Friday, February 24, 2017

Establishing patterns of thinking in the classroom

After lunch I attended another session with Mark Church where we looked at thinking routines and how they differ from strategies or activities.  We asked the questions:
  • How do teachers work with, make use of, and develop thinking routines over time? 
  • What happens for students when they work with thinking routines over time?
First we needed to make sure we were all on the same page about what a thinking routine is:
Thinking - use of the mind to form thoughts, to reason, to make connections, to consider perspectives, to observe closely
Routine - a pattern of behaviour adopted for a particular circumstance, a rehearsed set of movements or actions that make up a performance.

Routines are in place for all sorts of things in schools - classroom management, evacuation of the building in an emergency etc. Why wouldn’t we expect to put a routine in place when a certain type of thinking is called for?  Students need to be familiar with thinking routines that can be applied to different content.

Thinking Routines are tools that can be used over and over again to support specific thinking and structures through which students explore, document and discuss and manage thinking.  They are patterns of behaviour adopted to help one use the mind to form thoughts, reason and reflect.

Throughout the day we explored a number of visible thinking routines - and saw videos of them in action in the classroom.  I'm excited to be going back again tomorrow - even though it is a Saturday - to dive deeper into thinking.

Photo Credit: the Italian voice Flickr via Compfight cc

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