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oungchiÌdrenagesthreetosixarecaµabÌeofmaking
thoughtfuÌdecisionsabouttheirbehaviorandkeenobser-
vationsabouttheirenvironment(asthevignettesatÌeft
show).LikeTatianaandLric,theyhaveinsightintotheir
desires,formmentaÌimagesoftheµastandfuture,andattemµtto
exµÌaintheirbehaviorandthatofothers.
AÌthoughtoday’searÌychiÌdhoodeducatorsoftenfocusonenhanc-
ingreadingandmathematicsskiÌÌstomeeteverincreasingacademic
exµectations,wemustaÌsoremaincommittedtoµromotingbroader
thinkingabiÌities.TheyarethefoundationuµonwhichchiÌdrenÌearn
tomakedecisions,reguÌatetheirownbehavior,meetcomµÌex
chaÌÌenges,andtakeresµonsibiÌityfortheiractions.
Eager to Learn: Educating Our Preschoolers,thenotedNationaÌ
ResearchCounciÌreµort(2OOO),remindsusthat“keyconceµts
invoÌvedineachdomainofµreschooÌÌearningmustgohandinhand
withinformationandskiÌÌacquisition”(µ.8).Itcitesresearchshow-
ingthatmetacognition—higher-ÌeveÌthinkingandµrobÌem-soÌving
skiÌÌs—deveÌoµswhenchiÌdrenareencouragedtorefÌect,µredict,
question,andhyµothesize.HowcanaduÌtshe̵chiÌdrenexercise
thesecaµabiÌities¨
ThereisemµiricaÌandµracticaÌevidencethatwecanµromotethe
deveÌoµmentofthinkingandreasoninginyoungchiÌdrenintheearÌy
yearsbyµrovidingtwocurricuÌumcomµonents—planningand
reflection.8otharethoughtfuÌactivitiesthatencouragechiÌdrento
considerwhattheyaredoingandwhattheyareÌearning.TheyaÌso
µromoteabroadrangeofotheracademic,sociaÌ,andartisticcomµe-
tencies.ThisarticÌesummarizestheresearchinsuµµortofthese
cÌaimsandoffersstrategiesteachersandcaregiverscanuseto
encourageµÌanningandrefÌectionintheirµrograms.
Definitions
8oththeaccreditationcriteriaoftheNationaÌAssociationforthe
LducationofYoungChiÌdren(NALYC1998)andtheHeadStart
PerformanceStandards(U.S.DeµartmentofHeaÌthandHuman
Services2OO2)indicatethatyoungchiÌdrenshouÌdhaveoµµortuni-
Ann S. Epstein, Ph.D., is the director of the
Early Childhood Division at the High/Scope
Educational Research Foundation in Ypsilanti,
Michigan. She develops curriculum materials,
directs a team of specialists who conduct
inservice training across the country and
abroad, and conducts research and evaluation
on early childhood programs.
This article also appears on pages 28–36 of
the September 2003 issue of Young Children.
How Planning and
Reflection Develop
Young Children’s
Thinking Skills
Y
Ann S. Epstein
Last night
Tatiana, age four, was
telling us [her parents] her plan for
the evening as we were eating dinner. She
told us she planned to watch her new video,
play her memory game with her mom, give her
baby doll a bath, and have me read her some
books. When I asked her when she was going
to brush her teeth and go to bed, she told me
that wasn’t part of her plan!
Vignettesaboveadaµted,byµermission,fromN.VogeÌ,
Making the Most of Plan-Do-Review: The Teacher’s Idea
Book #5 (YµsiÌanti,MI:High}Scoµe,2OO1),11&141.
Today after choice time, three-year-old Eric
told me [his teacher] he had watched Goober,
the hamster. He reported that at first Goober
was asleep, then he woke up and started
drinking his water and eating his food. I said
Goober must have been hungry. Eric agreed,
then added that Goober wanted to get out of
his cage “’cause he kept looking at the roof and
standing up.” Eric further observed, “I think
he’s lonely. You need to get another hamster to
keep him company.”
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tiestoµÌanandmakechoices.However,theguideÌines,andinfact
mostearÌychiÌdhoodµrograms,donotdifferentiatebetweenthese
twoactivities.PÌanningismorethanmakingchoices.PÌanningis
choice with intention. Thatis,thechooserbeginswithasµecificgoaÌ
orµurµoseinmindthatresuÌtsinthechoice.
