Over the last few weeks, I have been exposed to many new thinking routines that I am excited to try with my students in the fall. Looking at these routines I can see so many valuable opportunities for growth. My goal next year is to have my students be the primary thinkers in the classroom across all subject areas. Students need to be thinkers first across all curricular areas as learning thinking skills will help them to become better engaged with the world around them. While I had previously been exposed to building students thinking in math by reading the work of Peter Liljedahl and Building Thinking Classrooms in Mathematics and strategies for teaching students to think while reading through Reading Power and the work of Adrienne Gear. In the last few weeks I have begun to look at Making Thinking Visible and Creating Cultures of Thinking and found many routines that will work well with my students. I have enjoyed exploring the Project Zero Tool Box to find routines.
A few of my favourite routines:
- Observe Wonder Infer
- I used to think , now I think
- See, Think, wonder
- Think, Pair, Share
- What makes you say that?
- Tug of war
- Chalk Talks
I’ve chosen each of these routines for various reasons, they all work to get students not only thinking but discussing as well. In class discussions students get the chance to build on each other’s view points and hear varying opinions. I use chalk talks a lot in my classroom and my students enjoy this routine, we have used it for vocabulary, ideas, brainstorming and solving math problems. This next year I want to focus on building students thinking and discussion skills. I’m curious to see what happens as I step back and encourage my grade 4s to do more of the thinking.