MVIFI Transformational Design Kit cards feedback Baker-Butler Elementary School (Charlottesville, VA) -Steve Saunders, Principal

A guest blog post by Steve Saunders, Principal at Baker-Butler Elementary in Charlottesville, VA


We are a public elementary school with 649 students in grades K-5. In June seven of our teachers attended fuse17. Those teachers who attended fuse17 used the TDT cards along with the MVIFI playbook this fall in several design challenges.

Here are a couple of examples with pictures and feedback from our team.

Name: Beth Roesch

Feedback: Dot Voting helped us narrow our focus, Party Pooper gave us perspective on idea creation, 100 Ideas in 3 Minutes helped us generate ideas, Interview Questions increased our empathy, I Like, I Wish, I Wonder helped focus students’ feedback

Picture(s) to share:





(Part of 100  Ideas in 3 Minutes)


Name:Ashley Wright

Feedback: I used the following cards:

  1. Dot voting- this was very beneficial when we needed to narrow down ideas and we couldnt seem to find a way. The students loved this straight forward way and it felt less “personal” when the dots werent on the one they wanted, they accepted it and we moved on.

Picture(s) to share :

  1. We used party pooper to get ideas generated and think BIG. The kids loved it and we will play it again for sure during the beginning of our next design thinking challenge.
  1. Call the play/Bend reality- I used a combination of these two to play prop game before our first prototyping activity. It got students thinking about how to prototype with materials and in what ways things could be used. Surprisingly, my students were not natural prototypers and really needed this type of activity.
  1. What’d ya hear/Interview questions- we used a combined activity of interviewing the user when we needed to revisit the empathy and purpose of our project. This made a huge impression and really helped us refocus and find our purpose.
  1. I used the start with questions and the MVIFI playbook together to begin and focus our mission.

Feedback: I loved the cards and the students were interested in them too. I wished there were even more of certain things I had seen at FUSE 2017. For instance, I began wishing the cards were color coded in some way to give a suggestion of when in the process they would be helpful. I realize this would be a soft suggestion as the DEEPT process can move forwards and back as needed and no part of the process ever really ends. Having a suggestion for when an activity, “ice breaker”, brainstorm might be best would be awesome. Also, since the students were interested in the cards themselves and I hyped it up to get them involved I would act as though I were reading the cards, almost like a set of directions or intro to an activity to hook them. This worked great and they immediately were excited each time they saw me take the cards out after our first activity using them. However, the cards are worded for adults to help an adult/leader begin an activity so I was paraphrasing, re-wording and most making it up while “reading” the card to the class. It would be awesome if behind each card was a second card worded in student language that you could read to the students to explain the activity and get them hooked. On the back of each card could be an authentic picture of students doing the activity. I have many more pictures- let me know if need some more.


Name: Lisa Harman & Nancy Williams

[From Steve: These two teachers combined to do a great DT challenge to help our severe/profound special education students feel more welcome, respected, and happy at our public school. The students interviewed the special education teacher, Mr. Spellman, about his students and did a DEEPdt challenge with all 4 phases. The project culminated in a very moving presentation where the students presented the objects they designed to their new friends in the special education class. I can’t show some of the pictures out of respect of confidentiality, but this challenge and presentation was an exceptionally moving experience for all involved. ]

Feedback: We used the MoVe man to help our students debrief after their meeting with Mr. Spellman. We actually used a hand drawn version so we had more space for Post-its. We referred to this image and the collected Post-its throughout the process, sometimes reorganizing posts to help form working groups.

Feedback: I created a second grade version of the: i like… i wish… i wonder card. We used this for Mr. Spellman to give feedback to each of the design groups on their final design sketch prior to creating their products.

Picture(s) to share on the web if possible:

Feedback sheet

Design conference with Mr. Spellman


Some of the completed projects ready to present to Mr. Spellman’s students (Among the many things that they created were a blanket for student who is often cold and who loves cars with sensory items on the edge of the blanket; a homemade train set using tongue depressors for a student who loves trains so he can play with others at recess).


Name: Janice Eiden

Feedback: Students worked in groups to collect data from other classrooms and create graphs to share the data. Each group used Four Corners to provide feedback about the graphs to each of the other groups. Then groups read the feedback that was offered and were given an opportunity to discuss the feedback and make changes to their work that they thought was needed. The students were very engaged and provided valuable the feedback! Each group followed up by making some changes in their work. I am convinced that the feedback they received from each other helped increase their understanding about creating graphs more than any feedback I could have provided!

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