Friday, July 1, 2016

Making Thinking Visible - Chapter 4A

Starting with Chapter 4, we start getting into the details of the thinking routines.  For more information on the thinking routines, see the Project Zero website or Think from the Middle.  I've linked the specific routines below.

Here are my notes and random thoughts for the first four thinking routines from Chapter 4

General Thoughts:

  • I liked the examples for each routine, but I personally would have liked more detail, especially in how the dialogue progressed through the class.
  • I say that I value thinking, but in reflecting on my class, I really do a lot more "telling" than I should.  I don't let the students ponder enough.  In all of these routines, a key element was just to sit back and look and ponder what was happening.  I need to do that more.  

See Think Wonder

  • This routine reminds me a lot of "I notice... I wonder..." from The Math Forum.
  • Thoughts on using this in my classroom - graphs, diagrams, visual patterns, charts and data displays from the news
  • Tip from the author:  Look at the image yourself - can you look at it for several minutes and notice new things?  Does it spark your curiosity?
  • If I gave 2 comparative graphs (like boxplots, dotplots, etc), could maybe use this as an intro to comparing and/or inference?
  • In a class, how do you keep 1-2 kids from dominating?  Do you have each group generate a list and then go from table to table?
  • Kids need practice at just stating their observations without judgement

Zoom In

  • Thoughts on using this in my classroom - nonlinear functions like cubic/quartic, scatterplots like the 2016 Q#6, scatterplot and then add regression line
  • Tip from the author: Ask yourself "Are there separate areas of the image that tell a different story?"
  • I wish the author had shown the artwork segments they used at each stage to fully understand how they introduced this routine.
  • On each stage/zoom, spend enough time for students to develop their ideas but not too long for kids to get bored... that seems like a tricky line :(

Think Puzzle Explore

  • This routine is like a KWL.  I know what KWL is, but I've never seen it used effectively in math.  Even when I googled it, there are very few examples of math KWL.  
  • I do really like the subtle change in verbiage though... instead of "What do you know?", it's "What do you think you know?" That difference opens up for kids to be more tentative and exploratory.  They don't have to know for certain, but everyone can contribute something that they think they know about a topic.
  • The "want" or "puzzle" area still concerns me.  What if nothing about the topic does really spark a kid's curiosity?
  • This routine is very versatile.  I could see using it as a previous knowledge check, like with boxplots, or even as an end of chapter/unit check to see what misconceptions there are about the topic. 
  • Thoughts on how to use it in my classroom:  pre or post assessment for a chapter, exploring an open-ended data set
  • The "explore" part could definitely be used in a more open-ended inquiry manner
  • Tip from the author:  You don't have to use the entire routine (TPE) together, you can use just one or two parts.  This is huge for me because I see some amazing uses of the Think (and lesser but still useful) for Puzzle.  I don't see as much for my classes for the entire routine.
  • Right now, I have a 'Parking Lot' hanging up in my room, but I could see using that for students to write their puzzles and wonderings  

Chalk Talk

  • I've used this routine several times and LOVED it. However, when I've used it, it's been mostly for more "verbal" parts of my course.  Not sure how to modify for the more "mathy" parts.
  • Thoughts on how to use it in my classroom:  single word/phrase for test/quiz review
  • I wonder if using questions (AP prompts?) would generate richer discussion?
  • Tip from the author: Use reflection questions like "What have you been most surprised by in this unit?" "What has been most difficult for you in this unit?"
  • Debriefing the Chalk Talk is really important - need to develop a better way to do that.
  • I would love to hang these around my room to come back to them later, but with 8 tables and 4 math classes, it's impractical to hang up 32 posters.  Need to figure out how to handle this best
  • Chart paper is really cheap and I need to order some more from our warehouse :)

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