Tuesday, 26 March 2013


Making Thinking Visible




"When learners speak, write, or draw their ideas, they deepen their cognition. Prohect Zero's Visible Thinking approach shows how." (Rob Ritchhart and David Perkins)

Thinking routines are one element of an initiative called Visible thinking that Project Zero, and collaborators at various schools have developed. Fostering thinking requires making thinking visible. Thinking happens mostly in our heads, invisible to others and even to ourselves. Effective thinkers make their thinking visible, meaning they externalize their thoughts through speaking, writing, drawing, etc. See-Think-Wonder is a routine that helps stimulate curiosity and sets the state for inquiry.                      (Making Thinking Visible, Ron Ritchhart and David Perkins)

The children walked into the classroom one morning
and were very curious about the new, giant, white
board sitting on the carpet. The presence of this new
object created much excitement and inspired many

The children engaged in a whole group thinking
activity, “See, Think, Wonder”.

What do you see?

Chelsea: black and white
Eric L: a wire
Aliston: a surfboard
Linda: yellow
Michael: things pointing out
Taelen: Velcro
Shanzay: some words


What do you think about?

Soheil: it floats on water and the water makes it go.
Eric L: I think it’s a surfboard.
Andrew: someone goes on the board and someone
pulls the wire to go.
Tanya: it is like swimming, people use it go swim in
the water. It is like a banana.

What does it make you wonder?

Eric Lu: I wonder why is there a wire on the surf board?
Andrew: I wonder why there is a line across the surf
board and why are there words?
Taelen: I am wondering why is there a bump?
Shaheem: I wonder what is it made of?

We then watched a video of a surfer surfing on his
surf board. This video led to more inquiries about the

Taelen: I wonder how the surfer stays on the surf

Eric Lu: I wonder how the board moves in the water?

Mrs. Nitsotolis: I wonder if you can surf when
there are no waves?

Eric Lu: you cannot surf when there are no waves,
because you will sink.

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Graphing our Mittens

Mitten Graphing



Sorting &

Making Labels


Problem Solving:
"Where do the rainbow mittens belong?"

The children siggested placing the rainbow mittens with the red label, turqoise label, yellow label, etc.

S.M. suggested that we create a new label for the rainbow mittens called, "rainbow" because, "it has so many colours." - S.M. 


Creating a Graph


Analyzing Data



The Snow Investigation

Can we keep the snow in the 

classroom? - J.M.

After outdoor play, many of the children had brought snow into the classroom. While we have put snow in the water table for learning centers, we could not “keep” the snow. To provide the children with an authentic experience to see why we can’t keep snow in the classroom we performed a series of experiments.

We began by discussing the word hypothesis. Many of 
the children had heard of this word before on a popular television program they watch. S.M. shared her definition of hypothesis with the class.

The children then made hypotheses about what might 
cause the snow to melt. 

Testing our Hypotheses

C.Z.: if we put the snow near the window with sun 
the snow will melt.
T.K.: if we paint the snow it will melt.

A.L.: if we put the cover on the bottle it will melt.

M.Y.: if we put water on the snow it will turn black.

J.M.: if we put snow in the water it will melt.


Once the children had returned from gym, it was time 
to practice our observation skills.

Children's Reflections

Sunday, 24 February 2013



Beautiful Visualizations

During outdoor play one day it began to snow quite 
heavily. The children returned to class very excited about the newly fallen snow. We read Cynthia Rylant’s story, Snow.

During the read aloud the children began to describe the snowflakes they saw in the illustrations of the book as well as the snowflakes they had just seen while outside.

Many of the children began to use beautiful visualizations to describe snowflakes.

S.: The snowflakes are like leaves, falling from 

T.B.: The snowflake in beautiful, flying in the sky.

S.M.: The snowflakes twirl and fly in the snow.

C.L.: Snowflakes are like feathers.

S.K.: This little snowflake is like a star.