IirstwemustdifferentiatereaÌchoicesinwhichteachersoffer
muÌtiµÌeoµtions(“WhatcoÌorsdoyouwanttouseinyour
µainting¨”)fromµseudochoicesinwhichteachersdirect
chiÌdrentoaÌimitednumberofaduÌt-seÌectedoµtions
(“DoyouwanttouseredorbÌue¨”)8utµÌanninggoes
furtherthanseÌectingfromoµen-endedchoices.Whenwe
engagechiÌdreninµÌanning,weencouragethemto
identifytheirgoaÌsandconsidertheoµtionsforachieving
them.IorexamµÌe,theymightconsiderwhattheywiÌÌdo,
wheretheywiÌÌdoit,whatmateriaÌstheywiÌÌuse,who
theywiÌÌdoitwith,howÌongitwiÌÌtake,andwhetherthey
wiÌÌneedhe̵.PÌanningthusinvoÌvesdecidingonactions
andµredictinginteractions,recognizingµrobÌemsand
µroµosingsoÌutions,andanticiµatingconsequencesand
reactions.
MostearÌychiÌdhoodµractitionersaÌsorecognizethe
imµortanceofdeveÌoµingmemoryskiÌÌsinyoungchiÌdren.
TeachersmightaskchiÌdrentoremembersomethingthey
ÌearnedearÌierinthedayortorecaÌÌaneventthatoc-
curredearÌierintheweek.RefÌection,however,ismore
thanmemoryoraroterecitationofcomµÌetedactivities.
RefÌectionisremembering with analysis.
WhenweengagechiÌdreninrefÌection,weencourage
themtogobeyondmereÌyreµortingwhatthey’vedone.
WeaÌsohe̵thembecomeawareofwhatthey
Ìearnedintheµrocess,whatwasinteresting,
howtheyfeeÌaboutit,andwhattheycando
tobuiÌdonorextendtheexµerience.RefÌec-
tionconsoÌidatesknowÌedgesoitcanbegen-
eraÌizedtoothersituations,therebyÌeadingto
furtherµredictionandevaÌuation.ThusµÌan-
ningandrefÌection,whentheybracketactive
Ìearning,areµartofanongoingcycÌeof
deeµerthoughtandthoughtfuÌaµµÌication.
Supporting research
LvidenceestabÌishingtheimµortanceof
µÌanningandrefÌectioncomesfromstudies
conductedbytheHigh}ScoµeLducationaÌ
ResearchIoundationandotherresearchers.
InoneÌargenationaÌstudy,trainedindeµen-
dentobserverscoÌÌecteddataonearÌy
chiÌdhoodµrogramsservingchiÌdrenfroma
widerangeofsocioeconomic,ethnic,Ìinguis-
tic,andgeograµhicbackgrounds(Lµstein
1998).(Theµrogramsusedmanydifferent
curricuÌumaµµroaches,not|usttheHigh}
ScoµeµÌan-do-reviewsequence.)
AcrossaÌÌsettings,chiÌdrenwhowere
givenmoreoµµortunitiestoµÌanand
refÌectontheirownactivitiesscored
higheronmeasuresofÌanguage,Ìiteracy,
Planning is more
than making
choices. Planning
is choice with
intention. That
is, the chooser
begins with a
specific goal
or purpose in
mind that results
in the choice.
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PÌanningshouÌdbea
reguÌarcÌassroom
activitysochiÌdrenwiÌÌ
automaticaÌÌybeginto
thinkintermsofwhat
theywanttodoand
howtocarryitout.Do
itatthesametime(s)
eachday,forexamµÌe,
aftermorninggreeting,
duringbreakfast,or
foÌÌowingnaµ.Youcan
µÌanwithchiÌdreninsmaÌÌgrouµsorµairs,asweÌÌas
individuaÌÌy,makingsureeachchiÌdgetstoexµresshis
orherintentions.Infact,chiÌdrenbenefitfromµÌanning
insmaÌÌgrouµsbecausethethoughtsandeÌaborations
ofothersoftensµarktheirownideas.InthefoÌÌowing
examµÌe,Meredith,theteacher,isµÌanningarounda
tabÌewithagrouµoffour-andfive-year-oÌds.
1ason: I’mgoingtomakearacetrackinthebÌockarea.
Meredith: Youmadearacetrackyesterdaythat
stretchedaÌÌthewaytothebooksheÌf.
