questions might they use to reflect on the experience? How might those questions parallel Bloom's Taxonomy? Bloom's Remembering: Retrieving, recognizing, and recalling relevant knowledge from shortor long-term memory. Reflection: What did I do? Bloom's Understanding: Constructing meaning from oral, written, or graphic messages. Reflection: What was important about what I did? Did I meet my goals? Bloom's Applying: Carrying out or using a procedure through executing, or implementing. Extending the procedure to a new setting. Reflection: When did I do this before? Where could I use this again? Bloom's Analyzing: Breaking material into constituent parts, determining how the parts relate to one another and to an overall structure or purpose. Reflection: Do I see any patterns or relationships in what I did? Bloom's Evaluating: Making judgments based on criteria and standards. Reflection: How well did I do? What worked? What do I need to improve? Bloom's Creating: Combining or reorganizing elements into a new pattern or structure. Reflection: What should I do next? What's my plan/design?

2 2. The Reflective Student Each level of reflection is structured to parallel Bloom's taxonomy. Assume that a student looked back on a project or assignment they had completed. What sample questions might they ask themselves as they move from lower to higher order reflection? (Note: I'm not suggesting that all questions are asked after every project - feel free to pick a few that work for you.) Bloom's Remembering: What did I do? Student Reflection: What was the assignment? When was it due? Did I get it turned in on time? Bloom's Understanding: What was important about what I did? Did I meet my goals? Student Reflection: Do I understand the parts of the assignment and how they connect? Did my response completely cover all parts of the assignment? Do I see where this fits in with what we are studying? Bloom's Applying: When did I do this before? Where could I use this again? Student Reflection: How was this assignment similar to other assignments? (in this course or others). Do I see connections in either content, product or process? Are there ways to adapt it to other assignments? Where could I use this (content, product or process) my life? Bloom's Analyzing: Do I see any patterns or relationships in what I did? Student Reflection: Were the strategies, skills and procedures I used effective for this assignment? Do I see any patterns in how I approached my work - such as following an outline, keeping to deadlines? What were the results of the approach I used - was it efficient, or could I have eliminated or reorganized steps? Bloom's Evaluating: How well did I do? What worked? What do I need to improve? Student Reflection: What are we learning and is it important? Did I do an effective job of communicating my learning to others? What have I learned about my strengths and my areas in need of improvement? How am I progressing as a learner? Bloom's Creating: What should I do next? What's my plan/design? Student Reflection: How can I best use my strengths to improve? What steps should I take or resources should I use to meet my challenges? What suggestions do I have for my teacher or my peers to improve our learning environment? How can I adapt this content or skill to make a difference in my life?

3 3. The Reflective Teacher Each level of reflection is structured to parallel Bloom's taxonomy. Assume that a teacher looked back on an lesson (or project, unit, course, etc) they have just taught. What sample questions might they ask themselves as they move from lower to higher order reflection? (Note: I'm not suggesting that all questions are asked after lesson - feel free to pick a few that work for you.) Bloom's Remembering: What did I do? Teacher Reflection: What was the lesson? Did it address all the content? Was it completed on time? How did students "score" on the assessment? Bloom's Understanding: What was important about what I did? Did I meet my goals? Teacher Reflection: Can I explain the major components of the lesson? Do I understand how they connect with the previous / next unit of study? Where does this unit fit into the curriculum? What instructional strategies were used? Did I follow best practices and address the standards? Bloom's Applying: When did I do this before? Where could I use this again? Teacher Reflection: Did I build on content, product or process from previous lessons? How does this lesson scaffold the learning for the next lesson? How could I adapt the instructional approach to another lesson? How could this lesson be modified for different learners? Bloom's Analyzing: Do I see any patterns or relationships in what I did? Teacher Reflection: What background knowledge and skills did I assume students were bringing to the lesson? Were the instructional strategies I used the right ones for this assignment? Do I see any patterns in how I approached the lesson - such as pacing, grouping? Do I see patterns in my teaching style - for example do I comment after every student reply? What were the results of the approach I used - was it effective, or could I have eliminated or reorganized steps? Bloom's Evaluating: How well did I do? What worked? What do I need to improve? Teacher Reflection: What are we learning and is it important? Were my assumptions about student background knowledge and skills accurate? Were any elements of the lesson more effective than other elements? Did some aspects need improvement? Were the needs of all learners met? What levels of mastery did students reach? What have I learned about my strengths and my areas in need of improvement? How am I progressing as a teacher? Bloom's Creating: What should I do next? What's my plan/design? Teacher Reflection: How would I incorporate the best aspects of this lesson in the future? What changes would I make to correct areas in need of improvement? How can I best use my strengths to improve? What steps should I take or resources should I use to meet my challenges? Is there training or networking that would help me to meet my professional goals? What suggestions do I have for our leadership or my peers to improve our learning environment?

