Tagged: Student Agency

Design Thinking

Design thinking. What is it? A quick google gives an endless number of “design cycles”. But which one is correct? Which is the best for student learning? After looking through a few of them, it is clear that there are many similarities between them; however, there is still an overwhelming number of variations. 

Design Thinking in Action

We have just completed a unit in my Grade 5 community that leant itself nicely to the use of design thinking. In this How the world works unit, students work collaboratively as “engineers” to construct their understanding of simple machines and the ways in which we use creative thinking to solve problems.

Throughout this unit students work together to in a series of design tasks (described in greater detail below). We thought that this was a authentic way to introduce students to a design cycle. This was an opportunity for a natural connection to our previous unit where we explored the idea of a creative process.


65 students. 4 teachers. 1 flexible learning environment.

Collaboration is my reality. Day in and day out. We plan collaboratively. We teach collaboratively. So developing these skills in our students has become a huge focus of ours over the years.

Going into this year, as a team of 4 teachers, we were feeling a little underwhelmed. For three of us, this was our fourth year working together in a collaborative teaching model, and our third year in the space. We knew we wanted to change things up a bit. 

We are lucky to have a beautifully designed learning environment – designed by FNI and completed in August 2017. When finished, the designers put everything where they felt it was supposed to be, and it has just sort of stayed “in its spot” since then. 

So, to start this year…we did this…