Reflection questions for today


  • What did you notice about your thinking while we were negotiating the definition and what should be in it?
  • What strategies did you use to make your meaning clear to your classmates?
  • How could you use these strategies again? In what contexts?
  • What are you most proud of in your thinking today? Why?
  • What would you like to strengthen and improve?
  • Why did we negotiate meaning? Why are these skills useful?

Author: alavina

Cognitive Coach and author. I simplify personal power so you can use mental resources and find pathways to your goals, be more productive and feel in control every day.

12 thoughts

  1. 1) I found myself looking for a lot of synonyms with slightly different connotations from words that were on the board. Often, the first words or phrases that were thought of provided a good basis for others to think off of and expand on.

    2) I thought about what I was going to say before I said anything. I thought it through in my head first to make sure what I said made sense and was clear and easy to understand.

    3) I could use these strategies again in other situations where I need to work with groups. Using each other’s ideas to brainstorm new ones is effective and takes everyone’s opinion into account. Also, thinking about what you say beforehand makes it more efficient and meaningful.

    4) I was proud that I listened to others well today. I took into account other people’s ideas and based new ones off of them so that we could help to improve the definition.

    5) However, I would like to listen to more people, rather than listen closely to only a few. I found that I kept zoning off during the discussion and I would like to pay more attention.

    6) We negotiated meaning to find a definition that fit for all of us. These skills are useful because we need to be able to do this in the future, when we are working as groups. We need to take in everyone else’s opinion so that everyone has a voice.

  2. What did you notice about your thinking while we were negotiating the definition and what should be in it?

    – My thinking is based on the general traits of humans, not the specific traits.
    – When creating definitions, it is important to be the most general as possible since it is based on everyone, not just certain groups.
    – Something that applies to everyone or that everyone experiences should be in the definition, since it is general, not specific.
    – Definition – general

    What strategies did you use to make your meaning clear to your classmates?

    – Explaining the word and why it is a better choice compared to the other words.
    – Support the main idea – the word we are defining.
    – Explain in the most general way and easily understood.

    How could you use these strategies again? In what contexts?

    – When defining a word or concept, be sure to be general so that the it can be applied or used in any circumstances.
    – Generalization would be the key when it comes to creating definitions.

    What are you most proud of in your thinking today? Why?

    – Behavior is part of our actions as well as our true identity, but behavior does not include thoughts.
    – Behavior is part of a person and it affects the environment. However, behavior is only actions of a person, which is also integrated with thoughts.

    What would you like to strengthen and improve?

    – Conceptual thinking on different ideas.
    – Expressing my own ideas with more confidence in front of people.
    – Pay more attention and mentally comparing my own ideas to the other students in class.

    Why did we negotiate meaning? Why are these skills useful?

    – To express each person’s idea of the same word (by definition).
    – Understand the difference of people’s minds and thoughts.
    – Compare our ideas to other people’s perspectives.
    – These skills are useful because eventually, you will have to meet people who have different ideas compared to you. Accepting disagreement may be a challenge for some people and this negotiation is a good practice.

  3. 1) I searched for words that were synonymous to each term that we were working on. Concepts like these can always be branched out to other relating topics. So, during my process of thinking I explored briefly each possibility every other term provided. Concepts like these can always be ambiguously viewed from different perspectives and that forced me to look for only one concise phrase that would define human traits universally.

    2) For sure I rehearse in my mind the things I plan to say, accenting on the main key words in each idea. Sometimes it is hard to put thoughts into words so enunciating on key words help bring out my meaning to others.

    3) I could use these strategies again whenever I have to communicate sophisticated thoughts to others on the spot when being unable to find a coherent way to say it.

    4) I would say I’m most proud of when others could expand their thinking off of my idea, because that means I successfully contributed in putting out a thought into words that others understood and could built up on.

    5) I would like to pay more attention to every person’s opinions and formulate my own opinion on theirs, rather than just hear words and decide to agree or disagree half-mindedly.

    6) We negotiated meaning to peacefully come to a final agreement (as a statement) that satisfies everybody who contributed. This skill is useful because negotiation requires communication, and communication means corporation. In the future we all will be forced to work as groups with other people, and that requires patience, communication, and corporation just like how we negotiated in class.

