I wish all of you could have been at last night's Thinking Out Loud on Reflection Meetings at Hanna Fenichel. There was a wonderful group of educators there to share their passion for furthering their work with children and each other. Julie Brackbill, Theron Royer, and Jeanine Gutowski shared their experiences of using Reflection Meetings with the children in their centers.
Here are some of the tips they shared:
* Start! Do not worry about making mistakes or saying the wrong thing. We all need practice on carrying on good conversations, not just dispersing facts.
*Topics for Reflection Meetings come from your observation of what is taking place with the children. This can be a social/emotional event such as "they won't let me play," small group work that is stuck and needs the whole class' ideas; a theory or strong idea that needs further thought, such as "where did that rainbow come from?" or "who are good guys and who are bad guys."
*Don't give answers to the children... this is their time to think through each other's ideas. You are with them trying to figure out what they are meaning too!
*Make the Reflection Meeting a special time of the day: Use chairs to sit in; talk about how to have a conversation; be patient.
*With Toddlers and Young 3's, the teacher will have to verbalize, or broadcast what has occurred if the children are not able to tell their friends. Use photos to remind the children of what they were doing.
Any of you with more reflections or thoughts, please join in!! Let's have our own reflection meeting on this topic.
Thank you Reggio Roundtable for offering this TOL!
If you would like further reading, Julie recommends Are You Listening?: Fostering Conversations That Help Young Children Learn by Lisa Burman.