This is a support resource for Bill Roberts teachers to share successes / challenges and have a critical discussion about the implementation of Backward Design and the thinking routines into their classrooms.
Sunday, May 5, 2013
See, Think, Wonder
Connect: As an intervention teacher who pulls small groups of students for a limited amount of time a few days a week, I have really struggled with how to implement the thinking routines into my program. I have wondered how to use a routine within the confines of a fairly strict reading "program." I finally realized that I needed to take the risk, detour from my curriculum and just see where the kids thinking would take us. I AM SO GLAD I DID! Rather than using the typical picture walk and vocabulary discussion to preview a book I was going to be using in a guided reading group, I decided to use See, Think, Wonder around an interesting photo I took from that book. What the students did not know was that the title and topic of this non-fiction book was Volcanoes.
Extend: The kids took some quiet time to look at the picture and notice the strange details. As a group we then listed all of their "See, Think, Wonders" on a group chart.
What I loved about using this routine was that the students were able to go deeper with their thinking than just the surface "information" visible in the photo. The "see" step in the routine allowed us to list those surface elements that we so often talk about when we do a book preview. It was within the "Think" and "Wonder" steps that we could go beyond the image. I was so impressed with the thoughts and wonderings the students came up with! They came up with wonderings and questions about what happened to create such a scene of abandonment and destruciton. They all concluded that some sort of natural disaster had to have played a part. What astounded me the most was that the kids didn't just jump in to make a prediction about what happened! They were lost in the wonderings! I am always so quick to ask "What do you think happened" and this process helped me to slow down and let the kid think about the picture. In turn, the payoff in slowing down with this routine was that when it came to reading this book, the kids were able to use thier thinking to help them with challenging vocabulary within the text. I also believe it enhanced how they determined importance within the book and their overall synthesis of new information.
Challenge: I discovered in doing this routine that the kids were already familiar with it (thanks to Val!). This made it SO much easier to jump right into the routine since the kids already knew the process. It truly illustrated the power of routine, and how this can connect BEYOND the regular classroom in to other instructional groupings. My personal challenge is to find a couple of routines that I can use as a regular part of my group rituals- these can then become a direct connection to what the kids are using in their classrooms. I think this can be such a powerful connection for an intervention program that has (self-admittedly) been very disconnected from the classroom.