Friday, January 14, 2011
Think + Snow
Teaching often involves trying to engage students' deeper thinking, or Higher Order Thinking skills. This means going beyond restating or memorizing facts and teaching or questioning to promote an increased level of thinking processes.
The current library bulletin board in the hallway features some information on Wilson Bentley, better known as "Snowflake" Bentley. A Caldecott-winning book, Snowflake Bentley, was written by Jacqueline Briggs Martin and illustrated by Mary Azarian a few years ago; it's still a favorite. The display shows copies of the snowflake photographs made over 100 years ago by Bentley, a remarkable farmer-naturalist who changed the way the world looked at snowflakes. The library display also has newer photos taken more recently and displayed on the website, www.snowcrystals.com.
The first photo is a closer look at part of the display with a question that may encourage deeper thinking. Comparing and contrasting are skills designed to engage thinking. Have a close look at the magnification of the penny and it will help you realize the size of an individual snowflake (the blue insert). I don't know if I even want to think about how many we shoveled at our house this week!
BTW, the official Snowflake Bentley website is a great place to spend some time. Have a look at
www.snowflakebentley.com and enjoy!