Category Archives: Instructional Strategies

The Writing on the Classroom Wall

BIG NEWS!!! Today is the official release date of The Writing on the Classroom Wall! Standing in my classroom in 1997, I was struck with a truth that was so unexpected and so important that I posted it on the wall of the classroom. Then I turned to the students and taught them what it meant. I called it the Big Idea. I had no idea that it would launch… Read Article →

The Power of Color

Color. It’s the natural extension to the series that begin with Provide Massive Space to Notice. So, after 180 Opportunities to Notice and How to Create 9 Identical Dot Patterns in 10 Seconds or Less, I’m adding 2 new templates.  This time, the circles are blank, so students can use color to record their observations.  They can also build layers of sketching right on top of the color in order… Read Article →

How to Create 9 Identical Dot Patterns in 10 Seconds or Less

Wow!  What a response to the last 2 posts!  In Provide Massive Space to Notice, I detailed how to use repeated dot patterns.  In 180 Opportunities to Notice, I simply provided 10 pages of dot patterns that can be downloaded.  In this post, I would like to give you 2 templates that will allow you to create your own dot patterns.  As the title states, you can truly create 9 identical… Read Article →

180 Opportunities to Notice

In my previous post, Provide Massive Space to Notice, I described how to repeatedly use the same dot pattern to promote noticing.  In this post, I would simply like to give you 10 pages of dot patterns which you can download and use with your students.  The purpose is to promote a wide variety of seeking perspectives, noticing , and recording observations in ways that can be very useful.  Simply watch… Read Article →

Scene 6: “Two Teachers Learning Together”

In Scene 6, from the Animated Learning Walks Series, two teachers decide that they want to learn together, even when they is no learning walk scheduled.  So, they bring their students into one classroom in order to learn together. For more information with 4 challenges and practical tips on how to make this realistically happen, see the recent blog post entitled, “Stepping Into Each Other’s Classrooms.” The Animated Learning Walks Series Scene… Read Article →

Scene 5: “The Glimpse”

In Scene 5, from the Animated Learning Walks Series, the observers in the hallway decide to step into the classroom a second time to briefly view the teaming exchange.  If they look closely enough, they will begin to see possibilities for learning alongside other educators even when learning walks are not scheduled. For more information with 4 challenges and practical tips on how to make this realistically happen, see the recent… Read Article →

Scene 4: “The Teaming Exchange”

In Scene 4, from the Animated Learning Walks Series, the classroom teacher has arranged for a teaming exchange, an opportunity to briefly teach together as part of the exchange. For more information with 4 challenges and practical tips on how to make this realistically happen, see the recent blog post entitled, “Stepping Into Each Other’s Classrooms.” The Animated Learning Walks Series Scene 1:  The First Step  (1:50) Scene 2:  The Exchange  (2:34)… Read Article →

Scene 3: “The Return”

In Scene 3, from the Animated Learning Walks Series, the classroom teacher detects two rare and powerful opportunities.  Instead of exchanging places, the teacher returns in a different way to take advantage of those two opportunities. For more information with 4 challenges and practical tips on how to make this realistically happen, see the recent blog post entitled, “Stepping Into Each Other’s Classrooms.”   The Animated Learning Walks Series Scene 1:  The… Read Article →

Scene 2: “The Exchange”

In Scene 2, from the Animated Learning Walks Series, the observers return to the classroom, but they are now ready to try something new in order to make the experience even more powerful for everyone.  So they try out “The Exchange.” For more information with 4 challenges and practical tips on how to make this realistically happen, see the recent blog post entitled, “Stepping Into Each Other’s Classrooms.”   The Animated… Read Article →

Scene 1 – Animated Learning Walks Model: “The First Step”

In less than 2 minutes, I would like to paint a picture of a peer learning walk.  My hope is that you will begin to consider this practice and that you will soon find yourself seeing instructional practices in another classroom, and then trying those practices in your own room where they will be valuable to both you and your students. For more information with practical tips on how to make… Read Article →