Tag: teaching audaciously

What Have You Made This Year?

Posted on May 16, 2021 by

Three months into my new job, I’ve made some discoveries about teacher and students and education – and myself. Now that I’m no longer in the classroom every day, I’ve had some space to think about the larger education community, and the impact the pandemic, remote learning, and now hybrid teaching have had on us.

I’m noticing a HUGE sense of exhaustion, regret, looking to the past and focusing on what “normally” happens that didn’t happen in the last fifteen months.

Educators are having trouble making themselves feel successful about education. It’s understandable – what we’ve been asked to do is unprecedented, undervalued and over the top of what any teaching contract outlines.

Educators – teachers, administrators, counselors, support staff – have all given everything they have to make this year come close to “normal”.

And, with the grind of “pivoting” their instruction, digitizing lessons and books and lab materials, engaging students hiding behind black Zoom boxes since March 2020, and now facing the ‘learning loss’ that will be documented for us thanks to standardized testing, educators are struggling.

So what do we do to support each other? To create a space of safety, community and acceptance for educators?

That’s what I thought of as I opened Katrina Kenison’s March 16, 2021 post, asking “What Have You Made This Year”?

If you don’t know Katrina’s work, you’re in for a delightful experience. Katrina, a published author of several books, a mother and wife, and a believer in “celebrating the gift of each ordinary day” has brought clarity and thought-provoking writing to me. And in the March 16 post, I responded in the comments with this:

This year, I made space for my self. Amidst all the cramped physical and mental space of the shelter-in-place, I found the space to be still. To turn off the Zoom classes and stop grading papers, to make space to meditate, to watch the squirrels try their best to upend my birdfeeders, and to see my adult children strive to adapt to the changes in college, wedding plans, and living spaces. Through it all, my self has been given wings to try out – and the space to fly.

I didn’t respond not only because I wanted to read the book Katrina was offering. Rather, I wanted to be part of the magic I saw in her simple acknowledgement of what she HAD made, what brought her ordinary joy and beauty despite the tragedy exploding all around us.

And surprisingly, I won the book anyways.

Katrina writes of author Beth Kephart, who published a memoir titled “Wife/Daughter/Self: A Memoir In Essays”:

How do we become the people we are?  How are we shaped by those we love, by those who hurt us, by those who see us more clearly than we see ourselves? How do we choose one path over another, releasing our grip on old dreams even as we’re compelled to envision new ones?

How do time, pain, love, and loss finally pare away all that isn’t needed, leaving behind the essence of a self, a truth, a way onward? Is it possible to write one’s way into understanding and acceptance, into healing, into faith that who we are and what we do is enough?

Being in community with Katrina and Beth makes me feel like making something is possible, even now when like so many educators, I’m feeling drained and depleted and need to mentally and physically coerce myself to my writing desk every morning. It’s not easy, putting aside the tumult of the world and allow for words to flow out, to go back through journals and posts and manuscript drafts to make sense of decades of thoughts about teaching and parenting. But that’s what I’m doing, inch by inch.

I’m trying to make something positive out of this year. Are you?

A few things I’ve made along the way:

  1. I made videos for my students to say hello when we started remote learning in March 2020:

2. I made bread..lots and lots of bread:

3. I made vases of garden flowers to bring the outside in:

4. I made time for exploring:

5. I made yard decorations for graduating high school seniors:

6. I made extraordinary discoveries on my walks:

7. I made masks:

8. I made new teaching spaces:

9. I made a new way to do the first day of school:

10. I made surprising discoveries in new books:

11. I made opportunities for kids to collaborate and have fun online:

listen to the joy!

12. I made a trip to the beach to see my mom:

13. I made time for sunsets in favorite places:

14. I made Christmas memories:

15. I made a job change:

16. I made myself happy:

17. I made myself present:

18. I made a road trip to see my daughter…finally:

19. I made coffee…lots and lots of coffee:

20. I made promises to myself:

It turns out, the last year wasn’t a loss at all. I made more than I thought…and I’m feeling courageous about the future.

What about you? What have you made in the last year?

Jennifer Wolfe

Jennifer Wolfe, a writer-teacher-mom, is dedicated to finding the extraordinary in the ordinary moments of life by thinking deeply, loving fiercely, and teaching audaciously. Jennifer is a Google Certified Educator, Hyperdoc fanatic, and a voracious reader. Read her stories on her blog, mamawolfe, and grab free copies of her teaching and parenting resources.