Mike: Meandhimmadeittogether.Todaywe’regonna
makeaÌongerone.
Meredith: ItsoundsÌike1asonandMikeareµÌanningto
worktogethertoday.[TheboysgotothebÌockarea.|
Darya: I’mgoingtoworktogethertoo.
Meredith: WhoareyouµÌanningtoworkwith¨
Darya: WithMeiLin.
MeiLin: Let’sfiÌÌaÌÌthe|arswithwa-
terandmakethemsing.
Darya: IirstÌet’smakethewaterorange.
I’ÌÌmixtheµaintwhiÌeyougetthe|ars.
Meredith: Letmeknowwhenthe|ars
arereadytosing.Iwanttohearthem.
[ThegirÌsheadfortheartareaand
watertabÌe,resµectiveÌy.Meredith
continuestoµÌanwiththerestofthe
grouµ.|
ChiÌdrenshouÌdbeginimµÌementing
theirµÌansimmediateÌyorsoonafter
theymakethem.AÌÌowenoughtime—1O
or1bminutestotaÌshouÌdbesufficient
togiveeveryoneinthegrouµa
chance—anddon’trushchiÌdrenwhen
theyµÌan.IftheyarestruggÌingfor
wordsorideas,waitandÌistenµa-
tientÌy.Letthemknowtheirintentionsareasimµortant
toyouastheyaretothem.

VisibiÌityisimµortantforyoungerµÌannerswhose
mentaÌreµresentationsareÌimited.LvenoÌderµÌanners
cannotkeeµinmindaÌÌtheµossibiÌitiesofaweÌÌ-
stockedroom.TourtheroombeforeorduringµÌanning
Children benefit
from planning in
small groups be-
cause the thoughts
and elaborations of
others often spark
their own ideas.
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andµointoutnewmateriaÌsorthingsthechiÌdrenhave
notusedforawhiÌe.AvoidhighsheÌvesorother
barriersthatbÌockafuÌÌview.
8eingabÌetoseeeverythingnotonÌyenhances
µÌanning,itaÌsomeanschiÌdrenwiÌÌincorµorateawider
varietyofmateriaÌsintotheirongoingµÌay.Whenthey
encounteraµrobÌemcarryingouttheirµÌans,theywiÌÌ
aÌsohaveabetterideaoftheaÌternativesavaiÌabÌeto
he̵themsoÌveit.KnowingwhatisintheroomaÌso
minimizesthechancethatchiÌdrenwiÌ̵Ìanactivities
theycannotcarryoutwithexistingmateriaÌs.Iftheydo,
however,thisµresentsanoµµortunityforyoutosay
somethingÌike,“Wedon’thaveanyarmcasts.What
couÌdyouuseinsteadtowraµyourdoÌÌ’sbroken
eÌbow¨”
Itisn’tsensibÌetoask
aduÌtsquestionstowhichyouaÌreadyknowthean-
swers.ThesameaµµÌiestoconversationswithchiÌdren.
Askthemoµen-endedquestionstoseekgenuine
informationabouttheirintentionsandhowtheyµÌanto
carrythemout.“HowwiÌÌyoubuiÌdyourtower¨”wiÌÌ
eÌicitmoredetaiÌthan“WiÌÌyouusethebigbÌocks¨”
Share
conversationswithchiÌdren,don’tdirectthem.8y
µayingattentiontotheirwordsandgestures,youwiÌÌ
ÌearnabouttheirabiÌitytoanticiµateand
thinkaboutthedetaiÌsoftheirµÌans.Then
youcanchoosethemostaµµroµriate
suµµortstrategiestohe̵themeÌaborate
theirideasandconsidertheoµtionsfor
imµÌementingthem.
!

NeverforcechiÌdrentoexµress
theirµÌansinacertainway.Iftheygesture
(forexamµÌe,bringyouabook),don’tinsist
theyverbaÌizetheirideabeforebeing
aÌÌowedtoµroceed.Acceµtthegestured
µÌan,butrefÌectitbackinwordstomake
sureyou’veunderstoodtheintentionandto
suµµÌythevocabuÌarytheycanusewhen
theyareready(“Youwantmetoreadyou
thisbook,The Snowy Day.”)
