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

50 Best Websites 2012

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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An incredible, Energizing Place to Co-Create

I attended a workshop by Shared learning Collaborative in Chicago held at a location called 1871. I have never seen anything like this incredibly cool space. The first thing you see when you walk in is a 143’ curved, colored, glass wall that is a gigantic marker board used for mind-mapping and visual brainstorming.  Aside from that, group work areas are scattered all over the remaining 50,000 square feet. The space is totally flexible…walls and furniture can be arranged in any configuration. There is a long sleek kitchen, and along the north side is a wall of windows lined with couches and comfortable chairs with an amazing city view. It just felt energizing and innovative. This place supports the kind of thing that changes the world…connection and collaboration…shared ideas and passion…the melding of hearts and minds, in a word: creation. Although 1871 is used for digital start-ups, the idea behind this: a space lending itself to innovation, collaboration, connection, and creation…is a universal need. I can imagine a teachers’ lounge or school conference room with a wall painted with Idea Paint, and seating that is flexible. A place in and of itself can either encourage or discourage collaboration.

1871 opened May 2, 2012, and this is from the 1871 website: “1871—(1) catalyzing moment in Chicago history, when the most brilliant engineers,
architects and inventors came together to build a new city; (2) where Chicago’s brightest digital designers, engineers and entrepreneurs are shaping new technologies, disrupting old business models
and resetting the boundaries of what’s possible.”

Wow. What an amazing way to work…in every industry.