How is this similar to something else that I've experienced? How can I use this to help someone else? How does this event relate to the rest of my life? How is this typical in my life? Was this a good or a bad thing for me? How did this experience foretell things that would happen later?
Was my experience the same as someone else's or different? What skills did I learn? How can I apply what I learned to my life? How can I apply this experience to my studies?
How can this help me in my career? What about this experience challenged me socially? In what way did this expand my understanding of my own culture?
How was this emotionally important? How did this experience relate to my understanding of theology, God or religion? What questions did this experience make me have? How has this changed the way I think? How has this made me realize someone else was right? How was this unexpected? Or how did this fulfill my expectations?
Would I want to repeat this experience? Would this experience be the same if I did it again? How did this affect me and why? Why did I have the reaction I did to this? Example: "I picked the questions: What did I notice? What does this event mean to me? How did this place shape my life? Answer the Questions You Selected Read your questions, then answer them.
This doesn't have to be in formal essay form or in perfect sentences. You just want to get as many ideas down as possible. Example What did I notice? Couples walked hand in hand. Parents played in the sand with their children. I saw the holes in the sand where I knew sand crabs were scrambling to hide. I noticed the cool wind on my face and the homes right up against the sand. I'm usually too busy helping her or spending time with relatives.
This trip, however, a friend of mine named Rhonda, who is also a caregiver to her mother, told me to go to visit the beach for her.
As a native Texan, Rhonda has only gotten to visit the beaches in California a few times. So today, I w ent to the beach for Rhonda. I smelled the beach air and walked along all by myself and took an hour to not think about responsibilities to others. Then I wrote "For Rhonda" in the sand and took a picture of it. When I went through the struggles of growing up, I remember feeling soothed by the waves.
They always seemed to keep on going. That reminded me to not give up. To know that there is always something to look forward to ahead. Choosing a Topic and Subject A topic or subject is usually assigned for an academic or educational reflection paper. Students are tasked to write about their personal experience with the subject manner. Sometimes the topic or subject is a little looser. You can choose what you want to write about. Spend plenty of time choosing your topic and then studying this subject to identify your main theme.
The theme you choose is the building block for the rest of your reflective essay. Brainstorming and Outline Note taking is an essential part of writing an effective reflection paper. It helps you get your thoughts in order and makes writing far more efficient. Start by writing a few sentences that are relevant to your main theme.
Use these as a sort of summary of the rest of your notes. From there, jot down ideas and thoughts that relate to this theme. Structured Class Discussions - Structured reflection sessions can be facilitated during regular class time if all students are involved in service. It is helpful for students to hear stories of success from one another. They can also offer advice and collaborate to identify solutions to problems encountered at the service site.
List phrases that describe your actions at the service site. List phrases that describe your thoughts at the service site. What contradictions did you sense at the service site? What connections can you make between your service and the course content? Nadinne Cruz, Stanford University Truth is Stranger than Fiction - This is an exercise that is best used toward the middle or end of the student's experience.
Have the students break into groups of three no more. Ask them to share the most unusual story that happened to them during their service-learning experience. Some students will be hesitant at first. If they really can't think of one, don't let them off the hook. Tell them to take the assignment home, write it and submit it at the next session. This usually motivates them to think of one rather quickly.
In fact, most classes come up with some really interesting stories. Then have the class come together as a whole and share them. It is surprising how animated all of the students get. Even if it's not their own story, they feel some ownership if the person was in their group. Usually everyone ends up sharing a story. As you move through the exercise, even the reticent ones usually find themselves sharing something. Be prepared to prod these students a little.
If you happen to have a class that's filled with interesting stories, you might want to save these stories and submit them to the Service-learning Program for future use. Student Portfolios - This type of documentation has become a vital way for students to keep records and learn organizational skills. Encourage them to take photographs of themselves doing their project, short explanations like business reports , time logs, evaluations by supervisors or any other appropriate "proof" which could be used in an interview.
Require them to make this professional. Keep reminding them that submitting it at the end of the term is only one reason for doing this. This could be a major factor in distinguishing them from other candidates. Also, any products completed during the service experience i. Finally, a written evaluation essay providing a self-assessment of how effectively they met the learning objectives of the course is suggested for the portfolio.
