Some of the things I’ve been asked by my 7 year old students lately show much the effort of this project is paying off in terms of student learning:

“Miss Versteeg, when I finish my work may have some Inquiry time?  I have some questions I want to learn about so I can write on my blog”;“Hey when I finish this book can I take a picture and write about it?”  This shows creativity.

“Guess what?  Someone in the Busy Bee class has Lego on their blog my friend!  Can I share a link with them?”  This shows collaboration and communication.

“Is it okay if I do this on Explain Everything instead of PicCollage because I think it is easier to add things?” This shows critical thinking.

And, in response to my incredulous reaction to a student’s knowledge about each continent  “Oh, I just googled it.” That’s often my first strategy for problem solving too!

What have your students been asking to do lately?

My If/Then Statement: Critical Thinking and Self Reflection

To begin coming up with my If/Then Statements, I found this chart about creating an Inquiry Based Classroom:

To reflect on my classroom, I broke apart this chart and created this…

From this, I think my If/Then statement will be around creating a classroom that encourages students to become critical and self reflective thinkers when it comes to their own learning.  I want my Grade 1 students to able to reflect on themselves critically as a learners to develop their own next steps.

To do this I will need to:

  • Explicit Learning Goals and Success Criteria so students have something to reflect on using a common language between students and teacher.
  • Modelling of Self Reflection using LG and SC by teacher and students.
  • Modelling of creating next steps for learning (Purpose/Audience/Technology Selection)
My IF/THEN Statement
If I model critical thinking and self reflection skills with students THEN students will apply these skills to their own learning and improve student achievement in reading to having 16 of 19 students reading by mid-Grade level by March Break (Level D/E). (Currently have 13 students reading at B or below).

Within this, here are some of my next steps to make this happen:

1. Create writing folders to make students more independent during writing/blogging.  I want students to be able to write independently and to do so I need to give them the tools to be independent.  Everything the students write will be posted to their blogs including writing and reflections.  Here is a picture of their new writing folders:


2. Lessons on what makes a good blog post and blog comments.  I am going to have the students brainstorm their own ideas but question them to eventually have something like this THINK chart.


3.  Create a 4 C’s and a P Chart.  As we learn new apps and technology, reflect and sort them on to the chart where they will meet that learning purpose.  Currently we will have to add Edublogs, Croak It, Explain Everything, Twitter, Pic Collage, WordQ (computers), Qrafter, and some math/word work apps.
4. Continue modelling learning goals and success criteria and make this language more explicit for the students.
  • CAFE board during Daily 5 for explicit teaching of reading strategies.  
  • VOICES Board during Writer’s Workshop for explicit teaching of writing strategies. 
  • Math Rotations with “I can” statements and reflecting on strategies during problem solving. 
  • Inquiry Time, students create If/Then statements before/during/after inquiry.