Don’tnegateaµÌanorofferchiÌdrenanaÌternativeto
theirµÌans.ThisdefeatsthewhoÌeµurµoseofencour-
agingthemtoexµresstheirownintentions.Avoidthe
temµtationtosay,“You’vegonetothehouseareaevery
daythisweek.Howaboutµaintingintheartareafora
change¨”Instead,observewhatintereststhechiÌdin
thehouseareaandthinkofwaystoextendit:“Youtook
Tamika’sorderforÌunchyesterday.Youmightwantto
usethesemenusthatIbroughtfromthediner.”
&
ChiÌdrenataÌÌstagesofµÌanningcanbehe̵ed
toextendtheirideas.Iorbeginners,trysimµÌefoÌÌow-
uµquestions:“WhatwiÌÌyouneedtodothat¨”Com-
mentsaboutwhatchiÌdrenaredoingmayeÌicitmore
detaiÌsthanquestions.Whenhisteacherobserved,
“You’rebarkingÌikeadog,”MitchreµÌied,“I’maÌost
dogandIwantyoutofindme.”
InyoureagernesstoassistyoungerchiÌdren,don’t
overÌookoµµortunitiestoscaffoÌdoÌderstudents’
Ìearning.LncouragethemtogivedetaiÌsaboutwhere
theywiÌÌwork,themateriaÌstheyintendtouse,the
sequenceoftheiractivities,andtheoutcomesthey
exµecttoachieve.IorexamµÌe,whenRacheÌan-
nouncedshewasgoingtodrawthefamiÌydog,her
teachersaid,“Iwonderhowyou’regoingtoshowthe
µuµµiesgrowinginsideDaisy’stummy.”Thisencour-
agedRacheÌtoconsidersuchissuesassizeandsµatiaÌ
reÌationshiµsassheµÌannedherdrawing.
( ) Ifyourecordtheir
µÌans,chiÌdrengetthemessagethattheirideasare
vaÌuabÌe.IorexamµÌe,youmightÌabeÌadrawingachiÌd
hasmadeorthetracingofob|ectsheorsheintendsto
use.TakedictationwhenchiÌdrendescribewhatthey
wiÌÌdoandhowtheywiÌÌgoaboutit.WritethechiÌd’s
nameontheµÌan.WithoÌderchiÌdren,encouragethem
tobeginwritingdowntheirnames
andideasthemseÌves.Documenta-
tion—incÌudingwriting,drawing,
andµhotograµhy—he̵schiÌdren
becomemoreconsciousofthe
µrocessandvaÌueofµÌanning.
TheyaremoreÌikeÌytothink
throughandeÌaborateontheir
ideasastheyformaÌÌyrecord
them.ChiÌdrencanaÌsoreview
theirdocumentedµÌansasthey
refÌectontheirexµeriencesand
comµaretheirintentionswiththe
actuaÌoutcomes.

Another
waytosuµµortµÌanningisto
avoidµraisingchiÌdren’sideas.Ifyousay“greatidea”
ononedayortoonechiÌd,youmayinadvertentÌy
conveydisaµµrovaÌifyouforgettosaythosewordsto
anotherchiÌdoronthefoÌÌowingday.PraiseaÌsotends
toendtheconversation,cuttingofftheµossibiÌitiesfor
chiÌdrentoeÌaboratetheirµÌans.Instead,usetheother
strategiesÌistedhere—Ìistening,askingquestions,
commenting,recordingtheirideas—toencourage
chiÌdrentothinkaboutandfoÌÌowthroughontheir
intentions.
Questions about
what a child did
should be asked
sparingly and
only to obtain
information that is
not trivial or
already known.
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Strategies to promote reflection
ManyofthestrategiesthatsuµµortµÌanningaÌso
aµµÌytoµromotingrefÌection.RemembertoothatµÌan-
ningandrefÌectionareiterativeµrocesses.Lncouraging
chiÌdrentothinkaboutwhattheydidenabÌesthemto
usethisinformationastheyµÌanwhattheywiÌÌdonext.

ItisvaÌuabÌetohaveasettimeeach
daywhenchiÌdrengatherinasmaÌÌgrouµtosharewhat
theyhavedone.IorexamµÌe,thiscanoccurimmedi-
ateÌyafterfreeµÌayorcentertime,duringsnack,or
beforegoingoutside.ScheduÌeaµeriodforrefÌection
soonafterchiÌdrenhavecomµÌetedtheirµÌanned
activities.Inadditiontothesesettimes,however,
refÌectioncanandshouÌdhaµµenwheneverchiÌdren
areactiveÌyengagedinÌearning.Usingtheother
strategiesÌistedhere,youcanencouragechiÌdrento
µonderthewhatandwhyoftheiractionswithatemµo-
raÌimmediacythatmakesrefÌectionesµeciaÌÌyreÌevant
andmeaningfuÌtothem.
