« Back to News

August 15, 2015

Reflective Teaching

“For reflective teachers, their work is an ongoing process of closely observing and studying the significance of children’s unfolding activities. Rather than just following preplanned lessons and techniques, reflective teachers consider what they know about the children in their group and about child development theory to better understand and delight in what happens in the classroom. Reflection allows teachers to make effective, meaningful decisions about how to respond to and plan for children. It keeps them excited about their work.” -Margie Carter, Wendy Cividanes, Deb Curtis, and Debbie Lebo, Becoming a Reflective Teacher (link below)


The beginning of a new school year is the perfect time to get to know your children’s strengths, challenges, and interests in a natural and developmentally appropriate way. Following the lead of the children in your classroom is essential – not only is this type of practice important at the beginning of the school year, but being reflective all year long allows you to adapt and differentiate activities to the unique needs of your students!

So, how does this look in the classroom? Here’s an example: blocks, table top connecting toys, and simple threading/lacing stations (a bin of assorted beads, tubular pasta, or cheerios with pipe cleaners or yarn) are all excellent fine motor building activities. Experiment with 2-3 of these by putting 2-3 different options on the same table, and seeing which is most appealing to each child.

Thinking about what you have observed while looking through your assessments is another way to figure out what needs your students have, and how you can work those in to your doodle days. Do you have a group of children who LOVE cars or dinosaurs, and who are also working towards developing their scissors skills? Set up a cutting station, and encourage this group of students to cut up food for the dinosaurs, or to cut roads for the cars to drive on!

Continuing to be reflective in your teaching practice will help you find the most meaningful activities and moments in your classroom, for both you and your students! Check out this article for more information.