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mother and daughter on grass

Choosing Anti-Racist Teaching in 2020

Posted on December 1, 2020 by

When I first became a teacher 30 years ago, I knew my true self wouldn’t be 100% acceptable in mainstream public education. Suddenly I became ‘Miss Mason’, someone who instantly became an adult around children not all that much younger than myself. Definitely not what we would call anti-racist teaching today; that part of my self was shadowed as I set about doing what was expected.

I knew that my days of extremes were over. The jet black hair was artfully shaved and teased. Dark eye-liner, perfectly powdered skin, and personal statements adorning my body were no longer acceptable in my chosen profession.

The days of twenty-something expression of individuality – let alone political beliefs – were shelved. That’s a huge reason why I chose NOT to teach in my hometown; the idea of 24/7 censorship terrified me. I thought anti-racist teaching was impossible.

Slowly, though, I got used to doing what I should do.

Doing what I thought I should do as an English teacher, one mask replaced another. Teaching days became years. It was easy to fall into teaching reading strategies, traditional white male texts, journaling, book reports, reading logs…I was doing a great job teaching the content of English.

Just not so great at being myself.

And I did a good job. Kudos came my way: awards, great relationships with students. Marriage. Motherhood. Maturity. All the parts of life that are supposed to add depth and shape us into who we were meant to be.

mother and daughter on grass

Photo by Daria Obymaha on Pexels.com

Slivers of my real self slipped out occasionally, followed by sleepless nights. You know, the kind of teacher nightmares we have when we think we might have accidentally said something controversial? That anxiety of waiting to be called in, to listen to a parent complaint that teachers shouldn’t be saying those kinds of things in the classroom…

And then…2017

anti-racist teaching

One day in early 2017 one of my young UCD AVID tutors, “L”, pulled me aside and whispered, “I’m really sorry Mrs. Wolfe, but I can’t work here anymore. I have to lay low. I’m DACA, and I can’t do anything that might impact my enrollment here. I’ve got to go back home.”

I remember my shock, my confusion, and my anger as I looked into her eyes. “L” was a few years older than my own daughter, but she was Mexican, first-generation, and mine was white, from college-educated parents.

My daughter wasn’t feeling the need to go into hiding to save her education.

My daughter wasn’t moving back home, giving up her job, her friends, her life because of her ethnicity.

But “L” was. And I realized that staying silent in the classroom wasn’t going to change anything. Avoiding anti-racist teaching wasn’t going to create equity, or help someone else’s daughter or son. Teaching is a political act. Education is a political issue. And no longer was it a question of should I speak my truth – but I must.

“Just do right’

“Just do right”, Maya Angelou told us. But what does ‘doing right’ look like in education when it comes to anti-racist teaching? The last four years have shown America that whites must use their privilege to effect change. We must examine and change what we are teaching our children at home and in the classroom. Teachers must question if they have a job versus a platform for change, or if they teach for the money versus the opportunity to mold minds? 

I must ask myself if I’m afraid of anti-racist teaching. My students aren’t. They say, Why should we be afraid to talk about race? It just is.

So if we must talk and teach about it, why is it so hard to know where to start? And if kids aren’t afraid, why are adults?

Look for the leaders

In the article ‘America’s schools are failing black people: When will education have its own #BlackLivesMatter movement?’ the author S.E. Smith asserts:

Instead of confronting racial and cultural divides, American education only serves to further them. Racial division is an inescapable fact of primary and post-secondary education itself, thanks to huge gaps in education quality that are closely tied to race and socioeconomic status. Some of the nation’s most underperforming schools are in primarily minority areas, reflecting the diminished opportunities for the nation’s children of color. Moreover, students of all races and backgrounds are subject to wildly differing history curricula, with Southern students often instructed that the Civil War was a “War of Northern Aggression.” Those distinctions matter.

Discussion of race in the U.S. varies across the board depending on regional and district policies, the inclinations of an individual school, and a teacher’s personal approach. In a nation where some students learn about the civil rights movement and church burnings in detail, while others complete units in history class where slaves are treated as commodities just like cotton and sugar, race relations are going to be a serious problem.

So what are WE going to do about it?

Is it a question, finally, of should versus must? Is it even a choice?

Choosing must is a scary direction. It’s the place that pushes us outside of ourselves, that opens us up to criticism and ostracism. It leads us to vulnerability, to hurt, to isolation. But not to silence.