4 Student Reflection Reflective journals are very popular, easy to assign and usually interesting to read. You can ask students to reflect on classroom discussions, outside readings or pretty much any other aspect of the course. When using journals, it s important to clearly explain and model what you expect. Asking students to reflect on a class discussion or assignment without further explanation can often lead to a description of the event or an outline of the article, with no actual reflection. It can be helpful to ask specific guiding questions, and to read and respond to the first few assignments to give students a better sense of what you expect. Responding to journals sets up a dialogue between you and the student that shows your interest in their learning. Grading reflective journals is as easy as checking them off as done or not done. Or you can use a journal entry as the basis for a longer, critical essay that is graded. Reflections on class learning. Brookfield (1995) describes the classroom critical incident questionnaire he uses as part of a student learning portfolio. Students turn in a paper once a week that addresses the following questions: o At what moment in the class this week did you feel most engaged with what was happening in class? o At what moment in the class this week did you feel most distanced from what was happening in class? o What action that anyone (student or instructor) took this week in class was most affirming and helpful? o What action that anyone (student or instructor) took this week in class was most puzzling and confusing? o What about class this week surprised you the most? In addition to the copy they turn in, students keep one copy of each week s entry in their learning portfolios. They use these to reflect on their own response patterns and develop learning goals for themselves. Knowing that they will be required to submit these forms also keeps students more focused and aware of classroom interactions. Reflections on their test performances can help students improve their study habits. Looking over the parts of the test they did well on and the parts that were difficult and relating their performance to how they studied often makes it very clear to students what went wrong (or right) and how to be successful in the future. On subsequent tests, you could ask students whether they acted on any of the insights they gained in their earlier analysis, and how that worked. These can earn a few points attached to the test or be graded separately. Reflective add-ons to existing assignments. This process essentially asks students to articulate their process e.g. how did you approach this assignment, what new techniques did you try, how did they work, what are the strengths and weaknesses of the finished work, etc. Students have to think more deeply about their work, which helps them internalize it. It also gives the instructor a better sense of how and why a student is utilizing class material. (This type of assignment also can help you detect academic dishonesty if it doesn t ring true or is missing.) These are best included as part of the required elements for the assignment. End of semester reflections help students assess their own learning. I particularly like to ask students about how their knowledge and beliefs on course-related topics has changed since the beginning of the semester, and then ask them to think about what caused the change. It gives me important information about what worked and what didn t work in class as well as giving students a sense of accomplishment and closure.

