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Reflection in the Classroom: Asking Students What They've Learned

As the school year draws to an end, it's a great time to ask students to think back on the work they've done this year and examine what they've learned and how they've grown. After all, classroom time is part of a larger picture that includes the wider world in which they'll use the knowledge they've gained to make inquiries, ask questions, do research, and wonder.

a reflection of a water droplet that looks vaguely like a standing humanIt can be hard to find the time to practice reflection in the classroom in between tests, required curriculum, special visitors, field trips, and all the other activities that fill a school day! But asking students to reflect on what they've learned throughout the year helps cement that learning in their minds. Reflection can mean the difference between simply regurgitating information for a test or owning that wisdom and using it as a jumping off point for further, deeper inquiry. 

We can all benefit from regular reflection on what we've learned, how our days are spent, how we can make our own reality a deeper and more meaningful experience. And if we start at a young age, all the better!

Here are 10 questions to ask your students as the year draws to end. There are no right or wrong answers, and they don't even need to share them with you or other students. They'll reap great benefits from simply thinking about their answers. And want to provide great modeling behavior and possibly make some discoveries about yourself and your own school year? You can answer the questions, too!

  1. What is something that you learned this year that you think you'll remember for the rest of your life?
  2. What are five words that best describe this school year?
  3. Do you think you have changed since the beginning of the year? How?
  4. What area do you think you learned the most in?
  5. Which was your favorite book that you read this year? Which was your least favorite? Why?
  6. What special event stands out as your favorite? What did you learn during this event?
  7. What advice would you give kids coming to this class next year?
  8. Are any of your classmates closer friends now than they were at the beginning of the year?
  9. What is one thing you would have made different about the school year?
  10. What are you curious about? What do you want to learn more about?

Looking for some ideas to fill the waning school days? Check out our blog on podcasts that are great for kids!

 

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