Author Elle Luna says, “Must is different. Must is who we are, what we believe, and what we do when we are alone with our truest, most authentic self. It’s that which calls to us most deeply. It’s our convictions, our passions, our deepest held urges, and desires — unavoidable, undeniable, and inexplicable. Unlike Should, Must doesn’t accept compromises.

Must is when we stop conforming to other people’s ideals and start connecting to our own — and this allows us to cultivate our full potential as individuals. To choose Must is to say yes to hard work and constant effort, to say yes to a journey without a road map or guarantees, and in so doing, to say yes to what Joseph Campbell called “the experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonance within our innermost being and reality so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive.”

Choosing Must is the greatest thing we can do with our lives.”

Teaching my truth

The greatest thing I can do with my life as an anti-racist teacher is to teach my truth. I can’t hide behind worrying about what might happen when I step out of the shadow of expectation. Kids deserve to talk about racism, to hear their white teacher be honest about what is…and what could be. They deserve to hear the truth.

I must call it out and must be intentional about talking about books by BIPOC. Teachers must prod students’ thinking to make connections between what they read and write and what is…and what has been. We must teach about empathy, and justice, and equity.

I must be me, even when it’s scary – even when it’s easier to be someone else.



Jennifer Wolfe

Jennifer Wolfe, a writer-teacher-mom, is dedicated to finding the extraordinary in the ordinary moments of life by thinking deeply, loving fiercely, and teaching audaciously. Jennifer is a Google Certified Educator, Hyperdoc fanatic, and a voracious reader. Read her stories on her blog, mamawolfe, and grab free copies of her teaching and parenting resources.

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distance teaching

Distance Teaching & Learning: The 4c’s for Making It Successful

Posted on August 2, 2020 by

Distance teaching and learning is different from face to face teaching and learning. It’s the truth.

I’ve spent the entire summer facilitating courses for educators on Digital Teaching and Learning. I’m seeing many educators start to panic about not knowing how to start thinking and planning about beginning a new school year online.

The COVID chasm I wrote about a few weeks ago is real, and it’s terrifying. Teachers everywhere are trying to rethink, remake, redo all that they’ve ever known about teaching. We know this may go on for a semester at more.

What are the 4 C’s of distance teaching?

In California, most districts are starting the year virtually. This requires us to reimagine our back to school routines. I believe there are 4c’s to define the best practices of distance teaching and learning: community, connection, collaboration, and competency.

Taking a look at each of these will help teachers breathe more easily. It will help parents trust the school system and ensure students have the best possible start to the 2020-21 school year.

Distance Teaching = COMMUNITY

So many teachers are frightened about never having met our students face to face and trying to create a classroom community. But think about it – how many virtual spaces are there where we connect with people we don’t see every day? Do you participate in social media groups? Have you taken online classes or done Zoom yoga groups? Did you ever use a VCR to do a workout, or maybe you’ve even done online dating?

Today’s kids see virtual communities differently. Fanfiction groups thrive and survive on the social connections and dedication of members. Classrooms can be the same! Social-emotional learning is important at the start of the year. It’s also crucial to embed into EVERY SINGLE lesson and student contact.

What does SEL mean?

Check out the CASEL competencies for detailed info, but in summary, pay attention. Ask questions. Listen to your students. Comment and give feedback. Show your personality. Crowdsource feedback and ideas from your students. I’m a huge fan of HyperDocs. I make sure that as I design every learning cycle I’m embedding deliberate entry points for student choice, voice, and feedback.

In synchronous meetings, use icebreakers, polls, discussion questions, photo sharing, read alouds, videos and games EVERY TIME.

It’s a ‘pay it forward’ way of thinking – that first five minutes you spend intentionally connecting with students as they enter your virtual class, while they’re ‘getting ready’ and as you end the session will PAY OFF BIG TIME! The conferencing space IS your classroom space – do what you’d do face to face.

Distance Teaching = CONNECTION

Connection goes hand in hand with SEL, and also should be extended to TEACHER connection and PARENT connection.

Teachers need to feel supported. They need to learn self-care strategies, how to set work/home boundaries, how to develop routines, and where to share their glows and grows. One way to create teacher connection is to curate spaces – my favorites are Google Classroom and Wakelet. Using Google Classroom to set up a safe space for virtual PD allows teachers to enter on their own or during virtual meetups. Housing articles, videos, tech tips, and discussion threads help teachers focus on pertinent topics while having access to resources and reflection time.

What’s Wakelet?

Wakelet helps curate collections of resources and can be shared, and/or curated as a community. I love sharing my collections on Assessment ideas, Google Classroom Tips, HyperDocs, and Diverse Reading Lists.