  4. 1) I was thinking about different interpretations of the word environment. Environment may refer to the nature itself, the tradition within an area, or community that we live in. Therefore at first, I couldn’t come up with any definition yet.
    2) Before I express my thoughts to the class, I rearranged my ideas first so that everyone would be able to understand me. I also tried not to go beyond my main idea, because that would make me loose my focus.
    3) I could use these strategies again during a debate where I have to support my own ideas with details so that I can persuade other people to agree with me.
    4) What I am most proud of my thinking today is when I explain why the I prefer the word “behavior” over “nature”. I said I chose “behavior” because it is more of a reaction towards different situations or the standards and obligations that has been set, while “nature” is more like a general trait of human beings. The reason I am proud of this thinking is because I was able to express my opinion and give reasons that are persuadable to my classmates.
    5)I would like to be more of a risk-taker because I first I had some ideas in my mind but I was afraid to spill it out because I have no confident in myself when it comes to sharing ideas as a class.
    6) I think the reason why we negotiated a class meaning of “environment” is because sometimes we have to face situations where everyone in the group has to be satisfied or pleased with a statement. This activity will help us develop our team work and social skills because we have to able to listen to other people’s opinions and there are times when we have to learn to accept other people’s ideas as well.

  5. 1) It’s really hard to find the “perfect fit”. Each words, despite how similar they are, have different functions, so there are specific words for specific expressions. We always have to work out what different words are one at a time, and even after that it’s hard to decide which one fits best. Not only that, environment is defined differently for different people, therefore it is also hard to come up with one that everyone totally agrees on.

    2) I was not perfectly clear when expressing my thoughts, though in the end I hope the message was expressed. Of course I have to think in my head what I’m going to say, but as I speak it out loud new ideas always pops up. That may be why it’s harder to understand, but as I am self-conflicting while I talk, hopefully it could spark a new idea for others as well.

    3) If it is too hard to explain everything specifically, sometimes we have to stick to being general. It avoids people getting confused, and defining something as flexible as environment, we can’t always be specific. If we explain something generally, people would get a broad idea of what we’re trying to convey, and then themselves can think upon it in detail.

    4) I did not contribute a whole lot, but I can say I was satisfied I have contributed to naming two of the suggested noun after “individual’s”, which is identity and behavior. After that, the whole class had to choose between different words, having two of my words as a choice means at least I have contributed in some parts.

    5) I would like to convey my thoughts in a clear and definite message. As I talk I tend to forget stuffs I have thought about in mind, or new things would come up and mess up my old thinking. This not only makes it harder for me to talk, it’s also harder for other people to understand.

    6) We communicated in order to find the perfect sentence. More opinions are always better than a few. The skill of negotiation is important in this case because to brainstorm and agree on something, people must talk and communicate. This skill does not only apply to agreeing on a sentence, what we are developing in class would surely some day be an important skill in life.

  6. What I noticed during the process of negotiation today was the thought movement that occurred in my mind. I was aware of the progression of thoughts that gave me the knowledge to transpose from one idea to another.

    During the discussion today, I told that “nature” was a better word than the other words like behavior, identity, etc. My tactic in order to convince that was to reason out things that were right or better about the word and to convince others to agree with me.

    I could use this strategy in debates, arguments, or even other formal discussion. I think its necessary to use reasoning in order to convince other rather than forcing them to, or using other forms of enforcement.

    I was proud the progression of thoughts that occurred to me during the discussion today. I thought it was beneficial and was a sign of my way of thinking.

    I think I need improvements on my convincing skills, since its its important in order to make others be attracted to your point in certain discussions.

    I thought negotiating was a better way to agree on a topic rather than other ways. It is a fair and efficient way in order to reach a consensus.

  7. 1) I noticed that I often debate between myself. In other words, when we were to choose between the noun “nature” and “behavior,” I noticed that I was not able to make up my mind and choose between the two.

    2) I said what I was going to say out loud in my head first before I express my thoughts to the class, so that hopefully, others will understand what I am trying to say.

    3) In my opinion, this strategy (mentioned in no. 2) could be use again during a class discussion, group work, or any kinds of tasks that involves working with another individual. Because if others are able to understand the message the individual expressing, the work at hand will be more efficient.

