Reflection in the IB PYP- A Journal for Self Discovery

A brand new year is upon us once more! And a  new year is always a good time for self reflection. (I have spoken a lot about reflection within the IB PYP and offered multiple strategies that can be used in previous posts. You can read more about that further on.) But with this post, I’m focusing largely on self-reflection; developing reflective thinking skills within the children and ultimately bringing each child a greater awareness of their own Learner Profile and personal, social and emotional development.

With reflection having been removed from the IB key concepts and student agency being a key focus lately, I felt that there was a need for us to maintain this big idea of reflection throughout our learning environment and certainly within the process of inquiry based learning itself. I wanted my students to be able to understand the importance of reflective thinking and it’s role in self-assessment and the inquiry process, not to mention personal, social and emotional education. This could not be a one-off lesson. I wanted it to be an on-going practice within our classroom and so I created the year long reflection journal. Allow me to introduce this resource available for upper grades here and a version here for grades 2 and 3.

My Reflection Journal- A Year Long Journey of Self Discovery



Learn how to use the reflection cycle.

This IB Learner Profile Reflection Journal is designed to develop reflective thinking skills as well as review each child’s unique Learner Profile attributes. Since REFLECTION is no longer a key concept (PYP Enhancements 2018), this is a great resource to maintain and reinforce the concept of reflection throughout our learning. Using many visible thinking strategies together with the reflection cycle,  it promotes self assessment, evaluation, goal setting and taking action steps towards meeting those goals. Building upon itself, with each weekly reflection ( if you choose to do it weekly), the children are asked to think about a specific focus and often will have to look back on previous pages to analyse and evaluate their progress.

Setting SMART goals.

With the focus throughout being on the Learner Profile, it develops a greater awareness in the children of their own Learner Profile, in addition to building better reflective thinking skills.  Personal, social and emotional education requires a large part of reflective thinking and this resource provides so much of that! Evaluating strengths and challenges, celebrating successes, developing positive habits for self talk and setting intentions are just a few areas that are covered. Higher level thinking skills are developed throughout and recognising the difference between critical thinking and creative thinking.

A growth mindset is a focus throughout as personal, social and emotional education is covered.
Evaluating our progress of our SMART goals. Reflect on next steps and taking action

Benefits include:

Creative thinking vs. critical thinking

*Self assessment
*Goal setting
*Critical thinking skills
*Developing observational skills
*Reinforcing metacognitive thinking
*Problem solving skills
*Creative thinking skills
*Communication skills

Younger kids also develop more of an awareness of their unique Learner Profile.
Celebrate failure as a natural part of the learning/inquiry process.

Each resource is designed to build upon itself, with the language, skills and level of thought required gradually working up to a higher level. You can staple it into a booklet, with the front cover provided or simply copy the sheets as you wish and have the children file them in a binder, as their journal. It is designed for self-regulated learning and provides opportunities for lots of collaborative discussions amongst the students.
It is a great tool to use at any point throughout the school year but makes a great interjection for reflection at the beginning of the school year and the start of the calendar year.  
It is designed to be used once a week, such as a Monday morning reflection or a Friday afternoon reflection. There are 54 self-guided activities that allow you to use it all year long or for a shorter, more intensive daily reflection over a six week period.
You can read more about hands on reflection strategies and activities for all age levels  classroom here in this previous post. 



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