Friday, July 10, 2015

Book Study: Making Thinking Visible - Chapter 3

"Better late than never" is a saying for a reason right?! Things have been a little hectic around here so I have not had a chance to read Chapter 3 from Making Thinking Visible by Ron Ritchart, Mark Church, and Karin Morrison until now! I am linking up again with The Owl Teacher to reflect on this book all about how to create opportunities for kids to not just share their thinking but to SHOW their thinking.

This chapter explains what "thinking routines" are and why they are important to students' learning. As I am sure we can all agree, routines are key to our survival! When our kids know what to expect and what is expected of them, it saves us valuable learning time and our sanity!

The authors broke routines down into three categories: tools, structures, and patterns of behavior. The first way to use thinking routines is as a tool. My big take-away from this section was before giving our kiddos a task, we should determine what type of thinking we want our kiddos to do. Once we know what kind of thinking we want from them, we can select the appropriate thinking routine for them to use as a tool.

The second way we can use thinking routines is as a structure. This is section got me super excited to learn more about thinking routines. The structure of these routines naturally scaffolds students' thinking and helps them to systematically get to higher level and deeper thinking. I LOVE THIS! I am always trying to create opportunities for my kiddos to go deeper and think at a higher level but I am always concerned that if I push them there too quickly, and their understanding breaks down that I won't know where I lost them. A structure that scaffolds allows me to see where my students are struggling so I can support them.

The final way we can use thinking routines is as a pattern of behavior. This section simply explains that incorporating thinking routines into the classroom consistently will help your kiddos develop into true thinkers. In the past, education has focused too much on students learning and understanding the thinking of others without encouraging them to do any real thinking themselves. Adopting thinking routines in your classroom will ensure that you students not only gain a real understanding of skills and concepts but also that they uncover their own thinking about them.

I am so eager to learn more about these thinking routines and start to plan how they will be present in my classroom this school year. Visit back next week as we start looking at routines for introducing and exploring ideas!

Don't forget to check out The Owl Teacher to read about her thoughts on Chapter 3!


  1. I ordered this book and love it! Lots of ideas to use right away. This book shares many of the same philosophies as my teaching partner and I share so I think it will be easy to implement many of the routines in the book. There are a couple we do already, picked up from who knows where, but the book will help us to make them even better and go deeper with students. I also appreciated the honesty of the "A Picture of Practice" sections for each routine. We are excited to these routines this year.