Thursday, September 19, 2013

What is a self-reflection and how to do one...

“By three methods we may learn wisdom: first, by reflection, which is noblest; second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third, by experience, which is the most bitter.” ~ Confucius
What is a self reflection?

Do you ever feel like you are running from one activity to another, or studying a mad rush of one subject after another? When things happen at such a fast pace, it is easy to lose sight of what you are doing, or what you are learning. It is important to stop yourself every now and then to think about what you have been doing or learning. Self reflection means stopping the mad rush of activity and calming yourself and your mind so your brain can evaluate the input it has already received.

Self reflection is an essential skill for a successful student. It allows you to compare your work over time, create evaluation criteria for a project and discuss your strategies for reading a difficult piece of text. It gives you an opportunity to step back from your work and think about your own efforts and feelings about the topic and the learning that took place. These are qualities of self-directed learners, not passive learners.

How to write a self reflection

  • Find a quiet place. 
  • Jot down some notes on things that you learned in this week that you did not know before. (These are the things that go in your first paragraph).
  • Let your mind ponder on the notes you have written and make some connections. Just pausing to think deeply allows your brain to make connections so that new information can be quickly retrieved when you need it again. Next, think about things that you still wonder. For example, maybe you learned about a certain body system, but you’re not sure how it works together with the other body systems. Maybe you learned a new way to solve a math problem, but you’re not sure when to use it. Writing down your questions will help you remember to continue seeking answers the next time you are exposed to the same topic. 

Time to make way for new ideas!

  • Lew, Magdeleine D. N., and Henk G. Schmidt. "Self-reflection and Academic Performance: Is There a Relationship?" National Center for Biotechnology Information. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 05 May 2011. Web. 19 Sept. 2013.
  • Greene, Maxine. "The Importance of Personal Reflection." Edutopia. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Sept. 2013.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


You recently asked me what is the purpose of the weekly blogs. Let me try to explain.

What is a blog in education?

A blog provides an organized record of your thoughts and ideas related to an educational experience. It includes not only what you learned, but also your own understanding of the topic and your reflection on the learning experience. It is a space to develop your writing and critical thinking skills, as well as strengthen your connections between concepts.

What is the purpose of the blog?

Blogs in education serve several purposes:

1. Blogging provides you with an archive of your learning experiences and your thoughts on them. If your blogs are complete, you have all the resources available to you as you sit down to complete your projects, since you have a record of the work you have already done. For example, you do not have to re-read the articles that you need to cite since you already have them cited, and you already have written down your ideas on their meaning. You have also already made the connections to other articles or experiences, so in reality the work is already done, you just have to do a final write up.

2. Blogging allows you to track how far you have come. By providing you with a written record of all your accomplishments, you are able to look back on yourself and have evidence of how much you have accomplished.

3. Blogging allows you to learn and practice the writing and reading standards. Since you are writing for an audience beyond the teacher, you are more likely to check your spelling and grammar.

What does my weekly blog need to have?

Idea & Content
  • What is the topic? 
  • What did we do? 
  • What did you learn/understand? 
  • What connection can you make? 
Reflective Thinking
  • What will you do with this new knowledge? 
  • How did you grow as a student? 
  • Why did you choose to talk about this?

Finally, for those of you that think that I might not practice as I preach, Here is the link to my own professional blog, Teaching above the test, I invite you to visit.