To keep yourself moving forward, plan regular periods for reflection on your progress. Here are some reflection questions that might be useful. You can use these by yourself, or to stimulate discussion with a small group of colleagues. It can be helpful to audio-record a few lessons now and then. There’s so much going on in any lesson that it’s hard to keep track of everything. Arranging with a trusted colleague to trade off occasional classroom observations can also give you a fresh perspective on what’s happening in your classroom.
You’ve set in motion a type of instruction that helps students strengthen their reasoning and their language effectiveness, but you’ve also activated meta-cognitive and meta-linguistic awareness in your students. To help them continue to develop, and to support their ongoing agency as learners, consider setting up regular reflection activities for your students. Here are some reflection questions that may be helpful for individual students and for student work groups.
Whatever way you go about this, remember to be patient with yourself. Here are some words of support and advice from educators who kept at it:
“This took some work, so we started it in just one class, but students loved working this way, and they hated for that class to end. They wanted us to work this way in all our other classes, so the discourse moves migrated into other content areas!”fourth grade co-teachers
“Letting go of control is hard--I’m a control freak! Letting go of my idea of the right way or the right answer was hard, but I stuck with it, because I saw how it was helping students.”seventh-grade math teacher