Monthly Archives: September 2012

Reflections on International Dot Day

What a great way to begin the school year for my class. Here is a reflection from The Global Classroom Project.

The Global Classroom Project

Two weeks ago, the world marked “International Dot Day“, a global celebration of children’s creativity. We thought we’d share some of their creations with the wider #globalclassroom community.

Via @NZChrissy in Bangkok, Thailand

Via Govinda Panthy, SAV School Nepal – The World Museum Project’s Celebration of International Dot Day

Via Laurie Renton (@RentonL, Canada) & The Global Grade 3’s – Lessons from a Dot

And via Betsye Sargeant (@PhoenixSchool) we have a funny video & a great VoiceThread. You can read their blog post here.

Click on the image to hear Phoenix School students sharing their creations.

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Making Thinking Visible


I heard about Making Thinking Visible, a researched based approach to teaching thinking that began at Harvard’s project Zero, at a webinar through the Future of Education with @stevehargadon. This is an incredible way to use fairly simple classroom teaching routines to help us become better teachers and to promote deeper thinking, and creative, independent, problem-solving in our K-12 students.

There are many resources out there to teach us how to use questioning as a strategy, but this approach is unique and worth exploring.

From the book:

  • we have two chief goals: (1) creating opportunities for thinking and (2) making students’ thinking visible.
  • (we) grouped routines around three categories: Introducing and Exploring, Synthesizing and Organizing, Digging Deeper
  • (the routines) take on more power when used to support students’ ongoing learning across a unit, that is, to build an arc of learning rather than to craft a single episode
  • (we) grouped routines from those that tend to be used early on in a unit, to those that come in the middle, to those that often serve a more culminating function.

Visible Thinking Website

Making Thinking Visible Book

As I always want to do when I find something incredible, I want to get a group of us together to work through this as a PLN. This looks like an excellent way to meld two things that are in our world right now: Common Core Standards and higher teaching standards.



The Four C’s: Making 21st Century Education Happen

QuadBlogging Connects Student Writers with Global Audiences | Edutopia

QuadBlogging Connects Student Writers with Global Audiences | Edutopia.

how to play

The Compassion Games have begun! Mission #1 is posted. What a great opportunity for us to teach and learn compassion with our students.

compassion games : kindness missions

Several people have asked how to play the kindness mission compassion game being coordinated here as part of the Compassion Games that begin tomorrow. It’s simple!

Each Friday, I’ll release a kindness mission for you to complete within the following week. You can find the mission by visiting this site or by subscribing to the RSS feed. You’ll also see links to the mission elsewhere, on Facebook and Twitter, and likely forwarded via email.

You don’t need to sign up to join in the fun, nor is there “work” for you to do other than what you’re drawn to do. If you care to comment in response to a mission, feel free to use the comments section at the bottom of each mission.

No one can “assign” you to complete an act of kindness. It has to come from a genuine place inside you. One purpose of this…

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Interactive: How do Americans View the World?

How do Americans view the world? A Carnegie  Endowment for International Peace research project.

Quiet at the back: classrooms around the world – in pictures

From the Russian pupils in Prada to the Nigerian children who sit four to a desk, photographer Julian Germain takes us on a journey around the world’s classrooms 


This Fall if you’re looking for a collaborative project with a weekly structure you might want to register for the next session of Learning Circles starting September 22nd, 2012 and ending January 15th, 2013.

Over 15 weeks (with a 1 week break over the holiday week in December) you’ll grouped with a small number of classrooms from around the world to work on a Learning Circle theme of your choice. See the themes for 2012-2013

The structure of a Learning Circle comes from it’s design of phases. The first phase, “Getting Ready” at the start of the course, prepares you for participation in the project. In the following phases you get to know other circle members and progress to working together under your selected theme, but with your own curriculum. Your circle closes with each classroom presenting a final product that demonstrates the quality of learning that has taken place.

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Teachers and Students~they’re constantly interchanging.

After a gray and soggy day of outside activities on our annual 5th grade camping trip, the sky cleared up for the night hike. The sounds of 80 shuffling feet in the dirt and the soft nighttime forest noises were muffled by the shadows of the trees. The sky was starting to fill with stars when I felt a small hand quietly slip into mine…I looked down to see big brown eyes through the darkness…

Mrs. Román, did you see that pretty red sky?

Yes Sarah, I did.  It was beautiful.

I think the sun must come up even when it rains, it just is hiding behind the clouds.

I think you’re right Sarah.

Sometimes all the wisdom in the world is wrapped up in a ten year old kid.