Monday, June 27, 2016

Making Thinking Visible - Chapter 3

This chapter was really short, but pretty powerful.  A lot of this chapter was an introduction to the structure of the thinking routines as well as how to use them effectively when planning lessons.

Here are my notes and quotes from Chapter 3 with my thoughts in italics:

  • We must first identify what kind of thinking we are trying to elicit from our students and then select the particular thinking routine as the tool for that job.  **This reminds me of a discussion hubby and I have had many times.  He is in IT and often laments how people will try to force a solution to fit a specific problem instead of choosing the best solution for the problem.  We see this in education as well.  Just because something is the new and shiny thing doesn't mean that it's the be-all-end-all for every single situation.  Identify the problem, then choose the best routine for that particular situation.
  • Thinking routines should be useful to both students and teachers to explore thinking, not just a fun activity for student engagement.  **I think this is a potential pitfall that I need to avoid.  I need to be very intentional with my use of thinking routines and not just use them as fun activities.  
  • When doing a concept map, consider using the "generate-sort-connect-elaborate" structure, but don't forget the "sort" part... that's a key element that is often left out!  **I've used concept maps several times, but never thought about the missing "sort".  Next time I do a concept map, I'm thinking of giving each student at the table a different color to generate their thoughts and cut them apart.  Then, as a group, share and sort their papers and glue them down to the map and making connections.  With the different colors, each student is held accountable as a participant, but still there's group accountability as well.  Finally, follow up with the elaborate with an individual quick write.
  • When trying out and planning routines, realize that each step is meant to build on and extend the thinking of the previous step.  When planning, think about what student responses could be and how to make connections between steps. **Again, be intentional!  I think it's really important to think about the student responses, to anticipate how students might make connections and how to guide them as necessary.
  • An instructional strategy may be used only on occasion, but routines become part of the fabric of the classroom through repeated use.  
  • Learning is not a process of absorbing others' ideas, thoughts, or practices but involves uncovering one's own ideas, connecting new ideas to one's own thinking.  **What a great definition of learning!

No comments: