What does it look like in the classroom?
At the beginning of the year, students pick one plus and delta from each column and record it on their own logs. Towards October, we still brainstorm together but students are more comfortable writing highs and lows specific to them. At this point in the year, students are expected to write in a complete sentence.
Reading & Math Reflection
While end-of-day reflection is important, building opportunities for reflection into our learning blocks is also really important. At the very end of our Daily 5 block and our Guided Math, we do Plus/Delta for the day. This gives me the chance to quickly reflect with every student and plan with students who struggle. I give students the plus and delta sentence stems (Plus – Today I learned… Delta = Tomorrow I need to…). Students are welcome to deviate, but it allows students to complete the Plus/Delta independently. Honestly, we do this process *quickly* and quietly. As soon as students finish, students grab their snack and gather on the carpet for a read-aloud. All-in-all, reflection in the early weeks (Weeks 1-4) takes 7-8 minutes. Once we become faster at it, we can streamline the process into 4-5 minutes. Boom!
Implementing Reflection in Your Classroom
- Model, Model, Model – Take the first week and model exactly what you expect. During these first days, do not have students write their reflections. Do the reflections whole-group and then, have students share their own plus and deltas with a partner.
- Have a Plan for Managing the Paper – At the end of the week, what will students do with the reflection sheets? Have a plan and prepare accordingly. We keep our reflection sheets in our Leadership Binders (so we can reference them at other times in the year), so when I print them I know to go ahead and hole punch them. This makes the end of the week easy because the papers are ready to slip into the binder rings!
- Building in Reflection Time – Those first few days when students are writing their reflections, it does take a chunk of dedicated time. IT DOES GET BETTER. Take some deep breaths and have a Diet Coke ready. Toward the beginning of the year, reflection took about 25-30 minutes for everyone to finish. Now (in January) it takes us 8-10ish minutes for everyone to finish.
- Notice Patterns – One of the benefits of doing daily reflection is the opportunity for me to ‘see’ what students think about our days. If I’m paying close attention, I can see patterns among students and their thinking. I know that my friends HATE missing a math center and it really concerns them when a friend is absent. Afternoon RtI is something we look forward to (which I would *never* guess without these plus/deltas) and this group of friends would choose Indoor Recess over Outdoor Recess every day of the week.
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