This post will keep it simple.

In the hope of inspiring you to immediately begin asking students to reflect on the quality of their thinking we share a few quotes from students.

Reflections from actual students evaluating their writing for intellectual standards using this Intellectual Standards Rubric:



Think of a few of your students who are the least disciplined thinkers. Then picture them saying this:

“My work doesn’t show consistent clarity in some assignments. I need to think through my reasoning or thoughts before I write it down on paper. I can also brainstorm and outline to make my thoughts flow better. My weakness is when I don’t understand the topic I just talk in circles. I have not yet mastered this intellectual standard.”

“In my essay I wrote, ‘I think they’re grouped this way based on the goals…’ This shows the opposite of clear writing. I used the pronoun “they” when I should have written who “they” were and I should have written what the goals were.”

“My essays display more accuracy than my journal entries. In my essays, I’m more focused on giving facts and explaining them to refer back to my thesis. The steps I’m taking to prove my accuracy is realizing that I’m not being consistent in my journal entries and making an effort to do so.”

Inspiring, right?! Want to know another benefit? Take back your nights and weekends by having students grade their own essays, again using this Intellectual Standards Rubric.  Asking students to reflect on their work has transformed what I’ve been able to do with my students. 

And in the hope of inspiring adults to be more reflective about our thinking…



“I definitely believe in myself more due to taking risks and constantly reflecting on my growth. Through this process of constant reflection, the best principles about teaching and learning have become part of my normal routine. Sometimes it’s just about thinking twice in a situation. I will keep reflecting and trying to improve.”

“A problem I consistently face is a handful of students not turning in their homework. My reaction to their not turning it in must by now be predictable to them: ‘Teacher asks for the homework, I give her one of my excuses, she gets upset, she tells me to stay in during break – no problem, no sweat. I don’t like going to the playground anyway.’ The problem continues. Upon reflection I can see that I failed to look at the whole picture. I had treated each case as a string of isolated incidents, not thinking that there might be some underlying problems either at school or at home. I should have liaised more often with their parents and come up with a solution. Getting upset and detaining them during break have been counterproductive.”

Happy reflecting on your thinking! Please post reflections from you or your students below.