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May 23, 2015
This Week: Strategies and Practices That Help Students Think Deeply
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Emily Park-Friend takes us through a lesson that asks students to utilize various forms of "communicative functions" to prepare for deeper thinking.
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After doing lots of great thinking in the classroom, David Cooper takes his kids into a new environment so they can put into practice what they learn.
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Becky Pittard’s students work independently before group work so each child has time to think and reason.
Sarah's Notes

While at a graduation party last weekend, I ran into a student I had last semester. After some quick catching up, she said, “I’m so glad I saw you. I’ve wanted to tell you for months now that more than anything, you really taught me how to think.” In so many ways, there isn’t a more reaffirming thing to hear because I know it has always been my goal to create autonomous learners. Natalie went on to say, “I’ve even been thinking about the specific days I could feel myself learning to think.” She talked about the days of culminating projects or speeches I would have predicted she’d remember. But she also mentioned little things: a paint-chip discussion, a reflection exercise with puzzle pieces, the first day reading “Allegory of the Cave” together in a circle.

As I listened to her, I realized just how necessary it is for we teachers to invest early on in the processes that make thinking explicit for our learners. And even though we’re looking at last days instead of first ones, Natalie’s message to me is that helping students make their thinking explicit will always create opportunities for autonomy later. Perhaps it was lessons like this one, where analysis became visible, that helped Natalie construct her own emergent self.

Sarah Sarah Sig
Teacher Laureate at Teaching Channel
Tchers’ Voice
Img LeftFifth grade teacher Alicia Farmer discovers that having her students critique the reasoning of others leads to powerful conversations and deep understanding of math concepts.

Img LeftHelp your students shake off the winter blues with ideas from this popular blog from Rosemary Baker.

Q&A: Answer These Questions
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Mark Your Calendar
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Join Sarah Brown Wessling as she leads the discussion on the professional and personal learning opportunities you have planned for this coming summer.

Thursday, May 28th at 4 p.m. PT
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Find out how the Upland Unified School District in California is leveraging the power of video and making it a centerpiece of their professional learning program, resulting in significant, sustainable, and growing improvements for teachers and students.

Tuesday, June 2nd at 12 p.m. PT
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