What is Visible Thinking?
- Having students externalize their thoughts through speaking, writing, drawing or other methods
The Ted Talk below goes into more detail about visible thinking, why it is important, and some ways to incorporate it into the classroom.
Now, let’s go into more detail about 3 specific strategies that can be used in the science classroom!
1. Step Inside
- This strategy can be used to help students “get inside” another person, or thing in history, or current events.
- Students hypothesize what they think the person, or thing was/is thinking, or how they perceive the world around them.
- Students are asked questions such as… “What might this person/thing care about or wish would happen?” “What might this person/thing believe?” or “What can this person see or notice?”
2. What Makes You Say That?
- This strategy encourages students to voice their reasoning for how they are thinking.
- Students are also encouraged to accept and explore alternative explanations to why others are thinking the way they are.
- Students are presented with the questions of “What’s going on?” and “What do you see that makes you say that?”
3. I used to think… Now I think…
- This is a great way for students to get a sense of how their knowledge and perceptions, or opinions about a concept, change over time.
- It can be used with a variety of different works such as creative writing, a news article, a video they watched or a book they read.
- The instructions are very simple. Simply ask students to reflect either on paper or verbally (can use words, pictures, diagrams, etc.) about what they used to think and what they now think.
- A way to get the entire class involved is to have students write their answers on post-it notes and stick them on the board. This can be followed by a class discussion.