, AswithµÌanning,
questionsaboutwhatachiÌddidshouÌdbeasked
sµaringÌyandonÌytoobtaininformationthatisnot
triviaÌoraÌreadyknown.Oµen-endedqueriessuchas
“WhathaµµenedwhenyouaddedthethirdbÌock¨”wiÌÌ
invitemoreobservationontheµartofthechiÌdthan
somethingobviousÌike“DidyouaddanotherbÌock¨”
Questionsthatbeginwith“Howdidyou . . . ¨”or“Why
©Sub|ects&Predicates
©LÌÌen8.Senisi
doyouthink . . . ¨”aÌsoencouragechiÌdrentorecon-
structandcreatemeaningfromtheirexµeriences.
-
NonverbaÌchiÌdren,orthosewithÌimitedÌanguage,
maygestureorµresentmateriaÌstoindicatewhatthey
did.Youcanaddwordstotheiractions,checkingwith
themforcuestoverifyyouunderstandtheirmessage.
YourexµÌanationswiÌ̵rovidethemwithvocabuÌary
forfuturerefÌection.Here,forexamµÌe,1ohn,ateacher,
attachessentencestotheµhysicaÌreenactmentand
simµÌewordsofNaomi,anoÌdertoddÌer:
1ohn: WhatdidyoudoatfreeµÌaytoday,Naomi¨
Naomi: [PointstobÌockarea.|
1ohn: IsawyouandLatoyaµÌayinginthebÌockarea.
Naomi: [Liftsherhandshigh.|
1ohn: YoubuiÌtahightower.
Naomi: [8angsherhandsdownonthetabÌe.|
1ohn: DidthetowerfaÌÌdown¨[Naominods.|Iwonder
whythathaµµened.
Naomi: MorebÌock.
1ohn: YouµutanotherbÌockonthetower¨
Naomi: AÌÌfaÌÌdown.
1ohn: YouµutabigbÌockontoµ,butitwastooheavy
sothetowerfeÌÌdown.
WithchiÌdrenwhoareaÌreadyverbaÌ,usebody
ÌanguageandconversationtoshowyouareÌistening.
©KarenWoodford
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IntroducenewvocabuÌarywords.Askthem
tore-createaneventorimitatetheiractions
soyoucanobserveanddiscusstheexµeri-
encetogether.IorexamµÌe:
Teacher: [SitsnexttochiÌdwhoisµainting.|
HowdidyoumaketheseswirÌymarks¨
ChiÌd: Idiµµedmyfingersintheµaintand
rubbed’emaÌÌaround.It’satornadoandit
bÌoweddownthishouse.
Teacher: [8endstoÌook.|Thatsurewasa
gigantictornado.ItbÌewdownthewhoÌe
house.What’sthissµotrighthere¨Ithasa
roughertexture.
ChiÌd: It’swherethekittyscratchedtogetoutofthe
house.Itwasscared.
Teacher: Atornadoisveryscary!Howdidyoumake
thatscratchymark¨
ChiÌd: IwentÌikethis.[DemonstrateswithfingernaiÌ.|
Teacher: YoudrewaÌinewithyourfingernaiÌinthe
µaint.[TakesaµieceofµaµerandimitateschiÌd’s
action.|DidyougetµaintunderneathyourfingernaiÌ
too¨[TheycomµarenaiÌs.|
,
ChiÌdren’srecoÌÌectionsandexµÌanations
sometimesdifferfromoneanotherorfromthoseof
aduÌts.ItisimµortanttoacknowÌedgeandacceµteach
chiÌd’sversion,nottocorrectthemortakesides.The
µointofrefÌectionisnottoarriveatsomeabsoÌute
truthbutrathertoencouragechiÌdrentothinkabout
whathaµµenedandwhy.Lveniftheconversationgoes
farafieÌdorheatsuµ,itisimµortanttofindwaysto
suµµortthethinkingµrocessesgoingon.InthefoÌÌow-
ingexamµÌe,theaduÌtacknowÌedgeseachchiÌd’sobser-
vationsaboutwhatanimaÌsÌiketoeat:
Caregiver: [Whisµers.|8ethanyµÌayedwiththe[stuffed|
animaÌsandµutthemaÌÌtosÌeeµ.
