Reflection is an important component of the learning process. It can NOT be seen as an add-on, something to be cut if time is running short. Here are a few routines, taxonomies, prompts and protocols that support reflection in ourselves and give our students a variety of choices to grow as reflective, metacognitive learners.


Visible Thinking Routines by Project Zero
Download an ebook with all the routines


Joe Hastings


Reflective Teacher by Peter Pappas

Bloom’s Remembering – Reflection: What did I do?
Bloom’s Understanding – Reflection: What was important about what I did? Did I meet my goals?
Bloom’s Applying – Reflection: When did I do this before? Where could I use this again?
Bloom’s Analyzing – Reflection: Do I see any patterns or relationships in what I did?
Bloom’s Evaluating – Reflection: How well did I do? What worked? What do I need to improve?
Bloom’s Creating – Reflection: What should I do next? What’s my plan / design?

Higher Level Question Stems from Bloom’s Taxonomy by Professor Julie Hall

Keywords & Prompts

Four Dimensions of Reflective Learning by Karen Barnstable . Also look at 40 Reflection question to help you look back, forward, inward and outward by Edutopia.

  • I. Thinking Back
  • II. Thinking Forward
  • III. Thinking Inward
  • IV. Thinking Outward

What? So What?

  • What?
  • Describe the experience; outline what happened that compelled you to think about and change your behavior (i.e. learn).
  • So What?
  • Describe what difference it makes; outline what impact or meaning it has for you (or why it should matter to others).
  • Now What?
  • Describe what’s in store for the future now that you’ve learned from this experience; outline what you are going to do to continue your professional development in light of this learning.

Tell Me More by Paul Solarz in his book “Learn like a Pirate

  • 1st Sentence answers a question
  • 2nd sentence responds to “tell more more”.

Paul Solarz’ Generic Reflection prompt

  1. Step 1- Describe what happened or what you did in the lesson
  2. Step 2- Interpret how things went by using one or more of these sets of themes: strengths and weaknesses, successes and setbacks
  3. Step 3- What have you learned due to the experience?
  4. Step 4- Answer one (or more) of these questions: What can you do to improve your learning? How will you extend your learning past what is expected?

Dr. Jackie Gerstein’s reflection questions:

  • What was your significant learning this past week( days) ?
  • What principles for everyday life can you extract from our class activities?
  • What did you learn or what was reinforced about yourself?
  • What can you take from the class activities to use in your life outside of class?

Ann Davis : Reflection questions for elementary school students

  • What did you learn?
  • How do you know you learned it?
  • What got in the way of your learning?
  • What helped your learning?
  • How did you feel?

Angela StockmanStudying Learning: A Quick Guide to Documentation, Reflection and Analysis

  • Looking Out- Consider Influence
  • Looking In- Know Yourself and Your Work
  • Looking Up- Improve your Reflective Practice

Kelli Vogstad: 3 Ns Communicating Student Learning

  • Now
  • Not Yet
  • Next


Looking at Students’ Thinking LAST Protocol
Where in the work do you see insight into students’ thinking? What does this reveal about how students are collectively and individually making sense of ides, putting information together, organizing thoughts, reasoning an so on?

  • What do you see?
  • What questions does this work raise for you?
  • Where might this work go next to build on and extend students’ thinking