End-of-the-month OLW reflection


So it’s time for the end-of-the-month OWL reflection along with my colleagues at:

Maria @ http://teachingin21.blogspot.com/

Barbara @Wondering Through 2012

Tracy @ Thinking Stems 

…my main question is: where did February go?!  This is always the month that seems to pass too quickly –  mostly because of  the winter break.  But, as I reflect upon my OWL (deliberate), I see that we really did accomplish quite a bit as a class, especially in these areas:

  • our  historical fiction book clubs got off to a strong start.   We used our nonfiction research packets to add to the background information we would need to understand our book selections better.  Each meeting has started with research time, and I’ve been so pleased to hear how my kids have synthesized both fiction and nonfiction  aspects of  their books.  We’ve brainstormed sentence starters to help us keep track of different ways in which we can explore this type of thinking in our conversations, and my hope is that very soon this type of discussion will just become self generated and natural.  
  • in social studies we’ve been practicing how to better develop multiple perspectives on the events we’re studying, using primary source documents and our powers of inferring.  I’m trying to infuse different strategies to “make our thinking visible” (see the book suggestion below), and we experimented with “Chalk Talk” today (I’ll remember to upload some pictures later today).  I found that my kids loved being able to read each others’ thinking about the unit’s  big ideas – they challenged each other and pushed their thinking along to question and elaborate deeper.  This was the first  time we’d experimented with this type of activity, and I know that I’ll be doing a lot more of these.

I’m just about done reading “Making Thinking Visible” by Ron Richhart, Mark Church, and Karin Morrison:

Based on the work done through Harvard’s Project Zero and their investigation of cultures of thinking, this is a wonderful resource for learning activities that promote critical thinking skills.  Richhart’s website is full of information about the project and how its research is being implemented in schools across the country.

So…that’s it for February…now on to March!


4 thoughts on “End-of-the-month OLW reflection

  1. It sounds like a lot of good things happened in Feb. (you told about some) Tara. I'll always be interested to hear about the reading! Thank you for sharing about this book. I looked at the summaries about it & it looks as if it fits my school's learning approach well, so perhaps this will be something for us to examine.

  2. That's a new title for me-have added it to my list. Love the idea of students challenging each other typically I have found that takes writing and conversations to a much higher level. Great post and thanks for cross posting with me.

  3. Thanks for the book title! I looked at the preview on Amazon…especially interested in the chapter about creating a place where thinking is valued, visible, and actively promoted. Glad we are cross posting!

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