When it comes to teaching reading, middle school teachers have a tough job. On one hand, you want your students to be held accountable for their reading assignments, but on the other hand, you want your students to engage with and reflect on what they are reading. So which is better for tracking student reading progress: reading reflections or recording pages with reading logs?
Reading reflections help students demonstrate that they truly understand the book they are reading, as well as show that they are thinking about what they are reading. By having students express their thoughts and feelings in writing, teachers can get an idea of whether or not students are making connections with the characters and plot points.
Reading reflections empower students to develop their own interpretations and perspectives on texts, enabling them to express themselves creatively and thoughtfully. By engaging in reading reflections, students develop analytical skills that enable them to sharpen their ability to comprehend more complex information effectively.
Students can reflect on their reading whether they have read 5 pages or 100 pages. Additionally, student responses are subjective, and it can be difficult to assign a grade. But does everything need to be graded? Absolutely not! The reading reflection is just one aspect of helping secondary ELA students improve their reading.
Another downside to reading reflections is they do not necessarily demonstrate how much reading progress a student has made, and students may require additional guidance in order to effectively answer the questions posed.
Reading reflections provide students with an opportunity to cultivate a more meaningful and in-depth relationship with the material they are reading. Through such reflections, students have a chance to engage more actively with their choice books, formulate thought-provoking questions about the text, and express their own thoughts and reactions. As such, reflections can be used as a powerful tool for both teachers and students to gain an insightful understanding of how the student is engaging with the material.
For teachers, reading reflections can offer valuable insight into how well their students understand the material. Instead of relying solely on grades and assessments, teachers can use reading reflections to gain an honest appraisal of how their students are interacting with the texts. Reflections allow teachers to identify gaps in knowledge or areas that need further instruction.
Reflection offers you the opportunity to consider how your personal experiences and observations shape your thinking and your acceptance of new ideas. Professors often ask students to write reading reflections. They do this to encourage you to explore your own ideas about a text, to express your opinion rather than summarize the opinions of others. Reflective writing can help you to improve your analytical skills because it requires you to express what you think, and more significantly, how and why you think that way. In addition, reflective analysis asks you to acknowledge that your thoughts are shaped by your assumptions and preconceived ideas; in doing so, you can appreciate the ideas of others, notice how their assumptions and preconceived ideas may have shaped their thoughts, and perhaps recognize how your ideas support or oppose what you read.
I modified this assignment from one a colleague shared with me. It originally focused on one book that a student would read for independent reading, so when I modified it into a semester reading reflection for AP Lang, I was unsure, yet hopeful, about how it would turn out.
Reading reflections are designed to encourage students to complete readings before coming to class, to reflect more deeply on the content of the reading, to make personal meaning from the meaning, and to develop their metacognitive skills for lifelong learning. The reflections consist of three questions: (1) What is the main point of the reading?, (2) What information did you find surprising? Why?, and (3) What did you find confusing? Why? Students submit short responses to two of three questions prior to coming to class. Metacognitive components of the activityReading reflections address many elements of metacognition, including knowledge, control, and reflection. Reading reflections are designed to help students develop knowledge about themselves as learners, learning tasks (reading), prior knowledge, content, self-monitoring, self-assessment, and reflection. Metacognitive goalsThe primary goals of this activity are to help students develop their skills of self-assessment, and to reflect more deeply on the content of their reading assignments. Reflective thinking is an essential element of expert learners, so this activity helps students develop skills as intentional learners for lifelong learning. Assessing students' metacognitionReading reflections (n = 35 in a typical semester) count for approximately 10% of the course grade. I do not grade these reflections, but give students credit if they are turned in on time (before class) and if they clearly demonstrate significant reflection.
It is important to prompt reflective thinkingin middle school children to support them in their transition betweenchildhood and adulthood. During this time period adolescents experiencemajor changes in intellectual, emotional, social, and physicaldevelopment. They begin to shape their own thought processes and are atan ideal time to begin developing thinking, learning, and metacognitivestrategies. Therefore, reflective thinking provides middle levelstudents with the skills to mentally process learning experiences,identify what they learned, modify their understanding based on newinformation and experiences, and transfer their learning to othersituations. Scaffolding strategiesshould be incorporated into the learning environment to help studentsdevelop their ability to reflect on their own learning. Forexample,
HOW TO CHOOSE A BOOK Classroom Poster to help get the idea across to students that reading has to be comprehensible and interesting. This little poster says that 9 ways in kidspeak. Print out this poster and place it prominently above your classroom library, or post it every time you assign independent reading in your virtual classroom to remind students how to pick a book. Free Voluntary Reading is different than most of the reading that they are asked to do in school, so they will need guidance.
Good morning, I am beginning my 3rd year as a middle school religion teacher. Some of my colleagues have voiced their opinion that our weekly Mass is infringing upon, wasting, precious time that they could be using to teach their core subjects. I am not sure how to respond to this, mostly because I am incensed that they believe their core subjects are more important than having children attend Mass.
My favorite back-to-school activities are the ones that get students up and moving and/or have them talking and sharing with others. This post will share a free back-to-school reflection activity that has both of those qualities (depending on how you use it).
This free back to school reflection activity (available to download near the end of this post) contains thirty back-to-school themed reflection questions in two formats: task card format and as a printable list. You can choose to use whichever format you want and whichever questions you want.
Legal Aid Society's Yissel Cabrera accepted two more donations from Reading Reflections volunteers Justin Hei Samuel Ramos. Legal Aid was grateful to have not only books for young readers but accepted middle school and high school level books as well.
They grew up in a range of places: Colorado, Northern California, Southern California, New York, Texas, Wisconsin. Even Canada. For many, Beloved was assigned reading in high school and left an impression. 2b1af7f3a8