How to write a reflection after teaching a lesson

Costa and Bena Kallick Chapter

How to write a reflection after teaching a lesson

Danielson Great teachers know when to make decisions quickly and when to step back and reflect. Teachers face a myriad of daily choices: Many choices involve matters so routine that a teacher can make and implement decisions automatically. Teachers make other decisions in the midst of an evolving situation after quickly reviewing the situation and recalling what has worked in similar scenarios.

But teaching also involves complex choices about difficult problems that, if left unaddressed, often escalate.

A different type of thinking is needed to address such choices. Tough choices call for teachers to engage in sophisticated reflection—including self-reflection.

Expert teachers adjust their thinking to accommodate the level of reflection a situation calls for.

how to write a reflection after teaching a lesson

Their teaching is characterized by an intentional competence that enables them to identify and replicate best practice, refine serendipitous practice, and avoid inferior practice.

Because of their ability to reflect, great teachers know not only what to do, but also why. A disposition toward reflection—and a good sense of when the teacher needs to step back and think deeply—should be part of all teachers' repertoires.

How can we nurture this habit of mind? Understanding Reflective Thinking Reflective thinking in teaching is associated with the work of Dewey, who suggested that reflection begins with a dilemma. Effective teachers suspend making conclusions about a dilemma in order to gather information, study the problem, gain new knowledge, and come to a sound decision.

This deliberate contemplation brings about new learning.

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In the s, Lortie described how failing to reflect on teaching decisions leads to teaching by imitation rather than intentionality.

People who enter the profession have already gone through 16 years of "apprenticeship of observation" as students themselves and have developed preconceived ideas of what teaching is through having watched others do it. They may sense what teachers do but have no grasp of why they do it.

Four Modes of Thinking To understand the complexity of reflection, consider the four modes of thinking Grimmett proposed: I see these modes in a hierarchy from the lower-level reflection useful for making routine decisions to the higher-level reflection needed for complex dilemmas.

Each mode requires an increasing degree of conscious analysis and data seeking. Expert teachers adapt their reflective thinking to the situation, recognizing when each level of thought is sufficient to address a concern and when they need to move to the next mode.

The following teacher journal entries drawn from my research show examples of a teacher using each mode of thinking, sometimes inappropriately Danielson, Technological or Formulaic Thinking Technological or formulaic thinking is based on prepackaged knowledge from an external source.

It relies on practices that have proven efficient and effective. For example, teachers might adopt general policies and rules that are part of a school culture. In deciding how to teach a concept, curriculum teams might adopt standardized instructional procedures they believe will result in greater student learning.

Formulaic thinking works for many routine decisions: As long as routines function effectively, there is no need to change them.

Likewise, there may be instructional practices that demand that the teacher follows a prescribed set of steps. The following scenario, however, shows a teacher relying on formulaic thinking to make decisions when a more reflective style would suit her purpose better.

She shared her approach to lesson planning: When I start working on a unit, I just gather resource materials and start taking notes.

What Are Some Strategies For Reflection Activities?

I do outlines and headings of all the areas … [students] need to know about.As you look for ways to help your students learn this new content, remember that you aren't just teaching them required social studies standards — you are helping your students adjust to a new life and country.

Providing educators and students access to the highest quality practices and resources in reading and language arts instruction.

Find more faculty resources. Reflection strategies for classroom activities (Compiled by Professor Diane Sloan, Miami Dade College, and based on the work of Julie Hatcher and Robert Bringle's "Reflection Activities for the College Classroom": Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis).

It is clear that the power in learning is in the action of doing the activity. Task-based learning offers the student an opportunity to do exactly this. The primary focus of classroom activity is the task and language is the instrument which the students use to complete it.

The task is an activity in which students use language to achieve a specific outcome. After having to reteach my Algebra 2 students the distributive property, I wanted to make sure my Algebra 1 students had a strong understanding of the distributive property.

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