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Simple tools, Complex Reflection and Taking time to Wonder

July 13, 2017

Even though Im on holiday on a semi remote island in beautiful British Columbia, Canada, I sit and think. I think about what great opportunities I had over the past year and what opportunities I have now on this island, and what opportunities my own kids have on this trip ‘home’.

It got me thinking about about things of wonder. Watching my own kids wonder about things we’ve seen, experiences they are having for the first time. Seeing an object that they wonder about, the questions they ask and how similar it is from the questions my learners ask.

They asked questions like:


  • What is used for?
  • How does it work?
  • Who made it?
  • WHY did someone make this?
  • Is it worth a lot of money today?

Learners including my own kids used almost all senses when processing questions to their wonderings. Sometimes they found answers, sometimes they didn’t. Sometimes it doesn’t matter if they found answers or not. The question was enough.

So what does this tell me? It made me think about how I used objects to promote thinking. It made me appreciate:

  • the value of giving time to get deeper thought
  • the value of learners ideas
  • learners developing explanations, making hypotheses, testing and refuting them
  • the ability take make mistake from a guess and build upon it
  • taking note of learners observations
  •  expression of thinking

I’ve used artifacts many times in my class, all with a purpose and thinking or hoping learners to uncover some insight into the provocation (using Visible Thinking etc) . Making decisions and problem solving are just some of the life skills important for our learners and these are  certainly skills worth giving time for.





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