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Working to develop Systems Citizens in K-12 Education

CLE Conference: Continue the Learning Journey

CLE Conference

Systems Thinking & Dynamic Modeling
Conference for K-12 Education
Continue the Learning Journey

June 25 – June 27, 2016
Babson Executive Conference Center
Wellesley, Massachusetts

The 2016 CLE Conference keynotes and invited workshops where run by John Sterman, Peter Hovmand, David Wheat, Tracy Benson, Brad Morrison,and Rebecca Niles. Learn more...

2016 Conference Documents & Details

2016 Conference Program PDF

Conference Information - Handouts, Surveys, etc.

New Curriculum Guide: Models? Zombie Chickens? What could go wrong here? Learn about modeling in a fun an engaging way with a new guide from the CLE. Model Mysteries



Making Thinking Visible: Stocks and Flows

Stocks and Flows are the basic building blocks of system dynamics models. Using stocks and flows allows people to conceptualize both concrete and abstract concepts. A stock is an accumulation (trees in the forest, happiness of a child, water in the bathtub). A flow changes a stock over time. An inflow adds to the stock while an outflow subtracts with the stock. Like Behavior over Time Graphs, stocks and flows look at how a system changes over time, but they also represent interdependencies in a system.


Making Thinking Visible: Behavior over Time Graphs

A Behavior over Time Graph (or BoTG) is a simple line graph that shows a pattern of change over time – it shows how something increases and decreases as time passes. This foundational Systems Tool is instrumental in modeling and understanding many systems. By teaching how to create, use, and understand BoTGs teachers can help students understand concepts (simple and complex) in a more complete and robust way. The following five articles and curriculum provide a gateway to using this powerful tool in the classroom.

Everyday Behavior Over Time Graphs
by Gene Stamel, & Debra Lyneis
An introduction to BoTGs, their usage, and design.

Three Things to Remember About Behavior-over-Time Graphs
by Alan Ticotsky
BOTGs are designed to represent our thinking. All BOTG graphs allow our 'mental models' to take a visual form so we can share them, or analyze them ourselves. Alan Ticotsky presents three insights which will help utilize BOTGs effectively.

Graphing the Friendship Game: A Preliminary System Dynamics Lesson
by Alan Ticotsky & Debra Lyneis
An introductory graphing lesson for students in grades K, 1 and 2, adding graphing to the systems tools used and systems concepts learned in the game.

Drawing and Reading Behavior over Time Graphs: Four Math Lessons to Build Graphing Skills
Rob Quaden & Debra Lyneis
A series of exercises where students learn how to read and interpret graphs, to draw graphs to specify their ideas and explain them to others, and develop the skills of thinking and communicating in terms of graphs.

Tuck Everlasting: System Dynamics, Literature, and Living Forever
Carolyn Platt, Rob Quaden, & Debra Lyneis
In this lesson, students use system dynamics tools to explore themes in the novel "Tuck Everlasting," by Natalie Babbitt. Students use behavior over time graphs and a simple system dynamics computer model to discuss their opinions on the story's major themes.


Playground Ups and Downs


Complex systems are all around us...

More videos | More Complex Systems





Recent Newsletter Articles

Building the Behind Closed Gates Model
By Anne LaVigne with support from the CLE and the Gordon Brown Fund

Behind Closed Gates: Power and Control

The Behind Closed Gates   simulation/model is loosely based on an experiment conducted at Stanford University in 1971. The psychologist who designed that experiment, Phillip Zimbardo, wanted to see how typical people would act if they were asked to take on roles of prisoners and guards.

The experiment and model are certainly about a prison environment, but they are also relevant to many other similar scenarios. The experiment is frequently referenced when trying to understand current and historic situations involving power and control.

Now you can build most of the underlying model and explore questions and situations beyond those presented in the simulation.

Read more in The Exchange

Among the Hidden: Connection Circles

Among the Hidden
by Gail Falewicz

Gail Falewicz has inherited the Critical Thinking and Reading (CTR) class from Mairéad Orpen. (See The Creative Learning Exchange, vol. 22, no. 1, Winter 2013.) As the CTR teacher, Gail teaches every 5th grade student at Innovation Academy Charter School (IACS), a public charter school, in Tyngsboro, MA. Here is her summary of the class structure and a report of a unit she taught based on the novel Among the Hidden by Margaret Peterson Haddix.

The purpose and scope of CTR can be summarized into three goal areas:

  • improve reading and comprehension skills
  • develop critical thinking and problem solving skills
  • promote the school’s four outcomes—Community Membership, Effective Communication, Problem Solving, and Self-Direction through whole class, small group and partner work

These goals are pursued through an academic curriculum that supports students across content areas.

Read more in The Exchange


Download the most recent copy of The Exchange vol 25.2


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