University of Exeter
Tools for Schools
Looking back through time

Looking back through time

Key Points

Students who struggle with attention, hyperactivity or impulsivity may struggle to have insight or reflect without your support. This strategy will guide you to help your student reflect on difficult situations and plan to do something differently next time 

How is this tweaked for flex?

Reflecting on past experiences requires a lot of mental juggling, thinking about what you did, why, how you felt and what the ideal outcome would have been. Children who flex is designed for may need extra help to draw this out- and having physical records of this can help scaffold them to remember and make better decisions next time!

  • This strategy can be used to reflect on difficult or reactive situations after they have happened, but to start with you will want to practice the steps using everyday situations to ensure the student understands the process and what is required
  • Use the reflection activity template with the student (or the class) to practice reflecting back on a situation that was either positive or not emotionally-charged
  • Work with the student to identify the difference between a description/observation (what actually happened) and what they felt about it (the reflection), use the description or reflection sheet and answers to help get across the ideas
  • Slowly begin to incorporate in scenarios that were negative or emotional for the toolkit student when you ask students to reflect
  • Then start using the student reflection template every time there is a negative situation, after the student has had a change to calm down and is calm enough. You could use the prompt cards as well
  • If you note the student doing this in future situations, praise them! If not and you notice a situation unfolding, remind them of their past reflection and support them to consider how the current situation could go differently 
  • What challenges do you and your students face when trying to do this?
  • What works well?
  • Over time, your students should become more able to understand when and how to reflect
  • Use the reflection template to note down how this is going
  • If you find it helpful, make notes on how you plan to keep it up and embed it in your everyday teaching