8ethany: AndIgavethemµeaches.[Pretendstofeeda
cat.|
1oey: Catsdon’tÌikeµeaches.TheyÌikecatfood.
8ethany: Peaches!
Lrika: MydogÌikesbananas.
1oey: That’sdumb.Dogsaren’tsuµµosedtoeatba-
nanas.TheyÌikebones.
Margo:MydogÌikeschickenbones,butmymomsayshe’ÌÌ
choke.Hecoughsuµhair,Ìikethis.[Demonstrates.|
1oey: Yech!That’sgross.
Caregiver: SomecatsÌike
µeaches,someÌikecatfood.
SomedogsÌikebananas,
someÌikebones.
Margo: Andchickenbones.
Caregiver: Andchicken
bones.SomecatsÌike
chickenbones.
8ethany: Peaches.
1oey: Ohbrother!
! .
Making
commentswhiÌechiÌdrenareengagedinanactivity
servestwoµurµoses.Itencouragesthemtoattendto
andevaÌuatetheexµerienceasitishaµµening,and
makesiteasierforthemtorecaÌÌtheeventÌater.The
moresµecificthecomment,themoreÌikeÌythechiÌd
wiÌÌrememberandaddhisorherowndetaiÌs.Ior
examµÌe,whenYusef’scaregiversaid“Isawyouinthe
writingareausingthemarkers,”YusefeÌaborated,“I
invitedCarÌostomyµarty.NowtherearefivechiÌdren
andI’mfiveyearsoÌd.”
) Recording
chiÌdren’sremarksastheyrefÌectontheiractivitiesteÌÌs
themtheirthoughtsareworthµreserving.YoucanÌabeÌ
theirdrawingsortakedictationastheydramatize
somethingthathaµµened.IoroÌderchiÌdren,encour-
agethemtowriteÌettersandwordsthatcaµturetheir
exµeriencesandwhattheyÌearnedandthoughtwhiÌe
engaginginthem.Writtenaccounts—asweÌÌasdraw-
ings,µhotograµhs,andotherformsofdocumentation—
areaÌsosomethingconcreteyouandthechiÌdrencan
sharewiththeirfamiÌies.
( }
HavingchiÌdren
recaÌÌtheirintentionsinÌightoftheiractuaÌbehavior
he̵sthemestabÌishcausaÌreÌationshiµsandasenseof
efficacyandresµonsibiÌityregardingtheiractions.You
mightsay,“IrememberyouµÌannedtomakeasuµer-
herocaµe.Isthatwhatyoudid¨”ThegoaÌisnottohoÌd
chiÌdrenaccountabÌeforcarryingouttheirµÌans—
changingµÌansisµerfectÌyacceµtabÌe—butratherto
havethemthinkabouthowandwhytheiractionsdid,
ordidnot,foÌÌowtheirintentions.
IfchiÌdrendochangeµÌans,goingoffinanewdirec-
tionorevenabandoningtheiroriginaÌideaentireÌy,you
mightaskthem,“WhydidyoumakeadifferentµÌan¨”
or“Whatmadeyouthinkofdoingthatinstead¨”Again,
theideaisnottoforcethemtosticktooneidea,butto
encouragethemtoµondertheiroµtions,µreferences,
andµrobÌem-soÌvingstrategies.
Recording children’s
remarks as they
reflect on their
activities tells them
their thoughts are
worth preserving.
DiaÌogueinnumber4(above)adaµted,byµermission,fromM.Hohmann&
D.P.Weikart,Educating Young Children: Active Learning Practices for Preschool
and Child Care Programs, 2ded.(YµsiÌanti,MI:High}Scoµe,2OO2),288.
Beyond the Journal • Young Children on the Web • September 2003 8
0EV EL0 Pl h S 8 Eh hA h C l h S
Thl h Kl h S
$Kl LL$
* 8 ,
$ AschiÌdrenrefÌectontheir
exµeriences,theymayrecaÌ̵robÌemstheyencoun-
teredorsµin-offstheyhadnotanticiµated.Theseob-
servationscreateaµerfectoµµortunityforthemtotry
differentsoÌutionsorbuiÌdonnewÌydiscoveredinter-
eststhefoÌÌowingday.
