Monday, June 2, 2014

Book Talk Tuesday! Making Thinking Visible

If you have not heard about Project Zero's Visible Thinking I recommend you clear your evening and spend some time reading up on it.  Fascinating!  I have had the privilege of attending a couple of conferences/workshops held by many of Harvard's PZ researchers and my school has begun implementing visible thinking practices into our classrooms.  One of my favorite resources is Ritchhart, Church, and Morrison's Making Thinking Visible: How to Promote Engagement, Understanding, and Independence for All Learners.

This book is full of thinking routines that are easy to implement and applicable to all ages of learners.  For the last few months of the school year, my colleagues and I experimented with a routine each week and then met on Friday mornings before school to discuss our experiences.  This was SO helpful to know that teachers throughout the building were experimenting with the same routine in their classrooms and might be facing the same challenges, successes, etc. that I was dealing with.  Having these weekly meetings held me accountable for trying these routines and allowed me the chance to get my feet wet with them.  :)

Here is an example of a Chalk Talk my students did a few weeks ago on plants.
Chalk Talk is a thinking routine that calls for students to communicate through writing- without spoken words.  I began by writing the parts of a plant on chart paper.  My students rotated through the charts with a marker and were asked to write down their thoughts, questions, etc.  In the beginning, students were writing down facts such as "We eat seeds."  Then, students began to extend on previous students' writing by adding to their thoughts such as "like pumpkin seeds."  Then someone else would come along and take it further such as "Are beans seeds?"  We ended up with a chart full of facts, arrows, questions, answers to questions, etc.  I love how the students took responsibility for their thinking and understanding as well as the thinking and understanding of their classmates.

P.S.- I've started a Pinterest Board for ideas that go along with this book and thinking routines.  Make sure to check it out and follow it {here}!  I've pinned some great YouTube videos of some of the PZ Researchers that are definitely worth checking out.

I am linking up with Deanna Jump's Book Talk Tuesday because I think Making Thinking Visible is definitely worth the read especially if you are looking for some ways to help your students think outside of the box.  Happy reading! :)


  1. I just used your link to order the book! Thanks so much for linking up with me and sharing such an awesome read!!!

    1. You will love it! Thanks for hosting this! I can't wait to order some new books this week! ;-)

  2. This book looks incredible! I love that y'all implemented it together!! Thanks for sharing!
    Peace, Love, and First Grade

  3. Putting it in my summer to read list. I love how your team worked on the same routines. Thanks for sharing.

  4. I saw this book on Amazon yesterday and put it on my wish list- I think I'll order it sooner rather than later! And awesome Pinterest board! Do you know if anyone is doing a book study on this book for the summer?
    ~ Heather
    The Meek Moose

  5. I'm going to have to get this!! I love that you had support from your colleagues as you were implementing the ideas in the book!! Thank you for sharing this resource!

    Literacy Without Worksheets

  6. WOW! Thanks for sharing this book! I will definitely check it out! I love that your teammates were meeting to discuss and share how things were going. That support system always makes the learning process a little smoother. I just found your blog on the Linky and I will soon be your newest follower! :)
    Miss King's Enchanted Kingdom

  7. Thank you. I am always looking for recommendations. This is perfect for summer reading. THANK YOU!
    Smiles and stop by anytime!

  8. I just added this to my list. Talk about student centered learning - wow!
    Mrs. Spriggs’ Kindergarten Pond

  9. I'm taking a class, starting tomorrow, based on that book, so I was excited to read your post! I just followed your Pinterest board! :)

  10. I love the accountability was supportive and helpful. Sounds like a great district to work in!

  11. Thank you for such a great recommendation. I can't wait to read this - it is next on my list! :o)


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