I’m going to try to start a series of think-alouds on various aspects of blogging that I feel are relevant to classroom blogging, areas where I want to do a better job next year when I return to J. H. House to do another blogging project with a classroom teacher. These think-alouds are going to be places where I do quick writes that will hopefully help me on this journey. Perhaps I can then put them together later (after I have done some reflecting) in a wiki or some other source.

Reflection by students on their learning is key and I have posted about this before.

Blogs are great spaces for students to reflect on what they are learning. I remember an instance in my classroom years ago when I asked a student to tell me what was going on inside his head, what was he thinking? He just gave me with a blank look and did not understand what I was asking. Many times we assume students are doing certain things as they are “thinking” . We need to figure out ways to check this more often with our students. If we talk with students more we can help them learn how to do some “self-talk” inside their head that will help them learn from their current experiences and in the process help them build a model of how they might want to learn from future experiences. We could help them with questions that they might want to ask themselves. If we listen and acknowledge and respond to their answers, it could help them understand the internal audience that they could speak to when they are ready to reflect about their learning. I believe we need to give our students many opportunities to practice this.

We need to encourage our students to tell the story of what they are learning – not just a regurgitation of the facts but one where they explore how they might use these facts or share how they have applied those learning of facts to something that is going on in their lives. Students need help putting their experiences into words.

A previous posts on reflections:

(Revisit some of the questioning “possibilities” in this post.

*Write down the most pressing question that is on their mind after a
lesson. If they don’t have one have them imagine what another peer’s
question might be? Then the next day have them comment to one of their classmates’ questions.*

*Re-state something said during class discussion and add something to the conversation.*

*Could there be another point of view on resolving a problem or an issue? Develop it.*

*Pose one multiple choice question and one essay type question for the
material we covered today. Which one would assess learning better and
why? This could make for a great classroom discussion on assessment.
Imagine yourself as the expert of this subject. Predict what will change in the next five years and give your reasons.*

*If you had only a few minutes to summarize the lesson today what
would be the best way to do that so someone would remember what you said?*

*Can you give an example of how we could check to be sure if the information we are using is accurate?*

*State what is unclear to you about what we discussed. Have another student try to clarify for you.*

*Write down a “think aloud” about something you are interested in
learning about that you believe is relevant and is related to what we
are studying in class.*

I need to think about adding to this list. Think more on what might work best.

Feedback is welcomed!!

Photo Credit: Sunset & flowers by Powi…(ponanwi)’s photostream

Anne, As usual your insights are excellent. I am working with teachers on more effective note taking routines in the class. One of the points that I keep running into with teachers is the types of interactions their students have with material. They continually comment on how many students don’t have any interactions. I love having teachers do think alouds with their students modeling their thinking and then having their students continue to work on the process.

I say all of this here because I continually refer teachers to your work and Darren’s work with your students and the reflection process. I am just amazed at how with continued valuing of the process the types of reflections that you have developed with your students. Great examples of the need for metacognitive approach in the instructional process.

Again, I can’t wait to read more of your reflections. Thanks for sharing.

Roland

Hi,

The idea is good. Having students interact with the everyday discussions in class will really make them learn and understand more the topics in a fun way. Blogging is really a great way to help us educators motivate the students to interact and develop their writing skills as well. Think-aloud is surely great.

Anne,I agree with you that it is so important to have students reflect on what they have learned. It helps them to retain the information better and think about how this information relates to their individual lives. I have my students reflect on lessons they learn in a jouranl. Sometimes I ask my students to tell me one interesting thing they learned about this topic, and then have discussion. This always all the students to hear particular important facts over again. It is also helpful to keep portfolios, which could be done on the computer. Portfolios help students better themselves, rather than ranking their achievement in comparison to others. As an educator, one of my goals is to introduce knowledge that students can relate to real life situations and will bring value to learning.

Motivation is a very important if you wish the students to “grasp” the ideas you are presenting. Often times we look over a classroom of young people and “assume” they are hearing everything we are sharing with them. Its difficult for a teacher, that wants to make a difference, to sometimes realize there are students that don’t really care what you are attempting to share. That’s one of the hardest things I learned when I first started teaching.

Those are the ones who need the motivation. They need to know we want to hear them.

I thoroughly enjoyed your reflection.