This one’s from the world of composting (and a WITI by Cass Marketos).
In order to make your compost good, you need to be able to get to know it. What do you see? What do you smell? Is the pile crumbly and dry? Is it slimy? These simple and observable features will help you make small adjustments, over time, to what you add and when you turn so that you can work your way toward an ideal pile.
I’ve been thinking about this one a lot lately because I’ve been observing classrooms (5 – 8 per week), and I’ve been reminded of the power of getting out from behind my desk (or laptop). The simplest sensory data tells me much of what I need to know about what’s happening in my school and what small adjustments might be necessary, over time.