This quote stuck with me when I first read it because I relate to it in many ways. As a fourth year college student and future educator, I have realized over the past years that one of my goals is to not only learn, but think. In the classroom I want to foster thinking in my students as well. This can be difficult task, but Ron Ritchhart’s book, Making Thinking Visible, highlights “thinking routines” to guid you.
Routines for Introducing and Exploring Ideas
Routines in this section can be used at the beginning of the unit or lesson. The content for these activities should be engaging so the students will collaborate with their peers. You want to make sure your students are being challenged to think deeper about the topic. The seven routines for introducing and exploring are:
- 3-2-1 Bridge
- Chalk Talk
- Compass Points
- The Explanation Game
- Zoom In
Lesson: Chalk Talk
Responsibilities of a teacher chalk talk in HS Foundatuons of Ed class this morning. pic.twitter.com/MYDAunFkql
— Central College Ed (@CentralCollEd) September 12, 2017
This routine helps students voice their ideas, questions or problems with the topic anomalously. It is a good way to get initial thoughts about the subject. This is done by students writing their thoughts down on a chalkboard, white board or paper. The students are provoked by a word or phrase. They are able to write initial comments and then peers are able to make secondary comments off of the first one. They can also build their understanding by reading their peers comments to them.
Routines for Synthesizing and Organizing Ideas
Routines in this section are used throughout the unit or lesson. These activities are used to help students connect ideas together that makes sense to them. Make sure that students are questions during this phase of the learning process. These routines will make the ideas more concrete. The seven routines for synthesizing and organizing ideas are:
- CSI: Color, Symbol, Image
- Generate-Sort-Connect-Elaborate: Concept Maps
- I Used to Think…, Now I Think…
- The 4C’s
- The Micro Lab Protocol
Lesson: CSI: Color, Symbol, Image
This routine uses something other than words to help students make the connections between concepts. The students are given a word or phrase to think about. They have to come up with a color, symbol and image that goes along with their word or phrase. The students then have to justify their answers. The class should discuss what they thought. There are no wrong answers in this activity.
Routines for Digging Deeper into Ideas
Routines in this section are normally used at the end of a unit. These activities help students combine all of the ideas in the unit or lesson. These use reasoning skills along with thinking outside the box. The seven routines for digging deeper into ideas are:
- Circle of Viewpoints
- Red Light, Yellow Light
- Step Inside
- What Makes You Say That?
This routine uses a text (paragraph, article, chapter, etc.) to help solidify the components of the lesson or unit. The activity make students summarize and discuss the overall topic. It requires deep thinking truly master a subject. After reading the text, students find a sentence, phrase and word that gets at understanding and theme of the topic. Students should justify why they felt a connection to these pieces of the text. They can discuss with their peers and think about alternative ways to think.
I would suggest learning and thinking about all of these routines to add to your students curriculum. They can be a bit benefit in the classroom to help your students visualize instead of memorize.