Reflecting on ourselves as learners - Mid-Pacific Institute

Kindergarten Matsumoto

Reflecting on ourselves as learners

Posted on September 15, 2017

by Ms. Matsumoto on September 15, 2017

Every Friday, the children write in their reflection journals. The front side of the paper - What I did well in school this week - encourages them to think about something they feel they worked hard to accomplish in school. The children write letters/words in response, which vary between academic learning and character building:

I listened to the teachers when they were giving directions.
I lined up quietly.
I helped someone when they were hurt.
I cleaned up quickly (and did not keep playing).
I took turns with the exerbug at recess.
I wrote my letters properly when signing in.

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P1220286.jpgThe back side of the paper - What I want to work on next week - encourages the children to think of areas in which they what to improve. Again, these goals have either an academic or character building focus. This is usually the more difficult side for the children to complete, as they are quite confident and often feel they don't have anything they need to work on to improve. To help the children think of an appropriate goal, teachers remind them that it can be something about reading, writing, math, inquiry, P.E., C.E., or Music. It could also be something teachers are already helping them to work on and it's something they feel they should be able to do more independently. What do THEY want to do better?

The children also draw a quick sketch to help them remember their goals. The goals are placed near the entranceway to the classroom so that the children are reminded to work on the goals they set for themselves. Every Monday, the children are reminded to check their new goals as part of their regular morning routine; however, the goals are posted all week so that the children can refer to them daily, as needed.

This weekly journal reflection is one way we formally reflect on ourselves as learners. We also read books during story time that address various character traits in a multitude of different scenarios. This week we read

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Click on this link to read the entire story - I Show Respect.

After reading each page, we talked about who or what we are showing respect to in each of these situations. The children responded with:
- the earth
- my friends
- Mom and Dad
- the classroom
- my friends
- the school
- all the children (at school)
- the teachers
and my personal favorite...
- myself.

Informally, we frequently reflect on how we are all doing throughout the different learning times of the day, during class discussions (as we think about what our bodies and minds are doing so we can be our best learners), at recess (as we resolve conflicts with friends), and during work time (as we challenge ourselves to do our best and persevere through difficult tasks).

Reflection is a normal part of daily learning and the culture of thinking at Mid-Pacific. It is a school-wide "attitude" that we embrace, understanding that reflecting on ourselves as learners is how we improve. Reflection is one of the characteristics we hope to instill in our students as part of our Learner Profile. You can participate in your child's learning by making these dispositions a part of your daily vocabulary and educational mindset.

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** New Family Learning Activities are posted, but please feel free to go back to previously posted activities. These optional activities are provided 1) to inform families of classroom learning, 2) as an opportunity for students to reinforce learned concepts, and 3) as a means for families to share in their child's learning. As the children complete these activities, they may bring them in to the classroom at any time to share with the class. There is no due date, so families may complete the activities as they are able. **

Upcoming events:
Thursday, 9/21 - free dress day and monthly assembly, 8:15
- first visit to Mānoa Senior Care
Friday, 10/6 - Professional Development Day, no school
Monday, 10/9 - Discoverers' Day Holiday, no school