Friday, May 3, 2013


Connect: I did a See-Think-Wonder with my students before the last field trip. Last time, I added a “learn” section to the end. I liked the idea of that, but I did not do a good a job of ensuring the students connect their “thinks” and “wonders” to it as I should have. I decided to try it again before the field trip to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.

What I Did: I showed my class a picture I found online from DMNS’s rocks and gems exhibit. First, we had a discussion about what we saw, thought, and wondered. Then, the students wrote down their thoughts on a worksheet. I decided to have them do the worksheets instead of just having a discussion so that all the students would have to participate.  Before going to the museum, I reminded them of the picture and asked them to look for it in the museum. The day after the field trip, they discussed and wrote about what they learned.

Extend: Although this routine is pretty simple, I the students were so into it! I loved that it required them to look at a new image in three different ways. The first few times I did this routine, I didn’t really like the “see” part. I thought it was so obvious, and I didn’t see the value in responses like, “I see something shiny.” However, this time I noticed that the “see” responses inspired deeper thoughts and wonderings. A student saying “I see something shiny” led to an interesting, although very structured, conversation…

·         “I wonder why some stones are shiny and some are dull?”

·         “I think some are shiny because they’re polished by water.”

·         “I wonder why some parts of the stones in the picture are polished by water and some aren’t?”

·         “I think it’s not shiny because of water because then the whole thing would be.”

One student’s fairly surface comment led to some much deeper thinking!

Challenge: I acted purely as a facilitator for this routine, and it was difficult to not chime in to respond to some of the thoughts and questions the students had! I think I might share their responses with Shannon Umberger, the students’ science teacher, so that she can answer some of their questions. I also still didn't get the types of connections to their thoughts and questions that I was hoping for. This may be because it's outside of my content area. If I do this modified routine again next year, I will have to put some thought into how I get them to connect their "What did I learn" answers to their thoughts and wonderings.

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