Thinking @ ISLux

Zoom in

October 20th, 2016  |  Published in Resources, Thinking Rountines  |  2 Comments

We live in a world of selfies and hyperconnectivity. Where everything and anything is available at the click of a button.

How many of us slow down and take a long look at things? Do we really examine the smallest details of a subject?

Zoom in. 

Created using Typorama CC J.Bevans

Created using Typorama CC J.Bevans

Paul Salopek is currently on a 7 year walk around the world as part of the Out of Eden Project.  He is slowing down. The project is encouraging children to join him on his slow walk to slow down in their own environment through Out of Eden Learn. Look up, Look down, look at the smallest details of a subject.

The reason why I mention this is because of a thinking routine that I tried with my class for the first time a couple of weeks ago.

Zoom in.

Photo Credit: Logos Photography Flickr via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: Logos Photography Flickr via Compfight cc

Our unit of Inquiry is Wellbeing. As a class we been discovering cleanliness, particularly how, why and when to wash our hands. Working with 5-6 Year olds it is sometimes difficult to get them to see behind what they they can actually see ( inference). So I thought about an image of hands with cartoon germs on as way to begin the conversation. What do you see? What might be happening? 

I decided to cover the image with coloured squares which would mean I could show the progress in the conversation as more of the image was shown to the children. This turned out to be a useful idea because it clearly showed the conversation being built on. It also allowed me to see the children’s current thinking and guided me to the next steps in our inquiry.

Rather than use this thinking routine as a whole class I decided to use it 3 times with 6 children so that the children had more of a voice during the thinking routine.

Underneath is the presentation that was shared with the children and also the “conversations” as they progressed (please excuse my handwriting – it’s hard to record their ideas in the time so they don’t lose momentum!)


J.Bevans CC

J.Bevans CC

J.Bevans CC

J.Bevans CC

J.Bevans CC

It wasn’t perfect, but slowing down and allowing children time to look closely and think about what might be happening really allowed for the children’s thinking to be shared with each other. It is certainly a Thinking Routine I will return to in the classroom as a way of documenting the children’s inferences.

Have you tried Zoom in?

Join in the conversation.


  1. nora vermeulin says:

    December 15th, 2016at 12:22 pm(#)

    Hi Joel,

    As you know, your post about Zoom in routine inspired me and after trying it during the UN week with a powerful picture, I decided to use it combined with a See, think Wonder routine as a tuning in activity for a new grade 4 unit.
    Our unit being about the power of words and pictures on posters, I chose a provocative picture that was covered in 3 parts. Each time we uncovered the picture, we did the See, think, wonder routine.
    It was really interesting to see the connections the students made between the text and the picture and more importantly, to witness the new thinking that was happening when the students discovered the entire poster. This routine enabled the students to start deep reflections and ongoing discussions.
    Zoom in is definitely one of my favorite routine and is interesting to use with different material.

    Here is the link of the picture:
    link to

    So a big thank you for sharing your practices!


  2. Joel Bevans says:

    December 17th, 2016at 12:13 pm(#)

    Hi Nora,
    Thanks for your comments. That’s awesome that you are trying out these routines in your classroom and also in shared areas ( during UN week). I love how you are using these routines in French – it will be so beneficial for the students to be able to think like this in both English and French.
    I am particularly interested in the combination of routines within routines- See think wonder in a zoom in is a brilliant idea.
    I find that the more I practice the routines I feel more comfortable using them in tandem with other routines and at specific times.
    I suppose that is the teachers learning how to use these routines effectively for the benefit of student learning.
    Thanks for giving us an insight into your classroom. I would love to be a stundent learning French in your class.
    Thanks again,

Leave a Response