Revisit of Making Thinking Visible, CH 1 #makthinkvis #eduread


This past week I finished reading Creating Cultures of Thinking.  Many great reminders of thinking routines and suggestions to challenge oneself to implement in the classroom.  While chatting with @druinok, she said she couldn’t wait to finish, so she could finally read Making Thinking Visible.  So, I thought I would revisit this summer.  Having chatted the book and implemented several routines over the past three years and reading the Cultures of Thinking – I thought it might provide an even more powerful opportunity for reflection.

Looks like @bridgetdunbar and @mary_dooms may join in on this round of chat too!

Ch 1 Unpacking Thinking

Things I’ve highlighted:

  • What kinds of mental activity are we trying to encourage in our students, colleagues, and friends?
  • What kinds of thinking do you value and want to promote in your classroom?
  • What kinds of thinking does that lesson force students to do?
    • These questions – stump me, too.
    • I must first make the various forms and processes of thinking visible to myself. 
    • CHALLENGE:  to ask myself these questions during my planning.
  • Careful noticing – because the mind is designed to detect patterns and make interpretations, slowing it down to fully notice and adjust describe can be extremely challenging.  
  • pg 7 ???  “we would do better to focus our attention on the levels or quality within a single type of thinking.”
  • ! understanding is not  a precursor to application, analysis, evaluating and creating, but a result of it (Wiske, 1997)
  • …we might consider understanding no to be a type of thinking but an outcome of thinking!
  • Compilation of several processes?
  • Work focused environment or Learning focused environment?
  • Tasks might be more fun than worksheets, but are they actually developing understanding?
  • Hands on =/= Minds on!!!
  • Mark Church:  Only then did I recognize that work and activity were not synonymous with learning.
  • This realization for me was around 2010…
  • page 10 exercise to try – to help me identify possible discrepancies.
  • A map of thinking involved in understanding – how closely are these connected to SMP?
    1. Observe closely and describe what’s there.
    2. Build explanations and interpretations.
    3. Reason with evidence.
    4. Make connections.
    5. Consider different viewpoints and perspectives.
    6. Capture the heart and form conclusions.
    7. Wonder and ask questions.
    8. Uncover complexity – go below surface learning.
  • Valuable to pause in class to discuss type of thinking that will be/was involved in the assignment.  Reflect on the routins (culture of thinking CH 7)
    • How do you feel it went?
    • Did it make discussion more productive and focused?
    • Do you feel you are coming away with a better understanding?
    • What was hard and what was easy about the routine?
    • What should we try to work on to improve next time?
  • Curiosity and Questions
  • “The questions we ask at the onset of our learning journey change, morph and develop as that journey moves forward…New questions reflect our depth of learning.”
  • How might we map this journey of curiosity?
  • Post and discuss initial essential questions, but have an anchor chart that we can record / build list of questions as we go deeper than surface learning.
  • Goals of Thinking?
    • Understanding
    • Solve Problems
    • Make Decisions
    • Form Judgments
  • What are other goals of thinking?  What are other types of thinking?
  • By being clearer in my own mind about the kinds of thinking I want my students to do, I can be more effective in my instructional planning. pg 15
  • Concept Map for Thinking:  What is thinking?  When you tell someone you are thinking, what kinds of things might actually be going on in your head?
  • How can I use this?
  • Week 1 of School – ask these questions.  Individual maps, small group discussion and combine.  Whole class.  Then use responses to create class wordle.  Print and put on display for first few weeks.

Here’s a wordle from three years ago, I located it in a draft for a post I never published.


My take-a-ways from Chapter 1:

  1. I need to think about and develop my own understanding of types of thinking beyond surface learning.
  2. I need to ask myself what type of thinking I want my students to do.
  3. Do the lessons/activities I have plan provide opportunities to develop understanding through the thinking I intend?



One response »

  1. Pingback: Making Thinking Visible Chapter 1 takeaways | Curiouser and Curiouser

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