Use Sentence Starters to make End-of-the-Year Reflections simple, but powerful

We all know that it’s important to pause and reflect at the end of the year. But, sometimes, in all the chaos and craziness, it can get overlooked. All it takes is a few moments to acknowledge and appreciate the struggles you have been through this year, and use them to help you set goals for next year. Writing is the best way to strengthen the reflective process, and to help you remember everything while it is still fresh in your mind. Whether it’s through a journal, a blog, Twitter, or Facebook, find a way to jot down your reflections in a place where you can look back on them next year.

If you are like me, however, you might need some help getting started. Try using these sentence starters from Two Writing Teachers:

  • I learned…
  • I was stretched by….
  • I am excited about…
  • I’m beginning to realize…

I learned…that it’s never too late to become a “math person!” With the help of Erma Anderson and some truly transformative professional development, I finally understood math that I had given up on years ago! It’s exciting to now share this with teachers and students!

I was stretched by…leading labsites in classrooms. When teachers give up their precious planning period to attend a labsite, I want to ensure that it is amazing and something they can use in their own classroom…right away! Planning and delivering these lessons forced me to think of something that was new and different, but would also improve student learning.

I am excited about…the changes taking place within education today, and excited about what the future holds. Everywhere I look – on Twitter, blogs, and at conferences – educators are talking about the need for innovation within education. I’m most excited to be a part of this conversation, as a presenter at two conferences this summer – ISTE and BLC!

I’m beginning to realize…that teaching is about so much more than content. As a standards-based school, we spend a great deal of time aligning units and assessments to content standards, which is necessary and valuable, of course. But, this year, we also spent time planning lessons and activities to focus on global citizenship skills. Seeing students develop empathy and practice cross-cultural awareness opened my eyes to the importance of planning for and teaching non-cognitive skills that students need in order to be successful global citizens.

Students could also use these sentence starters to spark their own reflections of the year.

So, what are your reflections? Take a moment to write them down, and even share them!

reflection on workshop





  1. I haven’t yet done my reflections for the year since we have three weeks of school left. However, I plan to use these sentence starters to guide me! Thank you for sharing.

  2. I love that John Dewey quote! My whole purpose in maintaining my blog is to learn through reflection. Love the sentence starters too! I use sentence stems with my students all the the time, and these are great reflective tools. 🙂

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