    4) Although I did not contribute a lot during the discussion, however, what I am most proud of is contributing “which shape individuals’…” to the class’ definition of environment (which led to the discussion of the noun after “individuals’.”

    5) I would like to express my ideas to the class more often than during today’s discussion because by doing this, it will also help me to improve on expressing my ideas to others clearly.

    6) Instead of each of us coming up with a definition of “environment” and choose the one that received the highest amount of votes, the reason why we negotiated the meaning is to come up with the definition that the class agrees on. This skill is useful because in the future, not only do we have to express our ideas to others, we will also have to at least once negotiate something with others as well.

  8. It is interesting how sometimes your thinking maybe convinced into another idea that you may have been opposing strongly. At certain times during the negotiations, sometimes your feelings on your thoughts become less strong in order to achieve an agreement between all parties concerned.
    I did not communicate my thoughts in my strongest ability, however, I believe that my communication was effective to, hopefully, a significant extent. At certain times I had to backtrack on my thoughts to make sure it was clearly communicated as sometimes I get too fast.
    I can use this strategy in every discussions: debates, seminars, etc. It is necessary to be able to communicate the ideas clearly so that my thoughts can be known to all that are concerned.
    I was proud on how I managed to contribute in the attempt of making an agreement between the different parties.
    I would like to strengthen on thinking on the spot and being able to defend my point more effectively and more strongly.
    Negotiations are far more meaningful than voting. Negotiating is the true act of democracy where everybody’s voices are truly heard and the agreement made is inclusive in all parties concerned. Voting, however, is nothing but the dictatorship of the majority, not satisfying everybody as ‘democracy’ was theoretically created for.

  9. 1. I noticed about my thinking that while we were negotiating the definition was that for every idea that a person suggested, I would try to think about how it was different from all the other words and what connotations it had. Then, I would try to choose the one that I thought best fit your definition.
    2. To make my meaning clear to my classmates, I was careful about how I phrased what I was going to say. I tried to come up with examples and explain everything clearly.
    3. This strategy could be used in almost any situation where I need to talk to a group. It is always helpful to make any points as clear as possible so other people can understand what you mean.
    4. Today, I am most proud of the way that I offered my opinions when I didn’t agree with what was up on the board. I am also proud of how I thought about what words I though fit the definition and what words I thought didn’t fit.
    5. I would like to improve on listening to other’s opinions because after I decided on which word I liked best, I didn’t really consider what other people thought. I would like to be more open-minded about this.
    6. I think that we negotiated meaning because it gives us a deeper sense of the word. It also gives us a chance to argue our opinions and explain our thinking to a group. We also were able to practice negotiation, which will be an important skill for us in the future.

  10. 1.) Sometimes, when I’m strong in what I want to change about the words, I would ask myself, “What’s your reason for changing it?” I found myself speechless because although I want to change the phrases and the words, I couldn’t form my reasons to words. Sometimes, I’ll just give up and not want to think further because I’m scared of my ideas being rejected. However, as the argument got more intense, I found myself not wanting to back away. As a search deeper into my thoughts, I found out the reason why I couldn’t explain my reasons to want to change the phrases. It’s because I feel like changing. Then, I asked myself, why do you feel that way? I then started to make a simple mind map inside my thoughts. I found that mind maps really help me because I can link things that are similar in a mind map. I started to how I feel to why I feel to why do I think I feel that way to why do I think I should change it. I made sure that when I speak what I think out loud, I should have reasons to support me. When other students came up with amazing reasons and ideas, I found myself persuaded and will come to agree with them. I think, during the last phrase, identity should be the right choice. As Fuji had said, it’s a broad word and not specific enough and I agree with him. Although I agree with Fuji, as people see the word “identity,” it’s possible that they could start to think about words and feelings that are related to identity.

    2.) One of my strategies are simple mind maps that I form inside my thoughts and as I explain my reasons, I explain it bit by bit. However, sometimes, I made it too long and couldn’t explain my main point. Sometimes, I will secretly go through my speech by talking inside my head and then typing it down to make it simple and understandable and then read it out to the rest of the class. As I’m reading and a new idea comes up in my head, I will also explain my thoughts that just came to me. When I failed to explain it as I have imagined, I’ll pass it to another person first and then come back later when I have clarified what I wanted to explain.