An added bonus of using Google Classroom and Wakelet is allowing teachers to explore new systems that can then be transferred to student use or creation.

Parents need connection, too – Wakelet would be a powerful tool to share tech training how-to videos, Google Calendar appointment sign ups, websites – really anything that you want parents to use to ‘see’ inside your classroom!

Distance Teaching = COLLABORATION

Distance learning shifts the way we collaborate. Students NEED to connect with others – collaboration on projects allows for shared critical thinking, communication, and a deeper connection with school – as long as WHAT they’re collaborating on is engaging, relevant, and rigorous. consider tech tools to foster collaboration like Padlet and Flipgrid. Check out this fabulous collaboration resource created by Steve Wick!

For teachers, collaboration through Professional Learning Communities, not just in your school but worldwide, offers opportunities to share academic, pedagogical, and personal ideas. Many social media networks like Facebook and Instagram are turning to groups and hashtags to connect educators; my favorite collaboration site is Twitter.

Educators find ideas via hashtags searches, groups, direct messages, and Twitter chats – in fact, I hosted a WeVideo Twitter chat on ‘Podcasting and Student Creativity” in hopes of sharing and collecting new ideas for student podcasting projects!

If you’re interested in podcasting you can see the archive of ideas here.

What else can teachers do?

Taking an online class, webinar, or book study helps teachers connect and collaborate over topics of interest. Also, it puts teachers in the point of view of students – what better way to ‘feel’ what it’s like for our own students to be in a virtual classroom! Consider getting Google Certified (Kasey Bell has great resources here) or taking tech tool certifications. Perhaps join your local CUE affiliate, or attend virtual conferences or edchats – all ways to not feel so all alone in distance teaching while making new friends at the same time (see, I told you community is built online!).

For students, authentic collaboration needs to happen in synchronous and asynchronous time. In web conferences, consider using breakout rooms, if possible. Many face to face strategies, like give one, get one, can be done in with the chat feature. Utilizing UDL lesson design with HyperDocs allows the teacher to build in collaboration within a lesson or unit using a variety of digital tools. Sarah Landis created a compilation of UDL resources in this slide deck!

Distance Teaching = COMPETENCY

Competency means taking a look at how we not only train teachers, administrators, counselors, and support staff in best practices for digital teaching and learning, but also onboarding our students and parents with digital basics. We need to intentionally TEACH structures, tools, and systems to ensure student success. Also, creating a standardized design for students to access assignments in your LMS, writing, and recording directions for each assignment helps create strong organizational systems. Creating a teacher website to share access points also helps students achieve systematic competency.

Then, ensuring consistent lesson design that features frequent, familiar strategies like those found in EduProtocols can help students move from feeling overwhelmed with new strategies and content every time. Students know when a teacher says “Iron Chef” how to approach content. One of my favorite sites is using Google’s Applied Digital Skills. I can either use or modify their lessons, embedding digital tools into the curriculum, and building up my student’s digital toolbox.

How many tools do teachers need?

Teachers don’t need to have a new tool for every lesson. Just like cooking meals for the family, you don’t have to try a new recipe 365 days a year. Take the one you like, use content in a new way, and continue to modify. And always have a solid fall back – I call that lesson the ‘macaroni and cheese’ for when I need something solid and tasty to fall back on, that doesn’t require a lot of creativity on my end.

I hope sometime we can stop calling this experience ‘distance teaching and learning’ and just remember it’s TEACHING and LEARNING. Yes, our methodology may look different, but we need to remember that we have good strategies we already know – the trick is to switch them into a digital space. Trust your instincts. You can do this. You WILL build community in your virtual space. Your students are looking for you to show up and SEE them…whether it’s through a camera, on a screen, or face to face.

We’re teachers – it’s our super power!

Jennifer Wolfe

Jennifer Wolfe, a writer-teacher-mom, is dedicated to finding the extraordinary in the ordinary moments of life by thinking deeply, loving fiercely, and teaching audaciously. Jennifer is a Google Certified Educator, Hyperdoc fanatic, and a voracious reader. Read her stories on her blog, mamawolfe, and grab free copies of her teaching and parenting resources.

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The COVID Chasm: Educators Stuck In The Pandemic Divide

Posted on July 15, 2020 by

Educators, do you feel the COVID chasm?

