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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

More! Better! Faster! Teaching is an art as teachers are pulled different ways. What skills can help? Systems Thinking and Dynamic Modeling provide tools to help us succeed. The CLE Conference is an opportunity to explore what is possible with ST/DM tools for K-12 systems education.

Join us for another instructional and educational conference as we explore effective methods of improving learning. System dynamics and systems thinking provide strategies and methodology to explore complexity, connections and change over time. This conference will provide attendees with examples, vignettes, and materials to help educators further learning using systems thinking.Register here.

The CLE is currently taking applications to present at the 2016 CLE Conference. Become a 2016 CLE Conference Presenter today!


DynamiQueST: A showcase of student projects

DynamiQueST 2016

March 11, 2016
Salisbury Labs at WPI
Worcester, Massachusetts.

DynamiQueST is a showcase of student projects that utilize critical thinking skills to analyze complex dynamic systems in a relaxed environment, free from "winner/loser" constraints. At this event, students are coached on their projects by experts in the systems field, teachers, and other students, in a helpful and supportive manner. It also permits teachers from different schools to see evidence of other student work.

Download the 2016 DynamiqueST brochure.

Learn more about DynamiQueST. 

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

Systems Tools to Enhance Literacy
by Lees Stuntz


For those who have used systems tools in classrooms, their power to help students of all ages and abilities clarify thinking and communicate it to others doesn’t come as a surprise. Many educators employ these tools to learn how much their students understand and what their mental models are about literature or other reading materials, depending on them for on-going formative assessment. Systems tools as constructs to help students write cohesively are extremely helpful. The resources to guide teachers in learning and practicing the use of systems tools in literacy are readily available. There are many examples of curriculum on the CLE website for free download; we have highlighted a few of them in this article to encourage you to delve further into our library.


Read more in The Exchange volume 25.1

Living Lands – Forest and Town
Multi-player simulation created by Jen Andersen, Anne LaVigne, Conrad Stuntz, and Lees Stuntz, with support from the Austin Family Foundation.


This lesson with multi-user simulation explores the management of a national forest and its surrounding towns. Student teams make decisions for a local town or for the surrounding forest that has a large level of accumulated fuel. The decisions of individual teams impact all other teams. Damage from potentially catastrophic fires looms, and students must try to manage the situation to protect the area, both now and into the future. An introduction video describes this free simulation with information on how to get started with your students.


Read more in The Exchange volume 24.4


More simulations at the CLE


Download the most recent copy of The Exchange vol 25.1


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