Monday, September 21, 2015

Pulling Language Forward: Notice & Wonder Day 6

After experimenting with Notice & Wonder last week during a Math in Your Feet residency with three classes of fourth graders I:

  1. ...feel like I had more feedback about student thinking than ever before. I've always seen how children think with their bodies, but was never happy with their written reflections, which didn't really reflect what I saw them do while they were making their patterns. I have also not been happy with how hard it's been to help kids use and apply the terminology of the Movement Variables. I found Notice & Wonder to be a great tool at pulling the language forward in a way that was natural and meaningful for the students themselves.
  2. ...noticed that each of my three classes last week moved from general noticings to much more specific noticings as the week progressed. Not only that, but they noticed more and more, and in great detail their own making process and the process of reflection; the math/dance pattern properties and structure (movement, direction and foot position); the differences between a reflected pattern and a non reflected pattern; and the process of unitizing two patterns into one larger one.
  3. ...finally felt like students owned everything about the week -- their actions and the language they used to describe their own and others' patterns.
  4. ...was grateful for the classroom teachers who made the decision to support the residency by making their normal math time a chance to explore the math we were using in the math/dance making. This was particularly important in terms of the angles/rotations and the idea of congruence. 
This week I'm back at the same school with three more 4th grade classes. Their Notices & Wonders today were really nice but, like last week, fairly general. I'm excited to see if they follow the same course as last week's students in becoming more and more specific, precise and descriptive with their noticings and pattern analysis.

And today I had a new Wonder: What if I bring a few notices and a few wonders forward each day (collected from all three classes) and put them in front of the students. They won't be identified by class or student.  Right now I'm thinking that it won't hurt to try and I'm curious what might happen.  Here are the student responses that I'm choosing to pull forward for tomorrow:
  • I noticed all the different words you can use.
  • I noticed all the movements, feet and directions we did today.
  • I noticed you can combine different movements.
  • I noticed we were doing the same pattern over and over again and I think we should choose something different.
  • I noticed dance isn't just movement; it's feet, movement AND direction.
  • I wonder what our pattern is going to be?
  • I wonder how many 4-beat patterns we can make with all the things ups there [on the movement variables poster.]
  • I wonder if I'll have better ideas tomorrow.
My original three wonders can be found here: INTRO/DAY 1
The rest of last week can be found here and, like I mentioned, document the progression of general noticing to much more specific and precise language: DAY 2 | DAY 3 | DAY 4 | DAY 5


  1. I know I'm very late to the party ... but ... I wonder if when you shared your list of notices and wonders if you presented them by asking "Tell me more!"

  2. I found very good information about how to teach lessons to my students. I really appreciate your efforts and help for others. Also share your notes with us.


Thanks for reading. I would love to hear your thoughts and comments!


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