Saturday, June 20, 2015

Book Study: Making Thinking Visible

Hello! Amy here! I am so excited to have this opportunity to link up with a new blogger friend who is just a hop, skip, and a jump from us here in the mitten state! Tammy at The Owl Teacher put out an all call to find bloggers interested in reading a book called Making Thinking Visible (How to Promote Engagement, Understanding, and Independence for All Learners) and sharing a some of their thoughts about the book.

Over the next several weeks we will share a chapter or two with you each Thursday and give you some of the highlights. So here we go!

Chapter 1: Unpacking Thinking

It was interesting to hear that the stages of thinking and understanding are not stages at all. We have all learned about Bloom's Taxonomy and many of us (myself included) have been under the impression that students move through these stages of thinking starting at a low, basic understanding of a concept or skill and move through a hierarchy. I have thought the key to getting my kids to be deep thinkers is to begin by giving them a basic understanding of concepts and skills through direct instruction and then give them opportunities to expand that knowledge so that they can ultimately apply their new knowledge. This chapter blew that sequence out of the water! It got me thinking... is my push to have my students learn a skill and then apply that skill (of course in some sort of project type of way) encouraging one of the biggest problems in my classroom? Students are way too product focused. They want to get to the final product and they want to get it right. They have no time or patience for the process which means that perseverance and grit are difficult for my kiddos. Hmmm... something to think about!

One of the things I am most excited about with this book is that the authors are going to share specific strategies that support students in thinking about their thinking. He states that when students are asked "What is Thinking?" most are not able to give a solid explanation. It makes me wonder, how can kids make solid thinking moves to help them achieve understanding if they are not able to identify their thinking or strategies they use to support their comprehension? The upcoming chapters in this book give specific thinking moves that should be used repeatedly throughout a unit of study. The best part, they can also be used to assess students understanding which will obviously continuously guide our instruction.

The final point that really stuck out for me in this chapter is that everything we do must create a desire to learn in our students. This desire manifests in curiosity and questioning. I want a learning environment where kids are eager to learn and one where students find value in what they are learning and how they are spending their time. I am hopeful that as I read these next chapters and gain a better understanding of the thinking moves identified by the authors, that I will be able to increase student motivation and engagement in my classroom.

If you are interested in joining our little book study, please do! I have a feeling that we are going to have some great discussions and that we will start our school year with some new found knowledge that will have a huge impact on our kiddos!

Jump over to visit Tammy at The Owl Teacher to read what others are saying about this first chapter!

1 comment:

  1. A lot of great thoughts! Very captivating! I also thought more linear with Bloom's. I even had "heard" that to differentiate, have your lower level students complete the lower blooms and the higher complete the higher ones. It was refreshing to read this chapter!! Thanks for linking up!