Monday, January 7, 2013

Word, Phrase, Sentence

To all my fellow teachers versed in Visible Thinking routines, I thought I'd sum up today using the routine Word, Phrase, Sentence.   I'm hoping you will be able to appreciate the thought process and excuse the brevity.  

Word:   "Mrs. Jeppson"
 (ok..ok.. so it's two words, but the kids make it sound like one long word. 

I chose this word because I hear it well over one hundred times a day, every day.  I hear it when someone has a question.  I hear it when someone has an answer or an idea.  I hear it when someone needs a Band-aid. I hear it when someone tattles.  I hear it when someone needs help.  I hear it when someone wants to share a story with me.  I hear it when someone is excited, sad, upset, confused, happy, mad, curious, or just plain looking for someone to talk to.

Sometimes, I even hear it in my sleep.

Phrase:   "looks like a turtle"  

This word represents my day at school today because after a rather exhaustive conversation with one of my students about their animal report, specifically the section on observable characteristics, named student could not give me any specifics.  I was trying to get across that the report needed more factual information about what the turtle looks like.  Size, color, nose, webbed feet, etc..   

"Come on [insert student name], after all the reading you've done and great notes you have, surely you can tell me something about what your turtle looks like," I prompted.  "Pretend you are pointing to your turtle in a pond and want me to see it.  What would you tell me to look for?" 

Student looks up at ceiling, pensively.

"Well, I would say, look for the turtle because it looks like a turtle!" explained student.

And, I guess my student has a point.  We do, after all, know what a turtle looks like.

Sentence:  "Oh, now I get it!"

I love hearing this sentence in my classroom, be it a math concept, a writing suggestion, reading comprehension or successfully cracking the code to operate our new microwave.
Often, I hear this after I have worked repeatedly with a student one-on-one in an attempt to help them understand a concept.  Other times, a student will suddenly shout this out (as happened today) when they miraculously make a new connection with information and learning and they want to tell the world.  It's as if a light bulb actually does, in fact, appear in a bubble over their head. 

Upon further thought, if you put the three together you get:

                           Mrs. Jeppson looks like a turtle, oh, now I get it!  

Sums up my day rather well, I think. 



  1. Hahaha! This is sooo funny! I love reading your blog! Thanks for the laugh - I needed it!

  2. You are not alone. I'm working on research projects, too, and have similar depth with some of them. I guess it's true, we WOULD say, "see the turtle over there?" In fact, we may use that for something else, like, "Can you see the rock that's shaped like a turtle?" ;)

  3. I wish I was a student in your class Dianne.

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