Thursday, May 18, 2017

Visible Thinking.

Monument, Thinker, Think, Force, Globe  I've been cleaning the house and stumbled across a book on making thinking visible.  Of course I stopped working to check it out as if it were a new toy.

While reading it, I wondered if visible thinking is the same as thinking aloud or are they different enough to warrant a more in depth look.

Lets start by looking at what "Visible Thinking" is.  There are 6 ideas this topic is built upon.
1.  Learning is a consequence of thinking.  It has been found their understanding and memory of material increases with thinking.

2. Good thinking is important because its how a person invests their thinking that makes learning possible.

3. Thinking develops from social endeavors.  Individuals learn from their social interactions with those around them.

4. When you foster thinking, it becomes visible. For the most part, thinking is invisible so we don't always know how we arrived at an answer.  Effective thinkers make their thinking visible by speaking, writing, drawing, or other method.

5.  Classroom culture makes it more inviting to develop visible thinking.  The classroom needs to have  routines and structures which encourage learning.  It should also have language, expectations, time, modeled thinking,  interactions, and opportunities to think.

6. There should be professional development opportunities for teachers to develop their own thinking.

Below are 4 suggested routines to help students learn to make their thinking visible.
1. Headlines - Have students create a headline for a newspaper which summarizes the most important information covered in the lesson.

2. Connect - extend - challenge. This requires the teacher to ask students three questions.  The first is how are the ideas or materials presented connected to what you've already studied or already know?  The second asks what new ideas pushed or extended your thinking in new directions. The final question is which new ideas or material are you still confused by?  What are your questions?

3. See - think - wonder has the student comment on what they see (making observations), what they think about it, and what do they still wonder in regard to the topic.

4. Compass points - Each compass point stands for a different level of understanding.  East means Excited or what excites you about this idea or proposition.  West stands for worrisome or what do you find worrisome about this idea.  North is need to know or what more do you need to know.  Last is south or stance, steps, or suggestions for moving forward.

So it appears visible thinking is in the same area but a bit different. So next is to look at its application to math.  Hope you enjoyed it.  Have a good day.