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Sustaining the Journey
Using a Reflecting Conversation with Students
October 10, 2016
When students get used to goal setting and planning conversations, it would be natural to follow up with Reflecting Conversations to check on progress. Teachers could schedule conversations to check on progress and the attainment of short-time goals, The Reflecting Map could also be used as a culminating project for a collection/presentation writing portfolio. The following questions have been used in a variety of ways. First, the classroom teacher has held one-on-one conversations with students using the questions as a guide. Also, the teacher has structured peer coaching conversations between students using the guide as a template. Finally, the teacher has used the questions as a pre-writing personal self- directed reflection that students completed on their own.
Here are some possible reflecting conversations questions for a final writing portfolio.
• Summarize your impressions of your growth as a writer.
• Analyze your success as a writer by comparing your earliest paper to your most recent paper.
o How has your writing voice matured?
o What was your weakest grammatical area and how has it improved?
o What did your early development look like (specific references, text-based details, your ability to draw conclusions, explain and analyze your supporting ideas) and in what ways have you improved?
o In what ways have your introductions and conclusions improved?
• What were some of the things you did to improve your writing?
• What do you think a college professor would say about your writing?
• What are you learning about yourself as a writer?
• In what ways do you still need to improve as a writer?
• What do you have to insist on in yourself in order to make that happen?
• What are some goals you have as a writer for your next 4 years?
The Reflecting Conversation can be adapted to mediate a student’s thinking about classroom projects or measuring the attainment of established learning goals.