“The time for the healing of the wounds has come. The moment to bridge the chasms that divide us has come. The time to build is upon us.” – Nelson Mandela

Since March 13, when my 29-year teaching career suddenly pivoted into unknown territory, I feel the COVID chasm growing deeper in education.

So much of what we always did, what we always knew, what always ‘worked’ dissolved with the movement to online, crisis teaching.

Some teachers literally pivoted over night. Some, like me, had an amorphous ramp-up time, highlighting the literal and physical break in our system.

Four months later, rethinking how we ‘do’ school isn’t a place most teachers thought we’d be. Many of us thought we’d be out of the building for a few weeks at best, just enough time to let the virus blow over. We’d be back for the last quarter, be able to see all our hard work pay off with celebrations, projects, graduations, and promotions – all the best parts of the school year showing themselves off.

When we left our classrooms, many of us never realized we wouldn’t open the doors again for months, not anticipating it would be like unlocking a time capsule that would bring us to tears.

And the most disturbing part is, this chasm, this great divide between what we knew then and what we know now, continues to widen, to separate and fragment, and is leaving all educators – particularly teachers, wondering where to find solid footing.

The COVID chasm divides

This COVID chasm divides the risk-friendly with the risk-averse, crisis teaching with online instruction, parents with teachers, the government with education, people of color with what’s equitable, and what YOU say with what I hear.

It’s the reason why teachers are scared – me included.

Before, the split between education’s early adopters of technology, (the risk-friendly types), and mainstream teachers (the more risk-averse types) was less visible. Suddenly, ALL teachers adopted technology in order to keep the school going – thus exposing students and families to staggering levels of preparedness. Those who used to rely on ‘the way we’ve always done it’ found themselves lost, isolated, and overwhelmingly untrained to execute distance learning.

The COVID chasm exposes

COVID chasm

It exposed a systemic problem in education, a deep, broken and yet firmly foundational system that locked our schools in place – and a system that can benefit from disruption.

When conflict happened pre-pandemic, it was easier for parents and teachers to ‘agree to disagree’. Many times – or most – teachers would breathe deeply and try to remember that they are the education experts, even when parents were telling them how to teach. With teachers planted as responsible for a failing economy if we refuse to support face to face instruction, the chasm between parent and teacher gapes.

As our country confronts the COVID-19 crisis, the deep separation between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have-nots’ reveals the inequity in educational funding. Big business bailouts versus devastating cuts in education pit neighbor against neighbor, political parties against each other. Educators, expected to do more with less, feeling devalued and expendable, wonder if it’s worth it anymore. Why wonder if they can be expected to resume ‘business as usual’ and put their life on the line. Do teachers need to die for their jobs?

And the chasm between BIPOC and whites, between those who are most impacted by the virus, least likely to have healthcare, job security, or choice about sending their kids back into school buildings – including BIPOC educators – perhaps they feel the COVID chasm most intimately.

Educators can tell you what’s best for children – it’s to be surrounded by people who care, people who want to listen and hear what they’re saying, by people who understand that the trauma of being put into unsafe school situations is greater than the trauma of missing one fall or one year of face to face instruction.

Educators know what to do

COVID chasm

Educators are trained to do what’s best for kids – and when you say, “It’s not that bad…kids need to be in school with their friends”, what we hear is, “Your life is less important than mine – otherwise I would be fine hosting all 30 of my kid’s classmates for a play date”.

When you say, “We need to have a Zoom meeting to discuss re-opening ideas”, what we hear is, “The virus is too dangerous to meet in person, but not too dangerous to put teachers in classrooms”.

When you say, “Just put up a tent outside – it’s safe out there”, we hear,”Teachers are babysitters and camp counselors, not educators”.

And when you say, “Distance learning didn’t work for my kid last spring”, we hear you say, “Teachers failed – even though we did our best with little time and no training.”

It’s time to think about Nelson Mandela’s words: “The time for the healing of the wounds has come. The moment to bridge the chasms that divide us has come. The time to build is upon us.”

Bridging the divides

We know better and we can do better. Together, we can bridge the divides before us, and take this disruption and run with it. We can take care of our students, we can figure out solutions – but only if we take the time. The time is now. It’s time for teacher training in online learning and increased government funding for education. We need equitable access to healthcare and collaboration between families and schools. This pandemic shouldn’t bring out our worst – let us work together to heal our wounds and do what’s best for our kids.

Teachers shouldn’t have to be forced to decide between their profession and their life, or the lives of their families. That’s not going to make education better. That’s one chasm that we cannot bridge – but so many of these we can.

