Reflective honesty

A and two friends (Year 6 learners)  join me to think about themselves as learners. Their goal is to write report reflections for their final primary school reports. We look at the learner profile  and consider what they have achieved and improved on and what they still need to improve. Each of the children approach the task in their own way.

  • J (who is a creative thinker) immediately starts to think about what she does, how she does it and who she is as a learner.
  • N gets lost in her thoughts and needs time to think.
  • A wants to talk. She wants to bounce ideas around.


During the week, I interact with other children who are writing their reflections. I notice:

  • Some like to plan first; others like to dive in.
  • Some like to write about what they are thinking; others like to think about what they are writing.
  • Some require sentence starters to assist them; others have plenty to say.
  • Some want to chat about their thinking ; some want to think in silence.
  • Some want to talk and have someone scribe (type) ; others want to type as they think.

It seems like everything that we do is differentiated to some degree and that given choices, learners experiment and find out what works best for them. The comments are testimony to the reflective practice that the learners are exposed to and I love the honesty and insight that they display.

Here are some examples of what they say :

N: “I know that I need to show more commitment to my learning as I tend to get distracted and lose focus. My learning environment is important. I need to have a place to map out my thoughts and all my ideas so that I can refer back to them as I need them.”

A :”I am willing to share my knowledge and I know that I need to ask questions more often and be willing to take risks as I know that when I make a mistake, I learn new things. I do know that I need to contribute more to class discussions and get more involved as sometimes I am not willing to share my thoughts as I am unsure of what other people will think of them. I need time to think and a safe place to share.”

(K has started thinking alone, but wants to chat to generate more ideas. He is so honest in what he says, that as I read this sentence, I hear his voice.)

K: “When I am determined to learn something no one can stop me but when I don’t really want to learn something I am closed-minded.”

Taking time to model reflection and build it into all we do certainly pays off.

What do your learners think about?

How do they reflect on and for their learning?


About Jina Belnick

I am a full time learner - tumbling head first into education and joining my learners on the amazing adventures that we encounter daily at our PYP school in Melbourne, Australia.I am currently working in learning support, feeling the waters and seeing how teachers and learners are best supported, I am a listener and a leader, an inquirer and a follower. I'm loving the ride!
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