Archive of ‘Book Clubs’ category

Making Thinking Visible in my Primary Classroom

I just finished running a book club called #bowkerbooks this winter. The participants signed up for the book club and voted for the book they wanted to read. The selection that was  chosen was “Making Thinking Visible” by Ron Ritchhart, Mark Church, Karin Morrison. 

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During this weekly chat, we would discuss a chapter with predetermined questions based on that chapter. I kept on thinking that my class, a very active grade 1/2 class wouldn’t be able to do these routines. I had tried asking my class  “Can you tell me more about that?,” a strategy to get students to further elaborate on what they said.

This week, after the book club had ended, I decided to try a new routine ‘See, Think, Wonder.’ When my students came in from 1st recess I had a picture up on the screen. You need to know that my students usually talk over each other and can only sit for 10 minutes at a time listening, but this time was different.

Mona_LisaI honestly couldn’t believe the thoughtful questions that my students asked. I was blown away by their questions. To hear the audio of this, click here.

The next day, I decided to try it again. I put up a picture of “The Scream.”


At first I thought I shouldn’t have picked this painting since my students came in saying it was scary and creepy. But the discussion we had was amazing. They had great thoughtful questions again and really made connections. They even took the picture and inferred that he was lost. We also got into a debate whether it was a boy or girl. To listen to the audio, click here.

I googled the painting and showed them a map of Oslo, where that painting is. Then they were curious about where the ‘Mona Lisa’ was so we googled that. I showed them the Louvre and they thought the pyramid was so cool. Then we took a virtual tour of the Louvre.

This was my first experience with this class of real inquiry learning. For over an hour my class sat still, listened and asked thoughtful questions.

I’m going to do this a lot more often!



Week 2: Cold Thaw Collaboration Challenge

I am participating in the Cold Thaw Collaboration Challenge being put on by the wonderful Maria Verwey. For week 2 we have been asked what we are reading, what our professional goals are for this year and our one word for 2015.


Right now I’m reading ‘Making Thinking Visible’ which is my book club book. 047091551x

This upcoming Wednesday we are reading and discussing Chapter 2. Last week we discussed Chapter 1 and I was blown away by the amazing discussion we had. You can still participate and sign up here.

I’m also reading ‘What Great Teachers do Differently’ by Todd Whitaker.


Right now I have a lot of professional goals. I became a Google Educator in the summer and I’m working on becoming a Google Trainer this year.

Since it is my first year being a contract and permanent teacher, I’ve been focused on learning about how a school really works. I joined the School Learning Plan Committee (SLP), the Lead Team, and am hoping to be on our Technology Team.

I’m also focused on continuing to provide great PD opportunities. I am hoping to do that through a Summer Conference I’m hoping to help plan, my #bowkerbook club that is happening right now and maybe in the summer months, applying to present at a ETFO Summer Academy workshop and another Edcamp Ottawa next fall. I am also hoping to continue with Ontario’s Edchat (@Onedchat) and make it more popular.

In my classroom I also want to focus more on learning rather than marks and continuing to try to collaborate and do cool projects even though it seems to not be working out this year.

My One Word: 

My one word is Care. I wrote a post about it here.


Big Week of Big Steps

This week I am swamped. So busy but I’m honestly thrilled. I’m taking action on goals that I have made and it all starts this week.

On this Tuesday morning I’m going to start training my colleagues at my school to use GAFE (Google Apps for Education). This week we are focusing on Gmail and I’m so excited. The response from my school hasn’t been exactly what I would have hoped for but I’m trudging on and excited to inspired some of my colleagues about the awesomeness of GAFE. This is the next step so I can become a Google Trainer and I’m hoping I’m successful!

Also this week, my 2nd book chat starts. We are reading Making Thinking Visible and 47 amazing educators signed up to talk about the book. I’m so excited because this is such an amazing book and the book chat’s hashtag is #bowkerbooks which is just so fun for me.

Big steps will either have Big Fails or Big Successes. Time will tell but I’m excited either way!

Winter Book Club Decision and Timeline

Drum Roll Please….

The decided book for our Winter Book Club is



Thanks to everyone who took the time to vote!

Our chats will be biweekly on Wednesday nights.

  1. January 14th Chapters 1
  2. January 21st Chapters 2
  3. January 28th Chapters 3
  4. February 11th Chapters 4
  5. February 18th Chapters 5
  6. February 25th Chapters 6
  7. March 11th Chapters 7
  8. March 25th Chapters 8

If you are planning on being part of this chat, please fill out the following form if you have not already done so (just ignore the book suggestion question).

Look forward to learning with you! To follow along, we will be using the new and improved hashtag #bowkerbooks suggested by .

Winter Book Club

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