What do you say – are you willing to help fix the COVID chasm, or not? Remember – you are what you DO – not what you SAY you’ll do. Time to step up for education.

Jennifer Wolfe

Jennifer Wolfe, a writer-teacher-mom, is dedicated to finding the extraordinary in the ordinary moments of life by thinking deeply, loving fiercely, and teaching audaciously. Jennifer is a Google Certified Educator, Hyperdoc fanatic, and a voracious reader. Read her stories on her blog, mamawolfe, and grab free copies of her teaching and parenting resources.

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thinking routines

3-2-1 Thinking Routine

Posted on February 22, 2020 by

My 7th graders have been exploring perceptions and reality using thinking routines. We started out with a 3-2-1.

Have you heard of thinking routines before?

Thinking routines take all sorts of forms – and while they’re not all necessarily digital, I love using Ed-tech tools to help students make their thinking visible.

This 3-2-1 thinking routine template was originally made by the masterfully creative Heather Marshall. I’ve adapted it several times over the years to match the learning outcomes my students are working on.

You can get a copy of my Perception and Reality 3-2-1 Thinking routine here.

How thinking routines work

In my class, I’m a fan of building engagement through curiosity and exploration of a topic BEFORE I do any sort of instruction.

When students ‘buy in’ to the topic/concept with exploration (have you seen my posts on HyperDocs?) energy just starts to flow all over the classroom.

We started our latest unit of study with a MMTS ( I shared a post about that here). Next, we followed up with a more directed 3-2-1 thinking routine which focused on our next mini-unit on meeting our pen pals from Spain, letter writing, commas, adjectives, and communication skills.

Using this thinking routine feels a little bit like lifting the cover off of a new sculpture or work of art. The students understand bit by bit and by the time they have written their ‘bridge’ statement, they are DYING to get started!

We began with a topic:  kids from Spain/kids who don’t speak English. Next, my students wrote three ideas they immediately bring to mind on that topic, two questions, and one analogy. The analogies are the hardest part for sure. The cool thing is that they just keep getting better with the repetition!

Next, we explored the topic by reading personal letters from our pen pals in Spain. My 7th graders were absolutely GIDDY with excitement! Many immediately wanted to know if they could continue to write to them AFTER the assignment was over. When does that ever happen?

On a side note – I connected with a teacher in Madrid through my work with TGC and the Fulbright program that took me to Indonesia in 2012, but there are other ways to find global pen pals.

The next step

thinking routine

Then, it was back to the 3-2-1 for one more repetition of thoughts, questions, and analogies. This time my students were more directed towards the pen pal they ‘met’ through their letters. They were 100% more invested in their questions, as they knew the next task was to respond to the letters and add their own inquiries!

Then, my 7th graders eagerly began their letter writing. Many of my students are bilingual, and asked if they could write in Spanish – how cool is that? The class discussions were on fire – kids sharing what their pen pal wrote, laughter at the commonalities between Davis and Spain. They were in awe over discovering the Spanish school had a pool (of course, we searched their website, too). They had an overall joyful spirit of excitement and connection. And on top of it all, they were writing with an authentic, genuine purpose.

After their letters were completed, it was back to the 3-2-1 for one more repetition of thoughts, questions, and analogies. But this time, we utilized tech tools to make their thinking visible. Answergarden helped share their thoughts. We documented our questions on Google classroom, allowing kids to earn a different perspective on ALL the pen pals.

The final step to the 3-2-1 thinking routine is the bridge. Students complete this statement: “I used to think ________________, but now I think __________. By using Padlet, all my students could share their perspectives and comment to each other. Their understanding of the topic took off!

thinking routines

Why thinking routines are so amazing

thinking routine

To me, using these tech tools makes ALL the difference. Instead of continuing to hold only their own perspective, by making their thinking visible my 7th graders are able to deepen their critical thinking about the topic. It’s a beautiful way to learn to value others’ opinions.

As of today, we have sent our letters to Madrid. The next rotation will involve actually ‘seeing’ our friends via video communication! I hope you follow along to see the next steps in our exciting global classroom experience!

Jennifer Wolfe

Jennifer Wolfe, a writer-teacher-mom, is dedicated to finding the extraordinary in the ordinary moments of life by thinking deeply, loving fiercely, and teaching audaciously. Jennifer is a Google Certified Educator, Hyperdoc fanatic, and a voracious reader. Read her stories on her blog, mamawolfe, and grab free copies of her teaching and parenting resources.

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