Creative Science School

critical thinkers, courageous problem-solvers, compassionate community builders

Site Council Minutes 10/27/16


Attending Members: Brian, Jill, Brandi, Meisha, Racheli, Christi, Rachel

Today’s Meeting: October 27, 2016

Next Meeting: December 1, 2016 from 3:15- 4:45


Site Council Goals:

  1. Make our founding purpose clearer to the larger community

  2. Support staff to continue to develop constructivist practices


Follow-up from last month:

  1. Rachel shared about Mythic Imaginative Education Brainstorming Chart (K-⅔) and Romantic Imaginative Education Brainstorming Chart which are used to vet lesson plans through at Corbett Charter.

  2. Brandi shared the Vision and Mission statement that was created for CSS with Jules and Deb.


Christi shared that their K-2 Professional Learning Community is focused on learning more about the Learning Cycle Model.  Found in the book, “In Search of Understanding: The Case for Constructivist Classrooms, Revised Ed.  Chapter 9: Becoming a Constructivist Teacher.”


Site Council Members Read Chapter 9: Becoming a Constructivist Teacher and summarized their jigsawed sections.


  1. Constructivist teachers encourage and accept students' autonomy and initiative

    1. Students have the autonomy to explore and question their surroundings. They can be the problem solvers and are able to engage more in their own understanding and education.  

    2. Students asking questions and solving problems allows them to make connections between ideas and concepts.

  2. Constructivist teachers use raw data and primary sources, along with manipulative, interactive, and physical materials.

    1. Students can use these materials and resources in the context of a good question.

    2. Brandi related it to storyline.

  3. When framing tasks, constructivist teachers use cognitive terminology such as “classify,” “analyze,” “predict,” and “create.”

    1. “The words we hear and use in our everyday lives affect our way of thinking and ultimately, our actions.”

    2. “Framing tasks around analyzing, interpreting, predicting and synthesizing are mental activities that require students to make connections, delve deeply into texts and contexts, and create new understandings.”

    3. Common language and frame tasks, “What is the problem you are asking them (students) to solve.”  

  4. Constructivist teachers allow students' responses to drive lessons, shift instructional strategies, and alter content.

    1. Teachers building the capacity to be attuned and flexible when it is necessary.

    2. Experience with the scientific method, starting with their own interest, or teachers create a compelling situation.

  5. Constructivist teachers inquire about students’ understanding of concepts before sharing their own understandings of those concepts.

  6. Constructivist teachers encourage students to engage in dialogue, both with teacher and with one another.

    1. Encouraging dialogue between students.

  7. Constructivist teachers encourage students' inquiry by asking thoughtful, open-ended questions and encouraging students to ask questions and to ask questions of each other.

    1. Inquiry-based questions

    2. Students as experts

  8. Constructivist teachers seek elaboration of students’ initial responses.

    1. Understanding students' misconceptions

    2. Listening to students' explanations and understanding

  9. Constructivist teachers engage students in experiences that might engender contradictions to their initial hypotheses and then encourage discussion.

    1. Challenging their present conceptions by questioning

    2. Allow for process time

  10. Constructivist teachers allow wait time after posing questions.

    1. Learning that children process the world in different ways, allowing the wait time. Orchestrate dialogue.

  11. Constructivist teachers provide time for students to construct relationships and create metaphors.

    1. Provide time for discovery

    2. Teachers structure and mediate discovery and provide materials in order to explore.

    3. Metaphors can be a strong way to frame your thinking.

  12. Constructivist teachers nurture students’ natural curiosity through frequent use of the learning cycle model.

    1. Discovery

    2. Concept introduction - provide vocabulary to talk about parts

    3. Concept application


How does this work for reading and math?  Where is the discovery in handwriting?


For next time:

  1. Determine meeting dates

  2. Group descriptors into similar categories to determine how to share about constructivism.