<img height="1" width="1" alt="" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=940171109376247&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">

Dedicated to Teachers

Making a Case for Reflection

Teaching_Writers_Reflect_ImageOneWhen student writers know how to reflect, they know how to learn from their writing experiences. It’s one thing to experience something, but if the experience is then forgotten or not connected in any direct way to other experiences, how is it useful?

Download a Sample Chapter from Teaching Writers to Reflect

Reflection is thinking about what has happened, making connections among parts of an experience, and naming aspects of it. Reflection is about processing an experience, noticing the feelings and memories it arouses, and linking it up to other kinds of experiences that relate to it (Dewey 1933). Through reflection, experiences are available to think about and learn from going forward, doing more of the same or doing differently as the situation demands. Reflection transforms a student’s actions in the classroom from the empty satisfying of a teacher’s assignments to a real learning experience that not only satisfies the teacher but also builds something lasting for the writer. 

What else can we gain from reflection?

  • Reflection Builds Community
  • Reflection Builds Writers' Confidence 
  • Reflection Fosters Independence 
  • Reflection Makes Writing Skills Transferable

Reflection also helps teachers to better know what our students need. When students reflect on writing, they verbalize what they do and do not understand, what they struggle with, and what they did and thought as they worked through a writing problem. This helps us get inside their thinking. Writing is one of those subject areas that’s so difficult to assess—we can look at a product a student has produced, but it’s hard to know what went into it. If you look at a student who is writing, usually all you see is a hand moving or standing still. What is happening inside the mind as that hand is moving? Having students reflect can help us find out, and that in turn helps us make better decisions about how to teach them. 

Learn more about Teaching Writers to Reflecat Heinemann.com

Download a Sample Chapter from Teaching Writers to Reflect

Read more from Teaching Writers to Reflect

glyph-logo_May2016Follow us on Instagram @heinemannpub to stay up to date on the latest books, your favorite authors, and upcoming events!

annewhitneyAnne Elrod Whitney (top) is Professor of Education at the Pennsylvania State University. Colleen McCracken (center) is a second-grade teacher and Deana Washell (bottom) is a third-grade teacher at Easterly Parkway Elementary School in State College, Pennsylvania. 















Posted by: Steph GeorgePublished:

Topics: Writing, Anne Elrod Whitney, Colleen McCracken, Teaching Writers to Reflect, Deana Washell

Comment on this post:

Related Posts

Toward a Deeper Understanding of the Sentence

More than any other aspect of writing, it is the quality of the sentences that determines whether a text ...
Steph George Oct 17, 2019 3:32:56 PM

On the Podcast: Writing Between the Commas with Martin Brandt

How do you feel about grammar? For many of us, it was a frustrating exercise that kept writing inaccessib...
Steph George Oct 10, 2019 3:45:00 AM

The Camera as a Writer's Notebook

Crows collect sparkly things; humans are similarly inclined. The writer’s notebook is a container to gath...
Steph George Oct 7, 2019 9:51:33 AM

Examining the 'How' and 'Why' in Writing

In English classes, we spend a lot of time determining what writers say, but unfortunately, much less tim...
Katie Fabiano Oct 4, 2019 7:24:00 AM