As I thought about what to write for day 2 of the #28daysofwriting challenge, all day…I really had no clue what I was going to write, I made my list yesterday, but nothing was jumping out at me.
So I just decided to leave it and stop worrying about it….here it’s now 11:13 PM and I’m just getting to it.
But by letting be….the idea came.
First inspiration was the class I facilitated tonight, it was our final class and lately I’ve been trying to wrap up my courses with some type of reflection that uses the tool we are covering. Tonight’s tool was Google Slides.
Every participant takes a slide in a shared presentation, adds their reflection, and then goes back and leaves comments for each other.
It’s very powerful and exciting to watch! There is a lot of positive energy and connections being made, my hope is that it encourages participants to leave the course excited for what’s next and ready to try new things.
This one is more personal, since December 27th, I have been attempting to keep a daily journal of positive/happy memories with family, specifically the little things my kids do. I’m trying to focus on those little things that tend to get lost in the craziness of daily life.
Today wasn’t a totally easy day, we were snowed in and both of my children were sick, so we couldn’t even go out and play in the snow and we defiantly had some stressful moments. But, when I sat down to write my entry for the day, all of that stress disappeared…I was focused on a sweet moment between my two boys, where my one year old tried to comfort my three old after he got hurt.
So, where am I going with this? I started to think about the power of reflection and that many times it’s a challenge to incorporate this into daily practice, everyone has the best of intentions, but it’s hard to follow through. (I’m actually shocked with myself that I’ve kept my journal for just over a month now, and I think it has finally turned into a habit for me.)
What are some ways we can encourage reflective practices for ourselves and our students, but not set ourselves up to fail?
Here are some of characteristics I found in my experiences from today:
- They are short activities: The interactive reflection was a 10 minute in class activity, with three quick questions, but it is available for participants to go back to at any time, which allows for deeper engagement. My journal gives me about six inches of space for each day, for some reason this makes it more realistic for me to write daily, the empty blank page can be a little intimidating…that small amount of space gives me a clear goal.
- Collaborative: The activity in my eCourse is collaborative, participants reflect on their experiences, but then everyone comments on each others. While my journal isn’t currently collaborative, I have asked my husband to contribute to it and as my kids get older, I hope they will too. (Although there is already some creative artwork courtesy of my one year old!)
- Personal Connections: The Google Slides activity encourages connections, connections between individuals and the content, and individuals to each other and many times it encourages the development of even more ideas. The daily journal, I view it as a way to connect with my kids, my hope is that in the future they will cherish this journal.
- They are positive: Each practice is focused on positive experiences and thoughts.
One thing that I do find interesting is that while one utilizes technology, the other doesn’t….but both encourage deep reflection…
I think I need to think through this a little more and how this translates into a classroom (I’ve most definitely gone over my 28 minutes tonight…)..but I feel like this is a start.