Reflections at 54

Inching my way to my 54th birthday this November, and noting this is my 54th post in Neurons Firing, my Reflections are twofold. [See Editor’s Note below.]

This is the second to last activity for the opening faculty meeting session that will take place the afternoon of August 29, 2007. It is simply titled Reflections. sm-reflections.pngAll learning must include time for processing and reflecting. Faculty will have returned from summer vacations eager to reconnect with one another and anxious to organize their rooms. While there will have been much schmoozing accompanying this ninety minutes of activities, I could not leave out opportunity for reflection. You can see the full size Reflections screen here.

Rather than ask her students “What are you thinking?”, Marilee Sprenger often asks them “How are you thinking?” (page 165). Her goal is to foster metacognition, because the more someone understands about how they learn, the more they can influence their own learning. She discusses the importance of having students reflect “after each step, each rehearsal, and each review” and lists Seven Habits of Highly Reflective Classrooms (pages 48-55.)

1. Question – reflective questions often start with why or how
2. Visualize
3. Thinking Through Journals
4. Use Thinking Directives – provide time to think about, think back to, think ahead to, put yourself in someone else’s shoes…
5. Think Like a PMI Chart – a graphic organizer that covers the Pluses, Minuses, and Interesting aspects of the topic
6. Collaborate
7. Four-Corner Reflection – a physically active discussion activity that includes music and visuals

The remainder of my Reflection revolves around Neurons Firing. I am finding my blog to be an activity of immense satisfaction. It gives me a creative outlet, most definitely helps to solidify my understanding while encouraging my curiosity, and reminds me of the enormity of information available and the necessity of making conscious filtering decisions so as not to be overwhelmed by it all. And to those of you who stop by to read Neurons Firing, a hearty welcome!

This is the sixteenth of what will turn out to be seventeen posts, and for further information about this series please read Closings and Openings. As you follow the development of this activity, please feel free to chime in with suggestions or questions.

[Editor’s Note added on November 14, 2007, the day before my 53rd birthday…not my 54th! I love celebrating my birthdays but am not in that much of a hurry to add on 😉 My husband is ten months older, and am sure that’s where my miscount came from. One will be 53, the other 54. Sheesh.]

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