Make Along part of your instructional practice by building routines for students and yourself.

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With each new reflection cycle in Along:

  1. Record and send your reflection to students and encourage them to respond with their own reflection.
  2. Watch or listen to students' reflections.
  3. Synthesize the information you learn about individual students and as a group. You could keep a notebook or running document
  4. Send a quick message back to show students you saw or read their reflection. This shows students you care. They feel seen and heard. This closes the loop for each reflection prompt. 
  5. Determine what followup you may want to do - depending on what you learned from students.

Build routines for yourself and your students.

  • Decide on a regular cadence for sending a new reflection question. You can use a new reflection to: Start the week As a mid-week pulse checkClose out the week
  • Pick a cadence that works with your instructional schedule and stick with it so students know when to expect a new reflection. 
  • Communicate with students so they know when to expect a new reflection from you. 
  • Develop a process for what you do after students send their responses.  

Here are some additional tips for how to make Along part of your routine. 

Tips for sending a reflection question to begin the reflection loop. 

Ideas for following up and closing the loop after you have reviewed student reflections.

Model the process for students. 

Each time you decide to send a reflection question to students, use your recorded reflection as an opportunity to share something about yourself and to model a response. Students are looking to you to set the tone. 

Share general trends with the class to help students see that others are thinking about the same things or are experiencing similar problems. 

You may decide to follow up with a whole class mini-lesson or discussion.

Use reflection questions to check in with students' feelings periodically. 

Ask how they are feeling in general, or in response to a situation or event.

You may decide to have a class discussion or to follow up with one student or a group of students who need more support

Consider sequencing several questions as a series over several reflection cycles. 

Using a series of related questions allows you to dig deeper into a specific skill set - Executive Functions for example. This provides you and the students the chance to identify areas of strength and areas of opportunity. 

Send a reflection question to learn how students react to stress or challenges.  

Take the opportunity to share your own reflection as well as a strategy you use that works for you. Use the insights to understand what strategies students have for managing stress or dealing with challenges and who may need support to develop strategies that work for them. Support students by helping them develop strategies. 

Maximize the “live” time you have with students.  

Send a reflection question in advance to get the conversation started on a topic you will engage with in the future.

Allowing students the time, in advance, to consider a question helps them be better prepared to engage in class discussion.  Use this practice to give students an additional way to have their voice heard.  

Send a reflection question to introduce a skill or strategy. 

Once you understand which of your students need help to develop the important skills, you can work with individual students, groups of students, or teach the whole class about a strategy or skill.



 

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