Kim Douillard shares her National Writing Project “Reflective Friday: Time Out to Think.”

Kim is a codirector of the San Diego area writing project. She sums the lesson up with the following:

My students have pushed me to “go past done” when it comes to thinking
about their learning. Rather than depending solely on educational research or
learning theories to tell me what they are able and not able to do, I turn to
them for answers. They have shown me that in a multiage class such as ours,
they can benefit from reflective activities during the school day. They have
shown me that reflection is not just for adults, not just for university students,
or pre-service teachers. Reflection helps us to remember, to make connections,
and to make thoughtful, informed decisions. Reflection is a process for living.

Kim was prompted to action when she heard a teacher-researcher from Alaska talking about the volume of information that teachers are supposed to impart to students and about the lack of time in the school schedule for thinking. Kim developed a schedule for Fridays that really incorporated time to think and reflect. You can see the detailed schedule for the day in her document but it includes brainstorming, activity time when students let their subconscious minds reflect while their bodies are moving, recess, writing, free read time followed by sharing with questions and discusssion, portfolio work and goal setting, thinking time, dialogue journal, recess again (Yea!), writing time and silent reading, read aloud. Now this sounds terrific! Think how well it would fit in with our blogging.

Kim gives great examples and charts the types of thinking and how they change. There is much to absorb and think about in this and it reminds me once again how important it is that we blog about it and take time to comment/talk/share with the students. This is one of the best articles I have read about really giving more ownership of their learning to the students. Kim reiterates that:

Students who set goals and evaluate their progress have more ownership of their
learning. Through realistic, short-term goal setting and evaluation, students
recognize their successes, become aware that they are responsible for their
own progress, and are more motivated to work toward the goals they set.

I have plenty to reflect on from this article. Thanks Kim, for sharing! If you have not browsed through all the terrific resources from The National Writing Project you are missing out!

Photo Credit: Flickr Photo from BaSak’s photostream