Teachers are always learning new ways to start using reflective writing in the classroom. Writing reflective essays or journal entries taps a skill set that often goes untested by standardized tests and other kinds of writing assignments. There are lots of ways to teach reflective writing in the classroom with your students as well as ways to use reflective writing as a way to enhance lesson plans and manage your classroom schedules: keep reading to find out more.
Some teachers like to use reflective writing to help their students "cool down" after an intensive group activity. Students are encouraged to go reflect on the activity or experience and write about it, while they calm down, understand their reactions to the process, and summarize what they have accomplished.
Kids show that they understand what they’ve read when they can write about it. Instead of assigning summary assignments all the time, mix it up and ask students to write reflectively about a book and how they reacted to it. Ask them a string of questions that peaks their interest:
Once they learn that they can have an opinion about a book, beyond a summary of the book, students will want to have more class discussions to share their opinions and feelings with their peers. They will grow as readers, writers, and speakers by journaling about books they have read.
Ask your students to check in with themselves and their feelings and write a journal entry about where they feel they are as individuals. Sometimes writing causes students to get in touch with themselves and understand themselves better. It is a good exercise to learn how to write about oneself and to journal one’s progress over time – in a few months, let students look back at the assignment and assess how far along they have come.
Allow your kids the creative space that they need by supplying them with a notebook for their journaling needs. They don’t need anything fancy- in fact, buy a lined notebook for each child, and let them decorate the cover. By decorating the cover and personalizing the notebook, students will start to realize how important it is to own their own writing style, and will begin to feel proud of their writing and the thoughts they share.
Try having kids write one entry a day as homework outside of the classroom. While in the classroom, encourage kids to edit their writing they did for homework and to share their writing with others. By peer-reviewing each other’s writing, they will begin to learn a lot more about how others are writing and reinforce the correct grammar and vocabulary rules.
You will find that reflective writing has many benefits with young kids.
Students will become more confident in the long run as they grow as writers and thinkers.
There are many lesson plans available online that can help you get ideas for teaching about journal writing in an everyday setting. By boosting writing skills through journaling in the classroom, students are preparing themselves for a world in which writing is a critical skill for almost every possible job on the market. The classroom benefits are:
For more information about using reflective writing in the classroom, ask your colleagues about the ways they use reflective writing as a tool in their lesson plans.