A Reflective Journal is not as commonly known as some other journals like trigger journals and dream journals. Reflective journals are generally used by students to discuss and reflect on learning experiences in their lives. These are useful in public school systems but become increasingly useful in homeschool environments that are centered on how a child learns best. Let’s look at how to make and use a reflective journal for your students. We will also look at what to know about how it works. Parts of a Reflective Journal Reflective journals have a specific setup that most educators use and use well. Each page of the journal should be reflective of a specific Lesson or a specific chapter. You can do this as an overall reflection of the semester or particular course. You can also, and more effectively use it for weekly lessons. Place the name of the lesson at the top of the page and then ask specific questions about that lesson. These questions should be about how the student feels about the lessons or what they would change. Other questions they had or ideas they have for future lessons that would make learning easier could also be covered. There should also be a section for thoughts regarding the lesson such as any social or political aspects depending on what the lessons are. When to Use a Reflective Journal This type of journal should be used on a weekly basis or semester basis. They do tend to work best when a weekly lesson is completed to help close off that lesson. Beyond the student using the reflective journal, the educator should be using them as well. The educator should be using them to help develop new lesson plans and new ways of doing those lesson plans. How this Journal Helps You If you are an educator, the reflective journal gives you an insight into what your students are doing and how they are viewing the lessons. They can also give you ideas on how to move into the next lesson. Perhaps, there is a part beyond the lesson you want to focus on that may be brought up by the students. This can really help if you are a homeschooler and want to tailor the lessons. You can cover what your student needs and also how they best learn and take in those lessons. Reflective journals can be used with students in public, private, and homeschool environments. They are useless though if the instructor does not review the journals and offer answers, solutions, and commentary. The instructor also considers how to influence them for upcoming education journeys.
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