Thursday, November 20, 2008


As part of the CFF class, we need to answer questions about the environment for inquiry.

In my classroom, I make my own thinking visible by wondering about something being discussed. I also talk aloud as I stumble over a problem. I ask myself a question. Then, I discuss what I know, possible solutions, other information I need, etc. in order to solve the problem.

I make my student's thinking visible by discussing an introduction to a topic or just listing the topic. Students formulate questions or statements in a group and then share them in a class brainstorming session which is then written on a whiteboard. Students add to the list with what they do not understand, need to know, or other questions that may come to mind. This can lead to restatement of questions and a refinement to deeper questioning. In a group, they may have to develop questions or thoughts together to solve a problem. Students can also be part of a think-pair-share activity where they work on a particular problem by themselves, share with another member, and then develop a conclusion about the answers or a solution that benefits both. They then share their work to the class. Blogging can also be a way to gauge what a student is thinking.

My students thinking can be seen on the wiki (large class brainstorming using a whiteboard). Sometimes their questioning is found on their wiki page. It would be great if we had a whiteboad wall where students can sketch and write their questions and ponderings. Other students would be able to add to it as well. using large paper clipped to bulletin strips may be a solution. As a physical design, the layout of the classroom does not lend itself to thinking differently. Desks are still in a row which given the illusion of lecture and order. It would be easy to put into different groupings except that the desks are very small as well as the room and limits some arrangements. Currently there are o other options to the desk. The lab area is a slight improvement.

Homework and classwork is beginning to be infused with thinking. Students need more opportunities with this and this is a goal for this year.

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