YoucanencouragechiÌdrentousetheirrefÌectionsin
futureµÌanninginseveraÌways.Writeanote,oraskthe
chiÌdtowriteanote,thatwiÌÌserveasareminder.Put
anitemorsetofmateriaÌsfromthereÌevantareainthe
chiÌd’scubby.AfavoritedeviceintheHigh}ScoµeDem-
onstrationPreschooÌisaWorkinProgresssign.When
chiÌdrenwanttocontinueanartorconstructionµro|ect,
thissignaÌertsothersnottotouchtheunfinishedwork.
ItaÌsoactsasavisuaÌmemoryaidwhenthechiÌdren
makeµÌansthenextday.IinaÌÌy,itencourageschiÌdren
tosharewithteachersandfamiÌiesadescriµtionof
whattheyhaveaÌreadydoneandtheirideasforadding
tothedetaiÌandcomµÌexityoftheirundertaking.
Conclusion
LngagingchiÌdreninµÌanningandrefÌectionmakes
themmorethanmereactorsfoÌÌowingµrescribedroÌes.
Itturnsthemintoartistsandscientistswhomake
thingshaµµenandcreatemeaningforthemseÌvesand
others.AsyouimµÌementthestrategiessuggestedhere,
youwiÌÌdiscoverthatthecomµÌexityofchiÌdren’s
µÌanningandrefÌectionµaraÌÌeÌsthedeveÌoµmentof
theirµÌay.
YoungchiÌdrenµÌayinsimµÌewaysforshortµeriods
oftime.AstheschooÌyearµrogresses,theirµÌay
becomesmoreeÌaborateinitsuseofmateriaÌs,Ìan-
guageaccomµaniment,andrangeofsociaÌinteractions.
ItaÌsoÌastsÌongerandismoreÌikeÌytoberesumedata
Ìaterµoint.SimiÌarÌy,chiÌdren’sµÌansrefÌectthegrow-
ingdeµthandrangeoftheirintentions.Infact,some-
times|ustteÌÌingthestoryofwhattheyintendtodois
assatisfyingasactuaÌÌycarryingitout.
Likewise,chiÌdren’sabiÌitytorememberandexµÌain
whathaµµenedduringµÌaybecomesincreasingÌyintri-
cate.TheirsµecuÌationsmaynotevenbeÌimitedtowhat
occurredduringcÌass,butmayextendtoreÌatedevents
orµeoµÌeathomeorin
othersettings.Observing
andtrackingthesechanges
aÌÌowteachersawindow
intohowchiÌdrenthink
abouttheirsurroundings,
theimµactoftheiractions,
andtheimµÌicationsofthe
µastandµresentfortheir
subsequentbehavior.
TheresearchandexamµÌesµresentedhereshowthat
µÌanningandrefÌectionarehighÌyeffectivemechanisms
fordeveÌoµingthinkingskiÌÌsinyoungchiÌdren.PÌan-
ningismakingachoicewiththeaddedingredientof
intentionaÌity.Itincorµoratesamenta̵rocessthatis
fundamentaÌÌydifferentfrommereÌyindicatinga
µreferencewithnothoughtastohowthechosenitem
wiÌÌbeµuttouse.RefÌectionisrememberingaccomµa-
niedbyevaÌuation.IttransformsasimµÌeexerciseof
memoryintoathoughtfu̵rocedurethatexµÌores
means-endsconnections.
PÌanningandrefÌectionthusinvoÌvedecisionmaking
andµrobÌemsoÌving.TheyencouragechiÌdrentotake
theinitiativeinµursuingtheirinterests,engenderinga
senseofcontroÌovertheenvironmentandone’sabiÌity
totransformit.AschiÌdrenmakeµÌansandreviewtheir
exµeriences,theyenhancetheirµredictiveandanaÌyti-
caÌabiÌities,harnessseÌf-reguÌatorymechanisms,and
deveÌoµasenseofresµonsibiÌityforthemseÌvesandthe
choicestheymake.8yencouragingthesetwinµro-
cesses—exµressingintentionsandevaÌuatingactions—
wecanequiµyoungchiÌdrenwiththethinkingskiÌÌs
theyneedforÌaterschooÌingandaduÌtÌife.
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Reflection is
remembering
accompanied by
evaluation.