Monday, August 9, 2010

Habits of Mind

One of the cornerstones of project based learning is for students to develop strong 
 "Habits of Mind" 
The Muscatine Community School District is largely basing its PBL practices on the High Tech High model. The most common set of HTH Habits of Mind are: Significance, Perspective, Evidence, Connection and Supposition. This set of habits conveniently forms the somewhat descriptive acronym, "SPECS." Upon considering this set of mental habits, I noticed that inquiry was not among them so we added that and modified the acronym to "iSPECS."  After all, asking one's own questions is about as personal as it gets. 

I have decided that one of my early lessons for connecting our students to these ideas will be for them to use the AutoMotivator poster generator to link the habit to an image. This activity will introduce information and digital literacy skills as well. I decided to make a set of my own posters to determine the difficulty of the task and to have a model set on display in the classroom. Here is what I came up with:

This task was more difficult than I thought it would be. Maybe I am not very imaginative, but it wasn't easy finding images that portrayed the meaning of these words. So I cheated, sort of. I decided to place Penelope, dressed as Sherlock Holmes, in settings and animations that illustrated what was in my mind's eye.
To me, Sherlock is the quintessential thinker. 

I hope my set of images delivers a decent model of the lesson to my students. I really don't envy them having to use stock images, but I don't think we have time to personalize with their own digital photos. However, I imagine my students will surprise and delight me as they usually do when I am able to hand over the creative reins. Their insight and imaginations never cease to thrill me. It's the best part of my job. 

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