Tuesday, April 16, 2013

See, Think, Wonder

Connect: I wanted to give my first grade class an opportunity to explore ant artifacts before we started our research.  I used the See, Think, Wonder routine, becuase I wanted them to articulate what they saw in the artifacts and I was also wanted to know what their ant schema. Lastly, I wanted them to generate questions that I would use to create inquiry circles.

What I did: I laid out ant photos, plastic ants and ant farms.  Kiddos got to explore one artifact at a time and then we went through the routine step-by-step.  First, we saw, then we thought, then wondered.  Then they got to switch tables, find a new artifact and go throught the whole process again.

Extend: After our research was complete, and we had a lot of ant knowledge under our belts, we went through the same See-Think-Wonder routine.  This time their wonderings were much deeper!  Their new learning facilitated a deeper engagement in the routine and deeper wondering.

Challenge: I was saddened by the inital engagement in the activity.  Their wonderring and thinking seemed very surface.  I then realized that they just needed some schema.  They did a much better job after research. 


  1. America, I can just see the kids rotating from table to table completely enthralled by the ants and the work they do. I have been using the S,T,W routine with the third and fourth graders. I imagine when I get your students they will be so versed at the routine, we will be able to go so deep. I also completely enjoy the conversations that the students have with each other when they share their See, Think, Wonders.

  2. We just did this same routine (I just posted about it..) as an intro to a section of a unit on Native Americans. I agree with Val, it is so great to see kids go deeper when they are used to the routine. I felt like I had to go painfully slow in order to keep students from rushing through, so I appreciate your frustration with the surface-level thinking at the beginning. Thanks!

  3. I too have used this routine and was frustrated at first with the surface responses. I think it is sometimes because of lack of schema and also because of lack of understanding how the routine works. It was very smart and responsible of you to reflect on the effectiveness of the routine and it shows your flexibility as a teacher by trying to go back to it once they had some background knowledge. I use the routine often but have not always gone back to it to generate deeper thought. I think this has been my mistake so during my current unit on Farms I plan to go back to my STW chart to help generate deeper understandings. Thanks for the motivation!