By Paula Mitchell, Senior Fellow, Agency by Design Oakland & Teacher on Special Assignment at Grass Valley Elementary School, OUSD
How do you spark curiosity? How do you get your learners to understand complexities? How can a teacher use thinking routines to show what’s going on in a child’s mind? What’s the best way to use thinking routines with moderate to severe handicapped students?
These are all questions that Agency by Design Oakland fellows tackled in the Thinking Routines and Capacities inquiry group, which I had the opportunity to facilitate and coach over the past few months. This group, which includes educators from Alliance Academy of Integrated Learning, Lighthouse Charter School, Redwood Heights Elementary, and Oakland International High School, focused on exploring the role of Agency by Design thinking routines in deepening their learners' understanding of academic content and skill building.
More specifically, these fellow focused on the Parts, Purposes, and Complexities thinking routine and the capacity of Exploring Complexity. Below are examples of three of the fellows in my inquiry group and some of the interventions they’ve experimented with in the classroom over the last three months.
To learn more about where these teachers’ inquiries led them and see the other inquiry groups, make sure to come to our Culminating Event on Saturday, May 5. And if you’re new to Agency by Design ideas, don’t miss Amy Dobras’s workshop at the event, “Agency by Design 101: Parts, Purposes, Complexities,” in which participants will be exploring the complexity of everyday objects through a take apart experience, using the PPC thinking routine.