Today I played around with Reflection in a Kindergarten Writer's Workshop. I have four categories of questions I like to ask writers at the end of a workshop:
A writer's act of reflection is actually a form of authentic assessment for me. Each reflection teaches me something about writers and gives me insight into their thinking. If a child is bored and yearns for the energy of friends, I need to make sure to position him in a space surrounded by friends who might give him the jolt he needs. If a child is nervous about writing, I need to know why and what I can do to help alleviate her trepidation. If a child feels happy about herself as a writer, what is happening to make her feel this way--and might she offer suggestions to peers to help them foster this feeling within themselves?
Primarily, reflection is a self-evaluative act so the writer can step back and think inward. But it's also an assessment act that teaches me something I need to learn from my writers.
I wonder: In what ways do you reflect with your students? How can we make reflection a daily part of their Writer's Workshop?
About the Author
Brian Kissel is an Associate Professor of education at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. His focus is writing instruction. He lives in North Carolina with his wife, Hattie and three kiddos: Charlie, Ben, and Harriet.