Saturday, April 27, 2013

Think, Puzzle, Explore

Connect: Last year, when I first read the book, I was so excited to try all of the routines.  It was interesting but it didn't develope any routines for the students.  This year, I have concentrated on a few and actually made them into routines for the students. This is a more recent sample, after they have had several other experiences with this routine. I especially like that instead of "What do you know?" , the question is "What do you think you know?" I think that it frees them to think. Two of the students had some experience with this topic, while two did not.  The wording for the first column allows for them to be on equal ground.

Extend:  I have found that as the students are given more experiences to establish a particular routine, the thinking flows more readily.  Their energy and concentration is not on the routine, rather on the thinking. 

Challenge: Personally, my challenge has been to fully exercise the EXPLORE.  I have been interrupted by various testing situations.  Once my classes resume, I have felt that too much time has passed and we should begin our next unit of study.  I will have loaded more, useful apps onto the iPads in order to facilitate their explorations.


  1. I like how you ask students what they think they know. I would like it allows them to take more chances on their thinking. What a good way, too, to activate background knowledge - important for all students, but especially ELL students. A little twist on a KWL that I may try out with an upcoming unit.

  2. Kim,

    I really liked reading your thoughts on, "the energy and concentration is not on the routine, but on the thinking," that you wrote toward the end of the post. I imagine with all the time constraints, you would be pushed on trying to establish routines for thinking with your variety of students and needs. Exploration is so important to building the vocabulary for kids involved in English language learning. The more exploration, the more authentic the learning becomes.