Saturday, June 4, 2016

Reflecting on Ourselves as Writers

The end of the school year is a time of reflection for me. I think back through the year and I wonder about what worked and what could have worked better. I make plans to change things for next year. Reflection is powerful. It changes me.

I ask my students to reflect too. We reflect on ourselves as readers and writers, as students and as people. This week a simple exercise in organizing gave my students an opportunity to reflect on themselves as writers.

Living in this digital age, much of our writing ends up google drive or on the blog. This week, we went through google drive and organized our writing. Then we went through our blog and copied our posts into google drive. It was meant to serve as a place to hold their writing for seventh and eighth grades. It turned into reflecting.

"Oh my goodness! I wrote this?! It's terrible!"
"I can't believe I didn't write this better!"

I kept hearing statements like these from my sixth graders as they browsed through their writing.

"I totally forgot that I wrote this! WOW!"
"Hey, this is pretty good. I should finish this."

Listening to them reflect on themselves as writers made me smile. In my reflecting, I will think that my students consider themselves writers. They've grown and they can see their growth.

As my students organized, I returned to my online writing folder too. It made me want to write I did. I've been writing daily this week.

Thank you to Ruth Ayres for providing this space to share our celebrations. Please join us and share your own!


  1. Your are right: reflection is so powerful for students as writers and us as teachers and writers ourselves. One of my goals for this summer is to create students portfolios for next year. Maybe you can share with me some tips and ideas in a couple of weeks! ;)

  2. Yay!!! for having all that writing to reflect on. It is important to recognize that you helped them make it happen in the first place. How lucky they are have to have all those opportunities to write. It is great to hear your success with "organizing" this week and makes me want to read through my own old posts as I'm trying to get back into writing/blogging myself. Thanks for sharing! It is inspiring.

  3. Reflecting is so important; and so is resting, relaxing and recharging. I think it's important to focus on what went well, but I also try not to worry too much about what didn't. Sometimes what works with one group of students, falls flat with another group. And who knows what will work with the next group of kids? Have a terrific summer!

  4. Yay for the spontaneous reflection! Congrats to you for writing daily. May your summer be filled with wonderful words!

  5. Reflection is an important piece to moving forward. Happy summer!

  6. So many times when I read your blog I feel like I could have written it. Love how students had time to reflect on their writing. Powerful message to send them as the year is closing. Have a wonderful week.

  7. Great minds think alike! I had my friends reflecting on their writing this week too. Most can name that they write more now. So many focused on adding more punctuation which surprised me. I guess at age 8, they aren't realizing the better craft moves they can make now that they weren't making back in September. OR haven't I helped them to look for these? So much to reflect on!! Congrats to you, another year spent teaching writing well!!

  8. Man! What a great idea, copying the blog posts to google docs. I have used google docs for the first time this school year and I hadn't thought of doing that. What a good way for them to reflect on their work and have a portfolio. Did you have them answer questions to a survey about writing? Just wondering....

  9. I want to be sure and do more reflecting as this year comes to an end - what worked well, what needs attention, what we missed out on due to time constraints and more. I don't do this as much as I want to. I'm glad you all took the time to do that. It's great that they can see improvement and that you were inspired to write. :)

  10. It seems that as busy as we are, reflection is the piece we throw by the wayside most often. Yet there is so much to learn from reflection! I'm glad your students are getting that opportunity!

  11. Michelle, your students have grown into reflective writers who know what it is that has sparks and what they want to refine. Good job as the teacher/coach this year. Reflection is the key to moving forward.


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