It's My Bag - Tell the students to find a bag at home any bag. Then tell them to fill it with one or two-depending on time item s that remind them of how they feel about their service-learning project. Tell them to bring this bag with the item s to the reflection session, and have them explain their items to the rest of the class. The items that they bring usually turn out to be inspiring visual aids that bring out some great comments.
James Wolf You can use a solo version or group. Both usually turn out to be very rewarding for the individual performers and the class. Tell the students that they will have the opportunity to create their own version of their feelings toward the service-learning project.
Examples could include poetry, visual art, paintings, drawings, sculptures music, rap is a rather popular choice for this exercise , individually created games or puzzles, any form of creative outlet that gives the student the chance to perform or explain in front of the class is what you are looking for.
This type of reflection works well if you have each student create something. However, if you are limited for class time, ask them to form groups and give them the same directions explaining that at least one of each group member's feelings must be included in their creation.
You will be amazed at the kind of creativity that surfaces either way you do it. Small Group Week - This is a simple alternative to full-class reflection sessions when you really want students to have a maximum amount of time to talk individually.
Schedule the reflection sessions so that only a small number of students need to attend. The group should consist of no more than , if possible. The rest of the class will be scheduled to attend other class periods, using this period for whatever you want them to be doing outside of class.
The students will feel more like sharing when you form the group in a small intimate circle and spend the period asking them questions related to their service-learning experience that encourage self-expression. Dave Johnson, Miami Dade College E-mail Discussion Groups - Through e-mail, students can create a dialogue with the instructor and peers involved in service projects.
Students write weekly summaries and identify critical incidents that occurred at the service site.
Critical Incident Journal - This type of journal entry focuses the student on analysis of a particular event that occurred during the week. Class Presentations - A way for students to share their service-learning experience with peers is to make a class presentation through a video, slide show, bulletin board, panel discussion, or a persuasive speech. In the third body paragraph, write about the third reason your subject made the impression on you that it did. Brainstorm Write down everything you can think about your subject. How is this similar to something else that I've experienced? What contradictions did you sense at the service site?
They can also encourage their clients to write out their experiences in order to help them see the causes and effects of their behavior and circumstances, as well as to see ways they can change. Schedule the reflection sessions so that only a small number of students need to attend. Study Your Subject Depending on your topic, you may need to close your eyes and remember, read, watch, listen, or imagine. Writing a reflective essay, also known as a reflective paper or reflection paper, is a easy as following the step-by-step instructions below. It helps employers and employees learn how to better do their jobs. Going to the beach, mountain, or other place in nature.
Would this experience be the same if I did it again? Example: "What I learned from this trip to the beach is that I need to remember that in the midst of being a caregiver to my mother, my husband, my five kids, my students and my friends, that I also need to care for myself and create a space for myself where I can rest and renew. What connections can you make between your service and the course content? Study Your Subject Depending on your topic, you may need to close your eyes and remember, read, watch, listen, or imagine. If they have access to the song, tell them to bring it to play at the end of the reflection session.
When I went through the struggles of growing up, I remember feeling soothed by the waves. Students then research the social issue and read three to five articles on the topic. Students write weekly summaries and identify critical incidents that occurred at the service site. Wrap-Up with Conclusion — Add a short conclusion that summarizes your thoughts and feelings on the subject in two or three sentences. You want to describe this subject as vividly as you can, so think about smells, tastes, noises, and tastes along with what you see. Then tell them to fill it with one or two-depending on time item s that remind them of how they feel about their service-learning project.
These personal journals may be submitted periodically to the instructor, or kept as a reference to use at the end of the experience when putting together an academic essay reflecting their experience. Spending time talking with a friend. How did this experience foretell things that would happen later? By reviewing their emotions about their teaching and examining patterns of what worked and did not work, teachers can better plan their lessons and solve problems with student learning and behavior. This usually proves to be "fun" in a sense that it creates a casual atmosphere and bonds the group together. How did I feel about this?
How does this event relate to the rest of my life? This gives them time to put their thoughts together. To read the essay in full, click on the link above. Finishing a task. What is the first thing you thought of to say or do?
The waves beat over and over on the beach.