5 Differentiation, Assessment, and Reflection Reflection Activities What Is a 3-2-1? The idea is to give students a chance to summarize some key ideas, rethink them in order to focus on those that they are most intrigued by, and then pose a question that can reveal where their understanding is still uncertain. Often, teachers use this strategy in place of the usual worksheet questions on a chapter reading, and when students come to class the next day, you're able to use their responses to construct an organized outline, to plot on a Venn diagram, to identify sequence, or isolate cause-and-effect. The students are into it because the discussion is based on the ideas that they found, that they addressed, that they brought to class. How Does It Work? Students fill out a chart with something like this: 3 Things You Found Out 2 Interesting Things 1 Question You Still Have Depending upon what you're teaching, you can modify the anyway you want. For instance, if you've just been studying the transition from feudalism to the rise of nation-states, you might have students write down 3 differences between feudalism and nation-states, 2 similarities, and 1 question they still have. 3 Things I Learned Today 2 Things I Found Interesting 1 Question I Still Have

6 Admit/Exit Slip Admit/Exit slips are a way for teachers to have students write and provide information about what they think about the class, or the topic under discussion, or a specific teaching strategy/material being used. An admit slip is to be done prior to the start of the class, admitting each student to class, or may be done in the first few minutes at the beginning of class. In contrast, the exit slip is completed during the last few minutes of the class, enabling students to provide the teacher with feedback about their teaching, comprehension of materials, etc. Students are allowed to exit the classroom when they submit such an exit slip to the teacher. Admit/Exit slips may also be completed anonymously. Admit and exit slips are an effective way to informally assess student understanding of new or old concepts and determine where students need additional clarification or assistance. These slips are also useful to stimulate critical thinking and as a springboard to link new learning with existing knowledge. Usually the question(s) are designed to be answered during the first or last 5-10 minutes of class. A question may be assigned at the end of one class period and the response turned in as the admit slip for the next class meeting, especially if the question requires a longer response time. In classes other than Language Arts, admit/exit slips are a wonderful way to ease students into written communication in the subject area, especially for classes where students do not traditionally perceive writing as part of the curriculum, like mathematics.

7 Exit Card Sample Questions A. General open-ended questions 1. Write one thing you learned today. 2. What area gave you the most difficulty today? 3. Something that really helped me in my learning today was What connection did you make today that made you say, "AHA! I get it!" 5. Describe how you solved a problem today. 6. Something I still don't understand is Write a question you'd like to ask or something you'd like to know more about. 8. What mathematical terms do you clearly understand or have difficulty understanding? 9. Did working with a partner make your work easier or harder. Please explain. 10. In what ways do you see today's mathematics connected to your everyday life? B. Questions targeted towards content 1.Numbers and Operations (Place Value) Tomorrow something is going to change in our lives. Tomorrow there will be no more zeroes. Zero will cease to exit. Will this affect you or not? Is this a good thing or a bad thing? Write your opinion. 2. Measurement What rules are important to measure accurately? Write out three of the most important measuring rules you would teach someone else. 3. Geometry (Tessellations) I have been given a special privilege. Tomorrow I am in charge of the world for one day. I have decided that for tomorrow everything on the planet will tessellate perfectly together. Every cloud in the sky, every blade of grass, every bird will be tessellated so it fits together perfectly. Nothing will stand out with gaps or overlaps. Tell me your opinion. Do you think everything should be tessellated or not? Please back up your opinion with a reason. 4. Data Management and Analysis Of the three graphs you made, which one was the easiest for you to interpret and why? 5. Problem Solving How do you solve a problem best? Do you create a plan or do you just keep trying until some idea clicks. Explain the approach you used and how it helped or didn't help you solve a problem today. 6. Algebra How does the algebraic meaning of variable differ from its root word 'vary'? 7. Ratio and Proportion What does it mean for something to be out of proportion and how does that relate to mathematics?

8 Teacher Reflection Questions: Evaluating Your Effectiveness By Mariama Sesay-St. Paul It's always good to reflect on what you've done if you want to improve. As a teacher your main goal should be to improve because there is no where to go but up! Here are some questions that you can ask yourself that will help you reflect on your lessons: 1. Was the instructional objective met? How do I know students learned what was intended? 2. Were the students productively engaged? How do I know? 3. Did I alter my instructional plan as I taught the lesson? Why? 4. What additional assistance, support, and/or resources would have further enhanced this lesson? 5. If I had the opportunity to teach the lesson again to the same group of students, would I do anything differently? What? Why?

