Today I am back to share a little about Chapter 2 from Making Thinking Visible. I am a bit late but I actually had a couple of work days this week to help prepare some word study materials for our district so I did not have a chance to read and post about this weeks chapter until now.
This chapter, titled Putting Thinking at the Center of the Educational Enterprise, is all about the fact that many teachers have been placed in a position to focus too much on the delivery of content putting the teacher at the center of the educational process as opposed to the student. I found this chapter to do an amazing job putting into words exactly how I have been feeling in recent years. I want so much to help my students to become thinkers and problem solvers but I struggle to create opportunities to develop and practice these skills because I need so much time to cover the overabundance of standards we are expected to cover. This chapter has me so excited to read about a possible solution to this issue!
The solution starts with making thinking visible. When a student's thinking is visible it not only helps the teacher to know what students are understanding but also how they are understanding the concept or skill. There are three ways that the authors explain will help us to get insight into our students thinking.
Taking the time to listen to our kiddos, I mean REALLY listen to them, will help to develop a natural conversation that includes questions that push thinking. In addition to supporting good conversation, demonstrating what it looks like to truly listen to someone helps students to become better listeners.
This is something that I really want to focus on this year. Documenting is not simply recording what students have been doing but it is meant to help move learning forward. I especially love how the authors explain that documenting should come in many forms. The learning community might document using photographs, audiotapes of discussions, writing, drawings, etc. This type of documentation works perfectly with the focus on multiple intelligences in my classroom.
I am so excited to move into the actual thinking routines. It is exactly what I need to explore while putting plans together for next year! Be sure to hop over to hear Tammy's thoughts on this chapter at The Owl Teacher. Come back next Thursday to hear about a few of the 21 routines we will be learning about throughout the rest of the book.