I want to raise a red flag about a practice that may have value, but is being pushed too much. Asking children to reflect and articulate how they think is not as important as thinking. Math class should be spent thinking – not thinking about thinking. If I see my students engaged with their partners – heads down – working hard – that is perfect. They are thinking and communicating in a natural way that I do not think I can improve upon by bringing the whole group together to reflect. This is why so many of my classes are not wrapped up in nice neat packages. I go nearly to the buzzer. A 30 second summary leaving the students in a pickle is much better than a five minute winding down in which students try to articulate how and why they did something. Stop the chatter – just let them work.

I do use group reflection or a group observation whenever the fraction of unengaged students rises above a threshold. Small problems of engagement with just a few students should be solved without interrupting the whole class.

Now I have seen reflection working well, so this is not a blanket criticism – just a warning.