    3.) I could use these strategies again during arguments, debates or in speeches. If I have this big idea, I’ll draw out a visual of my mind map so I can look at it and explain it to the audience.

    4.) I was able to think deeply and challenge myself to think more. There were times when I really oppose the ideas but I couldn’t find the courage to bring myself to. However, as we go deeper into our arguments, I was able to think positively and in just a matter of time, I was able to think confidently and I want to bring myself forward to speak instead of backing away. I believe that when you are having the right mindset, you can think right and when you project yourself, you can expand your thinking by speaking confidently. I’m proud that I could put efforts in being a risk-taker and challenge myself to think deeply, confidently, and broadly.

    5.) I would like to strengthen and improve on my verbal communication skills. I’m not quite good enough on communicate smoothly. I want to be able to communicate more smoothly in order to be more effective when I’m speaking. I want to be able to express my ideas effectively.

    6.) Being able to negotiate meaning shows our thinking, communicating, and social skills. We have to think deeply to provide ideas. Then, we have to communicate it well to persuade others or to defend our ideas. We also have to be open minded to accept and consider different ideas. We also need quite a few social skills. When our ideas were not accepted or we want to change some ideas, we have to work with the right attitude and behavior. These skills will be useful in debates, arguments, and meetings.

  11.  What did you notice about your thinking while we were negotiating the definition and what should be in it?
    I noticed that I tend to go back to my definition while thinking about other people’s opinions. I do consider their definition, words, and phrases they use but a lot of times I still go back to my own definition. I also try to understand what other people are saying in the way they interpret it, because I think it makes me understand them clearer.
     What strategies did you use to make your meaning clear to your classmates?
    In my head, my opinions should be quite clear before I say them. However, thinking deeply into a concept would always cause different thoughts in each person. Therefore, I try to say it in a way that most people would interpret like I would want them to.
     How could you use these strategies again? In what contexts?
    Since this also includes communicating with other people to agree with my opinion, it is applicable in many contexts such as a small group work. Negotiating helps people be more satisfied with opinions in a group.
     What are you most proud of in your thinking today? Why?
    I am proud that I thought a lot of the definition and chose to express my opinion more. I usually don’t but today I did.
     What would you like to strengthen and improve?
    I would like to form new opinions more. A lot of times I agree without thinking thoroughly on other people’s opinions, and I realize I do not agree with it completely afterwards.
     Why did we negotiate meaning? Why are these skills useful?
    I think the different experiences everyone has will contribute to the meaning they have. Therefore the meanings will all be quite different, however we still need to work as a group. We then learn to communicate, negotiate and compromise. This is a situation that will reoccur, and having these skills will make me work better in a group.

  12. 1) I can tell that my thoughts were coming from what I’ve experienced in the past – I often think of examples that can relate myself back to each word in order to find the ‘perfect’ word/phrase to describe each argument. I noticed that I judge things according to my emotions (or in the other word, what my guts tell me to say).
    2) I like to think of an example to express what I think. Sometimes when I don’t know how to say something I just find a situation that people can relate to then just express it out. In a way, I think it’s easier to communicate rather than trying to explain the meaning of what I was trying to say.
    3) I can use the strategy anytime, since it’s something that is so simple but understandable – I can make my work clearer (and understandable) by providing examples.
    4) I was debating with myself about the right word to fit the last sentence, whether it should be ‘nature’ or ‘behavior’. I listed out the pros and cons of each word in order to finalize my thought, I was proud because I now have a clear idea that ‘nature’ is the right word. I’m also proud that I express my thought to the class.
    5) I’m a very stubborn person, I tend to hold on to my thoughts and don’t necessary like to hear opinions from other people (because I have this thought that I’m right), so what I would to do next time is to take other people’s opinions into an account.
    6) We negotiate in order to find an idea that everyone can agree upon – it’s not necessarily the ‘perfect’ definition. Negotiating requires everyone to communicate his or her idea; this skill is use in an every day life. Everyone won’t be able to get everything they want, but if we negotiate, everyone gets a little of something they’re satisfied with.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.