These beautifully poetic images described by the 
children became the inspiration for art. The children independently chose a medium to transfer their snowflake visualizations into pieces of art

Art and Nature Inspired Poetry

Symmetrical Snowflakes

Nature’s Wonder

The children have been fascinated by the intricate details and designs of snowflakes. During math we read a book about symmetry and discussed where we may see lines of symmetry in nature. We discussed how even snowflakes are symmetrical.

We continued to explore lines of symmetry as well as shapes by creating symmetrical snowflakes using patterning blocks.

The children created very intricate and beautiful snowflakes.

Where Do Snowflakes Come From?

Provocation for a new


“I Wonder where snowflakes come
from.” - S.M.

While at the art center, one of the children used oil pastels to draw snowflakes. After drawing a few snowflakes, S.M. asked: “I wonder where snowflakes come from.” This was the provocation for a new inquiry on snowflakes.
During Sharing our Learning Time, S.M. shared this question and piece of art with the other children. Many of the children had their own questions and theories about snowflakes.

Watercolour Representations of the 

Children's Theories about Snowflakes

Where do snowflakes come from?

C.Z.: snowflakes come from the sky. The clouds.
E.L.: The snow clouds.
A.L.: They come from the clouds and I think they come from the North Pole.
M.Y.: When it rains and the air makes the rain so cold then the rain turns into snow.
C.L.: The snow comes at the Winter.
T.K.: When the cold air turns into rain the rain gets so cold it turns into snowflakes then it melts and turns into water.
A.L.: Water.
S.K.: The snow goes up and down and there will be water.
I.G.: Snowflakes come from up to the clouds and when it’s raining so much that’s how the snowflakes it makes.

How might the clouds make snowflakes?

E.L.: little tiny snowflakes in the clouds and when they bump into each other they make bigger snowflakes and when the sky gets darker that means it’s going to snow.
A.L.: they use water and they put it on them and then it’s going to come down from the sky.
S.M.: The water goes up to the clouds and then it snows. The water from the lakes goes into the clouds and the water turns into snow in the clouds and then when it gets heavy and dark it starts to snow.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day

from Room 9!

Friendship Fruit Salad


Secret Valentines:

Making a friendship bracelet for a friend.

A special thank you to parents for helping to make Valentine's Day a special one for the children by sending in fruit for the friendship salad, treats, and cards.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Happy 100th Day!

On Tuesday, February 12th our class celebrated the 100th Day of Kindergarten!

To mark the 100th day of school, the children participated in a few activities related to the number 100.

Necklaces with

100 Froot Loops!

A few of the children even incorporated patterning
as they strung Froot Loops on their yarn.

How many times can you write your name in 100 seconds?


100 Days of Kindergarten Crowns

The children filled 10 strips of paper with 10 stickers, pictures, dots to count to 100!

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Co-Construction of the Alphabet

This alphabet was co-constructed with the children at the beginning of the year. The alphabet has become an important tool for the children as they grow as writers. 

Our goal is to present letters and sounds in a way that is both meaningful and authentic for students.

The Process

We began co-constructing the alphabet 
by introducing each student’s written name and identifying as a whole group the first letter and sound of each child’s name. We wanted students to take ownership of this alphabet because it will encourage them to use it as it is something special they created. 

Each student used watercolour paint to create a unique background for our collaborative alphabet. 

Watercolour painting the background for our alphabet.

Putting the Alphabet together:

"It's like a puzzle and we had to put it together." - T.K.

Building our alphabet by matching the lower case letters
with upper case letters. 

Making it Meaningful

The students discussed the beginning sounds of each other’s names and what letter each photograph should be placed on. Students were able to make many connections during this activity as they have a strong connection to their names and those of their friends. Students were then invited to photograph images in their inside and outside environment to build to their alphabet.

The children taking photographs of objects
found in our classroom.This was followed by a
discussion about letter sounds and where
to place the photographs on our alphabet.

Engage and Explore

We wanted to give our students access 
to all letters and sounds. The co-constructed alphabet is posted at our Graphic Communication center as a resource for students to engage with and further explore.