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  • Writer's pictureSqueaky Boots

What does a Chattanooga summer camp have to do with Harvard Graduate School of Education?


Making Thinking Visible

At Squeaky Boots, we are committed to providing children with a fun and educational experience that will stick with them for a lifetime. We use Harvard's Project Zero visible thinking framework during our guided hiking and backpacking programs. Whether adventuring with Squeaky Boots LLC or at home, our curriculum is designed for children to self-explore and to make their thinking visible.

"Visible Thinking is a flexible and systematic research-based conceptual framework, which aims to integrate the development of students' thinking with content learning across subject matters.
Visible Thinking began as an initiative to develop a research-based approach to teaching thinking dispositions. The approach emphasized three core practices: thinking routines, the documentation of student thinking, and reflective professional practice. It was originally developed at Lemshaga Akademi in Sweden as part of the Innovating with Intelligence project, and focused on developing students' thinking dispositions in such areas as truth-seeking, understanding, fairness, and imagination. It has since expanded its focus to include an emphasis on thinking through art and the role of cultural forces and has informed the development of other Project Zero Visible Thinking initiatives, including Artful Thinking, and Cultures of Thinking."

Visible thinking. Visible Thinking | Project Zero. (n.d.). Retrieved March 13, 2023, from

Why bring visible thinking to the forest?

By incorporating "Making Thinking Visible" (MTV) routines with guided outdoor exploration, Squeaky Boots LLC's youth hiking camps provide children with a variety of learning opportunities and skills to add to their personal toolboxes.

  • Encourage Observation and Inquiry: Outdoor hiking and adventure activities provide children with opportunities to explore and observe the natural world. Incorporating MTV strategies can encourage children to ask questions, make connections, and reflect on their observations; which can enhance their learning experience.

  • Develop Critical Thinking and Problem-Solving Skills: Our camp agendas often involve challenging, problem-solving activities. By using MTV routines, children can develop their critical thinking skills and become better problem-solvers.

  • Foster Collaboration and Communication: Our summer camp curriculum often involves group activities, which can help children develop their collaboration and communication skills. Some of the visible thinking tools we use, provide opportunities for collaboration and communication.

  • Enhance Metacognitive Awareness: The visible thinking framework can help children become more aware of their own thinking processes and develop metacognitive skills. This can enhance the learning experience by helping them become more effective and reflective learners.

  • Support Social-Emotional Development: Our outdoor program is designed to support children's social-emotional development by providing opportunities for self-discovery, personal growth, and social connections. "Making Thinking Visible" routines can support this process by encouraging children to reflect on their own emotions, thoughts, and perspectives, and to respect those of others.


Cultivating a Future of Responsible Adventurers

We are excited to incorporate visible thinking into our curriculum at Squeaky Boots LLC's youth summer Camp. It is our hope that by using this framework, our campers will develop essential cognitive, social, and emotional skills that will serve them in their everyday lives, on and off the trail. These skills will help them grow into responsible humans who care for our natural habitats while enjoying a life filled with adventure.

As we begin this outdoor educational journey in Chattanooga, Tennessee; we challenge you to join us in your hometown to care for our trail systems, while fostering a love for the forest!

Happy Trails,

The Squeaky Boots Summer Camp Team


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