Sunday, April 28, 2013

See-Think-Wonder:  Main Idea- Learned- Wonder. 
Connect:    Used as a Thinking Routine for reading periodicals such as Weekly Scholastic News     
I was looking for a routine to get the students to do more than just read their Scholastic News.  I wanted them to look critically at the information and become deeper level thinkers.  Initially I used the See-Think-Wonder Routine hoping that it would give them a strategy to use each week.  I wanted them to know that they were going to be accountable for the information in their periodical.   See-Think-Wonder did not quite fit the bill.  Some entries looked like this: I see a picture- I think it is cute- I wonder if the artist made more pictures.   Not exactly what I was looking for.  I was about to abandon this routine until I had a conversation with one of my teammates and she told me how she had changed the routine to fit the activity.
What I did:  This is the adapted routine I call Main Idea-Learned-Wonder.   Each week the 2nd graders get a Scholastic News.  Half of the students get one edition and the other half gets a different edition.  I give them 10 minutes to read silently.  Then I pass out post-it notes to each table.  The students know that they are to write 3 entries to post on the chart paper for their topic. The three posts include Main Idea, I learned and Wonderings.    They are to write in complete sentences, use correct conventions and write legibly.  Then I pair them up with a student that had a different magazine and they share their post with each other for about 7 minutes.  It is a bit like a jig-saw routine.  Then we come back together as a group and spend another 10 minutes reading over the posts. 
At a separate time, I show the digital version of each newspaper to the whole group.  We all get a chance to read the newspaper, watch the accompanying video and answer the game questions together.    In the past, Scholastic News was sometimes used as more of a filler.    Now it is used as an important learning tool.

Extend:  What I like about this routine is that now the students know exactly what is expected from them and they are meeting the expectations.  I’ve seen their thinking become much more sophisticated over the weeks as they have seen what their peers have written and made evaluations about the entries.   I see them using this strategy seamlessly with other content area reading assignments.   
Challenge:  The challenge with all these routines is getting students to internalize them and use them in other contexts in or out of class.   If my goal is getting students to become thinkers, then that is a skill that should cross all content areas and become a part of who they are as human beings.    These are fun and routine, but I want students to see them as tools to navigate through life.   In the information age, we need to be able to question, prioritize, evaluate and synthesize all the material we are presented with each day.   


  1. Maggie, I think that sharing like this, our blog, will help us all see and use routines that others have used when we have those students. I am learning which routines classroom teachers have already successfully used, which I can then use with those students. Also, vertically, we can utilize the routines that the students are familiar with. I believe that over time, the students will be expected to and actually use thinking skills in all places at BR.

  2. Maggie, I really like your adaptation of this routine. I really see benefit in the "think" and "wonder" part, but the "see" portion seems so basic. The only benefit I've noticed in the "see" portion when I do this routine is that it can spark other students' thoughts and wonderings, but only if it's done in a full class or small group discussion.

    "I want students to see them as tools to navigate through life. In the information age, we need to be able to question, prioritize, evaluate and synthesize all the material we are presented with each day. " --- Love that!

  3. Maggie, I can see how this routine would be such a valuable routine to incorporate from the beginning of the year up to the end because it sets up an environment of thinking and wonder being the focus versus the ever so common, "What is the right answer?" Too often, students thinking and wonderings stiffle due to them just wanting to be right or to have one easy answer. These skills will be so valuable to them in their future education endeavors.

    Lacy Smith