TAT = Thinking about Thinking…I have always called it a “Brain Splat”, as I demonstrate (complete with actions!) that it means how a child is taking their thinking from their brain and splatting it on a paper for all to see…     Please enable Javascript and Flash to view this Flash video.This kind of observable representation documents and supports the development of an individual’s or groups’s ongoing thoughts, questions, reasons and reflections. After all, as I say, “If you keep those thougths in your head, how will we ever know??! We can’t read your mind!!”. I am currently taking an online course through the famous Project Zero at Harvard University called Visible Thinking. It has been fascinating to see how my previous practices fit into the modern labels, and also to learn about brand new techniques and routines that move students’ thinking in new and exciting ways. These thinking routines can be used in any subject area, such as Literacy CAFE and math, but I have used them extensively during the past Unit of Inquiry on Wellbeing, as well as the current unit on Systems of Weather Patterns. There is a bulletin board up in the classroom that has the names of all the routines as they are introduced, and it is interesting to see how familiar the children are becoming with them. They may be simple frameworks, but they are incredibly useful for developing deep and insightful thinking. Just so you parents are familiar with the language used in the classroom, here is a list of the Visible Thinking routines we have used so far in class:

  • Think-Pair-Share
  • I Used to think…But now I think…
  • See-Think-Wonder
  • Connect-Extend-Challenge
  • Compass Points (NEWS)
  • Think-Puzzle-Explore
  • What Makes you Say That?
  • 3-2-1
  • Stop-Start-Keep
  • Break it up… Make it up
  • Define-Connect-Explain

Have a look at this slide show that shows visual images of the various Visible Thinking Routines that have been used over the past unit on Wellbeing and into the current unpacking of the new “Systems for Predicting and Problem-solving” unit…