Project Zero Classroom 2014

Study Group Community

Welcome to Study Group L!

This is our community space. You'll find lots of resources and photos of Project Zero activities and ideas. Throughout this week, documentation of our thinking and our journey together will appear here. All are invited to add comments below!

Monday night's thinking assignment

Think about the questions you brought with you to this institute... What are the issues or concerns that keep you up at night? What are the puzzles that keep coming back and back no matter how many times you think you've already dealt with them? What are the questions you're most curious about? The ones you most want to be able to respond to.
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Overheard at Study Group L (relative verbatim)...

"I'm a risk taker!"

"It's a magical time and I'm grateful for this amazing opportunity."

"I feel privileged to be part of a school community that supports this."

"I see bends and twists - reminds me of my journey as a teacher."

"We all have a common link in this experience we are having together."

Naming of the parts:

"Are you googling rifles?"

"Is this clear enough?"

"Can we have our arrows pop a little bit?"

"We should try it!"

"Bees are easy."

"I wonder if they'll have any idea what we're doing..."


"Oh yeah...great job!"

"I like to play kick ball because I'm best at that..."

"How can we empower others when we return to school."

"We've had a little taster of people's ideas."

"I want to make sure that the children of the future has something valuable to learn from the students I have today."

It's Wednesday....

"What day is this?"

"Wait! What day is this?!"

"I need a pocket."

"I'm using connect extend challenge and making an extension on the challenge..."


The Brain Dance

The Brain Dance

Breathe – deeply in through nose and out through mouth, using hands to pull breaths in and push them out

Tactile – massage face with fingers, rub cheeks, under eyes, forehead , pitter pat on head, rub earlobes, pitter pat and squeeze shoulders, arms, body, back, hips, legs, knees, and back up, then brush it all off

Core-distal – squishing up around the belly button, and then stretching way out, grow and shrink

Head Tail – notice bottom of spine, try to curve your head down to meet it, do the same side to side, make the spine wiggly like a rubber band and let it wiggle from the bottom all the way and out the top of your head

Upper Lower – bottom half is still, roll shoulders, swing arms, twist the top half and let arms flap, let your whole top half flap like a scarf in the wind, then do the same with just the bottom half, bend knees, circle ankles, wave legs to the sides

Eye tracking – still the body, hold thumb to one side and slowly move it side to side following it with your eyes, then move your thumb up and down

Body side – still left side, move and swing and flap right legs and arms, then still right side and flap left legs and arms

Cross lateral – move right hand and left leg, stick them out to the side, cross arm and leg towards each other and tap them, circle them, then switch sides

Vestibular – spin slowly to the right (or turn head side to side and up and down) then jump in place 2 or 3 times, then spin slowly to the left and jump in place 2 or 3 times

Breathe – deeply in through nose and out through mouth, using hands to pull breaths in and push them out

*Created by Anne Green Gilbert

Does anyone have any idea what we're talking about?!

Our definitions from a variety of PZ sources, paraphrased, expanded, edited to hopefully be user friendly....

Protocol - Protocols are a framework that allows a group to have a structured conversation. Can be used for a variety of outcomes, thinking, searching, resolving, prompting questions.

Strand - Project Zero strands are the four "big ideas" that each of the PZ research projects falls under. For example, the thinking routines of the Visible Thinking project fall under the Making Thinking and Learning Visible Strand.

Thinking Routines - Thinking routines are used as frameworks to help students articulate, develop, and deepen their thinking (observe, analyze, differing viewpoints, compare, connect, and more).

"simple structures(...) designed to promote students' thinking, such as asking students what they know, what they want to know, and what they have learned as part of a unit of study." (PZ)

Throughlines: Throughlines describe the most important understandings that students should develop during an entire course. (Teaching for Understanding, TfU)

Understanding - Understanding (performances of understanding) is the capacity to use ideas flexibly and in novel contexts. (PZ)

Can students take the material and ideas that they are learning and demonstrate understanding of them in a new and deepening way?

Understanding Goals - Understanding goals are goals that identify and name the concepts, processes, and skills about which teachers want students to develop understanding. (PZ)

Meet your Study Group Leader!

Shehla Ghouse is currently the Director of Curriculum and Deputy Head at the British International School of New York. In her current role she incorporates many Project Zero ideas and uses them as a lens to examine teaching and learning. Over the years she has taught many grade levels from nursery to grade 5 and has been actively involved in using the International Baccalaureate Primary and Middle Years programs at different schools. She has been involved with Project Zero since 1997. She has been a study group leader at the summer institutes for the last thirteen years and has coached in three WIDE World online courses, Teaching for Understanding 1 and 2 and Making Thinking Visible. She has presented at various PZ conferences in Europe and in the U.S. Each time she has found it an invigorating experience working with teachers who are reflective about their practice and who want to refine the work they do to teach for understanding.

Meet your Fellow!

Denise Coffin teaches kindergarten at Sidwell Friends School in Washington, DC. She has been using Artful/Visible Thinking Routines and ideas in her classroom for the past five years. She has been a presenter/exhibitor at several Looking at Student/Teacher Thinking exhibitions in Washington, DC, and has led a teacher workshop on Articulation, Documentation and Reflection at the PZ Perspectives 2014 conference in Memphis, TN. Over the past six years, she has led workshops on using iPads as an educational tool for students and elementary teachers. Denise has been a member of DC-Project Zero (teachers in the DC area sharing Project Zero practices) since its inception.