9 Teacher Reflection Questions by Content Teacher Self-Reflection Checklist-English 1. Do I provide students with exemplary models of oral and written language? 2. To what extent does my questioning foster critical and creative thinking? 3. Do I encourage students' questions and curiosity? 4. Do I encourage students to rethink, reorganise and refine their oral and written ideas? 5. Am I encouraging students to listen and respond to the remarks of their peers during large and small groups discussions? 6. Am I providing sufficient opportunity and time for students to work independently, in pairs and in small groups? 7. Do I collaboratively structure language and learning experiences with students? 8. Does my classroom environment encourage students to take risks during speaking and writing activities? 9. Do I provide a variety of resources and experiences to meet the needs of all students? To what extent do I assist students in setting purposes for reading, in relating material to previous experiences, and in constructing meaning from printed text? 10. Do I encourage and enable students to access and use a wide variety of resources? 11. Do classroom resources reflect fair, equitable and accurate portrayals of peoples of different cultures, ages and genders? 12. Am I aware of how culture and gender influence students' interaction and communication styles? 13. Do Students see me as one who appreciates and enjoys reading and writing? 14. To what extent are my assessment techniques fair and appropriate for evaluating progress and for making instructional decisions? Teacher Self-Reflection Checklist-Math 1. Was there sufficient probing of the children's knowledge, abilities and processes? 2. Were the assessment techniques appropriate for the children information required? 3. Were the assessment conditions conducive to the best possible performance of the children? 4. Were the assessment techniques fair/appropriate for the levels of the children's abilities? Consider gender, culture and language aspects. 5. Was the range of information collected from students sufficient to make interpretations and evaluate progress? 6. Were the results of the evaluation meaningfully reported to students, parents/caregivers, and other educators as appropriate? 7. Do I encourage the children's questions and curiosity? 8. Do I encourage the children to rethink, reorganize and refine their oral and written ideas? 9. Am I encouraging the children to listen and respond to the remarks of their peers during large and small groups discussions? 10. Am I providing sufficient opportunity and time for the children to work independently, in pairs and in small groups? 11. Does my classroom environment encourage the children to take risks during oral presentations?

10 12. Was the range of the children's information collected sufficient in order to make interpretations of progress? Could the results of the evaluation be meaningfully communicated to both children and parents? 13. Do I encourage and enable children to access and use a wide variety of resources? 14. Do classroom resources reflect fair, equitable and accurate portrayals of peoples of different cultures, ages and genders? 15. Do I provide a variety of resources and experiences to meet the needs of all children? 16. To what extent are my assessment techniques fair and appropriate for evaluating progress and for making instructional decisions? 17. Am I aware of how culture and gender influence children's interaction and communication styles? Teacher Self-Reflection Checklist-Science 1. Was there sufficient probing of the children's knowledge, abilities and processes? 2. To what extent does my questioning foster critical and creative thinking? 3. Do I encourage the children's questions and curiosity? 4. Do I encourage the children to rethink, reorganize and refine their oral and written ideas? 5. Am I encouraging the children to listen and respond to the remarks of their peers during large and small groups discussions. 6. Am I providing sufficient opportunity and time for the children to work independently, in pairs and in small groups? 7. Does my classroom environment encourage the children to take risks during speaking and writing activities? 8. Were the assessment techniques appropriate to the type and quantity of the children's information needed? 9. Did the children complete the assessment under conditions promoting the best possible performance? 10. Was the range of the children's information collected sufficient in order to make interpretations of progress? Could the results of the evaluation be meaningfully communicated to both children and parents? 11. Do I encourage and enable children to access and use a wide variety of resources? 12. Do classroom resources reflect fair, equitable and accurate portrayals of peoples of different cultures, ages and genders? 13. Do I provide a variety of resources and experiences to meet the needs of all children? 14. To what extent are my assessment techniques fair and appropriate for evaluating progress and for making instructional decisions?

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