Making Thinking Visible

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Quotes help motivate me when I’m not able to find the motivation within myself especially on hard days.  I have spent hours searching for quotes on many different topics and I always find that this helps to refocus my energy on my goals whether it’s in the classroom, my life or in the gym.  Quotes help me visualize a positive result, make connections and reflect on experiences.  It’s in the process of reading them that this happens.  It’s almost instantaneous.  Sometimes a really good quote will stay in my mind all day or even longer.

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal, it’s the courage to continue that counts”.  -Winston Churchill

That one has been on my mind for a long time and I can go back and remember it when I need the extra push.

Students need this too. We need to make thinking and reflecting on learning a visible process and involve students in creating visual examples of their thinking and learning for others to see.

In the first few weeks of school I designed a way to start this process off and I really want to keep it going throughout the year. By using the book “The Dot” by Peter Reynolds to introduce themes of believing in yourself, never giving up, taking a risk to learn something new and paying it forward students represented their learning through discussion, making art and putting it in their own words.  Their work is now displayed in our school. The quotes they wrote are posted near the murals they collaborated on to paint.  I will continue thinking of ways to help my students learn to work together and to practice the message from the book.  Practicing and reminding students about CARES principles in many different settings will bring this to life, but also helping to empower children to learn from their mistakes and change their choices in the future.

When our faculty created their own artwork based on the book “The Dot” we wrote messages to inspire children with our artwork.  This process put visible thinking into our own reflective practice. In the end I think we were surprised by how exciting the result was with this simple idea.

Here is some of our own work.

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At our All School meeting the children presented what they created in art and in their classrooms to share about their learning.

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 I hope to keep this type of learning going all year and continually apply different processes to make it exciting for kids to show their thinking.




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