A Parent's View


By Stephanie Pullman (IVA parent) and Chloe Pullman (IVA 6th grader)

From Stephanie ... 

My daughter, Chloe is currently in sixth grade at IVA. One of the many great things about her being at IVA is that it has opened up a whole new way for us to communicate with each other. We talk about the virtues, about advisory and all the activities that she is engaged in. I also help her with some of her home-thinking assignments, which also provide us with many topics to ponder together.

I am a teacher in an Upper Elementary Montessori classroom. I asked Chloe if she wanted to come to work with me on the most recent Faculty Academy day. She loves coming back to see her classmates from pre-school and kindergarten. She expressed interest in what I was going to do that day and if she could help me. I told her that I teach art on Fridays and we were going to begin studying the artist, Jackson Pollock. I asked her how she thought I should introduce him to the students. She suggested the thinking routine See-Think-Wonder. I was familiar with the routine because Ms. Denis demonstrated it at one of the parent nights. Before the lesson, I consulted Ms. Denis and the book Making Thinking Visible. Chloe wrote up some notes cards to tell my students where she goes to school now, about the virtues and how thinking routines are used to help guide students through the learning process.

My students were so intrigued by the process and extremely engaged. My teaching partner kept looking at me in disbelief at the inspired observations the children shared. Chloe told us that it was really important to not mix up the ideas of seeing and thinking. It was such a great tip and showed me how much she has internalized the process.

Thank you IVA for showing me how to create deeper thinking in my classroom and bringing me closer to my daughter!

From Chloe ...

See-Think-Wonder is one of my favorite thinking routines! This routine requires autonomy, open mindedness, tenacity and curiosity. All the virtues are incorporated in every thinking routine. When I heard that my mom was teaching her class about Jackson Pollock I thought of this routine right away because we do it all the time in art when we are looking at paintings. My mom was very happy with the idea that I had in mind and the results turned out very well. This routine got the students thinking about the paintings in a whole new way. One student had the idea that she saw a kitchen and one thought they saw a cat! I saw how many different ways you can see things and hearing what they all had to say was very interesting. I was so impressed by the effort that all the students put in to thinking and seeing and wondering about the paintings. There was a sort of pattern that I saw in these students. When one student had an idea that the others had not thought of, they would look at the painting very closely until they saw it themselves. I think that is very important because seeing and thinking and wondering about other people’s ideas is what really got me happy!