Today we spent a lot of time playing as a class with the new Imagination Playground blocks that arrived at school this week. Of course through our play we are always learning. Sometimes the learning emerges from the children's own ideas, interactions and representations, and sometimes it is more explicitly orchestrated by the teacher.
Today Ms. Alison wanted us to develop our skills, attitudes and competencies as group learners. As some core researchers at Project Zero at the Harvard Graduate School of Education explain:
(Krechevsky, M., Mardell, B., Rivard, M. & Wilson, D., Visible Learners: Promoting Reggio-Inspired Approaches in All Schools, 2013, p. 61).
After about 30 minutes of building, we paused our construction. It was time for some reflection and feedback. The goal was to deepen our thinking about our own and others' work through conversation.
Often when we are asked to respond to each other's work we use phrases like "I like it" or "It's good". To help us deepen our thinking and responses, we used the Harvard Project Zero Thinking Routine See-Think-Wonder. Through this process, we were engaged in observing, describing, thinking, and wondering. This extended us beyond viewing and judging, and therefore enhanced the quality of our feedback to classmates.