Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Making Thinking Visible - Chapter 5

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Making Thinking Visible - Chapter 5A

As with previous chapters, the title of each routine links to more information and my notes and comments follow each title.


  • I really like this routine and can see myself using it this year.  This routine reminds me a lot of 6-word memoirs, but in a newspaper headline format.  I think this would be a really awesome exit ticket prompt that emphasizes summarization skills.
  • From the author:  "the Headline helps students to identify what was important or stood out to them about the experience.  Getting a better sense of what students see as important can be useful in planning future instruction."
  • Since I'm not sure how much my students read the news, I wonder about modeling this strategy for them... maybe with actual newspaper headlines?
  • Don't forget the "why"!  After students share out their headline, make sure they explain their reasoning.
  • Thoughts on how to share... post-it notes?  Index cards?  Laminated sentence strips?
  • Variation idea from author:  Song title or theme song instead of newspaper headline
  • Warning:  Can easily turn into a catch phrase / superficial summary if not careful!

CSI: Color, Symbol, Image

  • When I first read about this routine, I really didn't see myself using this one, but as I got deeper into it, I think it might be worth a try.  I really like that this routine encourages students to think metaphorically and according to the author, it is really useful for our English Language Learners because they can express their learning in a non-verbal manner.
  • I think the hardest thing will be finding appropriate content.  One interesting idea might be to use this with back to school - What is math to you?  This prompt might yield some deeper insights into student feelings about math and allow them to express themselves non-verbally.
  • As with all of the thinking routines, the key is the why.  Make sure students explain their thinking on why they chose that color, symbol, and image.
  • Variation:  Don't do all 3, pick just one.  This might make it easier to use in math because you could ask the symbol/image option for a lesson or unit.

Generate - Sort - Connect - Elaborate

  • I have used concept maps many times in my class and I really like them.  According to the author, this routine was created because one thing they noticed was that students don't make very good concept maps.
  • In the past, when I've done concept maps, I've left out the "sort" component.  I like the idea of students generating ideas (maybe on post-it notes or scraps of paper?), then pooling those ideas with their groupmates and sorting them into like items.  Then they will glue or tape them down to a paper and connect into their map.  I like the tactile-ness of this idea because nothing is permanent until it's adhered to the paper.  This would give kids less anxiety about making an error.  I also wonder about giving each student in the group a different color of paper to write on so each individual student's thinking is more visible.
  • Another idea I had was to have students make individual concept maps as the "generate" step, then as a group, create a compilation.  This would require them to sort out their individual ideas for placement in the group map.

Whew!!  Another day is done.. :)  Happy Blaugust!


Julie Kindred said...

Thanks for sharing your insight. I'm adding "Making Thinking Visible" my next reading assignment.

Beth Ferguson said...

Color, Symbol, Image might work well with the study of functions. It would be quite a challenge for students to create one for each function you study ...