Giving Students Opportunities to Hold Their Thinking Builds Tracks in the Snow: Part 1

Have you read that great book by Wong Herbert Lee, Tracks in the Snow? It’s a sweet story about a girl who follows her tracks in the snow, only to realize that the tracks she was following were her own from the day before. Just like the girl’s tracks led her to the place she wanted to go (home), when kiddos’ create tracks in the snow, it can lead them to great places.

What are examples of kiddos’ tracks in the snow? That’s simple because it’s anything kids write, talk about, make, create, design, or do. When they write, talk about, make, create, design, and do something, they are creating evidence of their thinking—tracks in the snow!

While kiddos ultimately should have a voice and choice in how they show their thinking, sometimes giving them structures to get their ideas off the ground can be beneficial. Take a look at this example.

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If you are interested in seeing a few more, here are a few more response stems that you could consider using during your workshop time. You could also use these as Exit Tickets if that is a structure that you harness in your classroom.

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A great way to lift students' thinking is to model/show them how to use these types of responses through a shared text or read aloud experience. Co-constructing a few together will have big payoffs as students work independently. If you are interested, . And, if they don’t meet your students’ needs, please revise them!

For more, check out Chapter 4 in What Are You Grouping For? How to Guide Small Groups Based on Readers—Not the Book.