Making Thinking Visible: Using Thinking Routines in the Classroom. Maria McCoy [email protected] Three Ways to Look at Thinking Routines Simple Tools, used in one’s learning to support specific thinking moves . Structures and scaffolds through which we explore, discuss, document, and
Identifying Classroomthe Thinking We Value
• Generating ideas • Analyzing
• Reasoning with evidence • Making connections
• Summarizing • Interpreting & forming • Posing questions conjectures about things
• Observing closely • Identifying and exploring • Building explanations multiple perspectives
• Synthesizing information • Looking below the
• Predicting surface of things
• Evaluating • Looking for patterns
• Visualizing • Clarifying
...and so on.
Looking at an image or object:
Look closely at the small bit of image that is revealed:
Reveal More of the Image
Repeat the Reveal and Questioning Until the Whole Image Has Been Revealed
Looking at the topic or question written on the chart paper:
Think of the big ideas and important themes in what you have been learning.
Identify the different perspectives that could be present in or affected by what you have just read, seen, or heard. Record these in a circle with the issue or event at the center. Choose one of these perspectives to explore further, using the following prompts as a starting place:
Have great expectations. Students surprise us daily with their connections, ideas, and the multiple languages they use to make their thinking visible.
2. Do the routines pretty much as is initially. It may feel
uncomfortable but wait to see what you learn from
using them before adapting them.
3. Match the routines with topics and projects that are
significant to students. The routines aren’t the content,
they are vehicles for exploring the content.
4. Model the language for younger and less language able
students. Build up the language over time and by
modeling your own thinking.
5. Use the language of thinking as often as you can. Name
children’s actions like “you made a connection” or “I
find your point of view very interesting,” and so on.
6. Document students’ thinking. It send a clear message of
how much we value students, their thoughts, and work;
and it allows revisiting, reflecting on and re-enforcing
the topics later.
7. Give yourself permission to be a learner and
experiment with the routines in a variety of ways.
8. Understand this is a process that takes time. Be patient,
consistent and a risk taker.
9. Focus on the thinking you want to promote and why it
is important. This will help you attend to students‘
thinking as it emerges.
10. Include parents in the process, they are your allies and
it is amazing how they become the first advocates for
the use of thinking language at home.
“At the core of Visible Thinking are practices that help make thinking visible: Thinking Routines loosely guide learners’ thought processes and encourage active processing. They are short, easy-to-learn mini-strategies that extend and deepen students’ thinking and become part of the fabric of everyday classroom life.”