Making Thinking Visible

North Elementary Professional Development 2/27

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Driving Question: What Does It Mean To Make Thinking Visual?

Thinking About Thinking: The Why

When Thinking is Visible in Classrooms:

  • Students are in a position to be more metacognitive, to think about their thinking
  • It becomes clear that school is not about memorizing content but exploring ideas
  • Teachers benefit when they see students' thinking because misconceptions, prior knowledge, reasoning ability, and degrees of understanding are more likely to be uncovered
  • Teachers can address challenges and extend students' thinking by starting from where they are

Thinking About Thinking: The How

As Educators, We Can:

  • Use the language of thinking along with being a model of thoughtfulness for students. By doing so, we emphasize several ways of making our own thinking visible to ourselves and one another
  • Put thinking at the center of learning so that student's develop their thinking dispositions deepening their understanding of the topics they study.
  • Set routines for introducing and exploring, synthesizing and organizing, and digging deeper into ideas paves the way for students to think and promotes a place where thinking is valued and active.

How Can We Use the Powerful Tools We Have to Help Students Accomplish This Thinking?

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With ThingLink, students create "touchable" images. Using a single image as a background, they can layer text, images and video from the Camera, as well as links to web-based content. Completed ThingLinks can be shared with a link, via social media, or embedded on web sites.
How to ThingLink!

Bringing Visual Thinking to Life

  • Math - With using visual thinking to talk, write, and reason about concepts, students are able to shift the emphasis of their work from finding the “right” answer to a metacognitive exploration of how their problem-solving works.
  • Literacy - The use of digital tools helps students visually think through, think about and think with text developing their thinking dispositions, while at the same time deepening their understanding of the topics they study.
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Additional Resources to Explore on Your Own

Student Examples

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Story Problems With Felt Board & Book Creator
Fact Family 6 2 4
6+5 is 11
Equal to 10