What is Visible Thinking?
Thinking is pretty much invisible. To be sure, sometimes people explain the thoughts behind a particular conclusion, but often they do not. Mostly, thinking happens under the hood, within the marvelous engine of our mind-brain. As the name suggests, the basic strategy is to make thinking visible in the context of learning. One reason sophisticated thinking develops slowly is that thinking happens inside the head: Children do not readily 'see' their own cognitive moves, and most classroom practices do not engage students in substantive thinking around content very much at all, and certainly not in ways that make it visible across the classroom. Visible Thinking makes thinking an explicit and overt part of classroom discourse in a natural manageable way, setting the stage for internalization of powerful practices of thinking and learning. Visible Thinking is a systematic research-based approach to integrating the development of students' thinking with content learning across the subject matters. An extensive and adaptable collection of practices, Visible Thinking has a double goal: on the one hand, to deepen subject-matter learning and on the other to cultivate students' disposition toward thinking. Visible Thinking includes a large number of classroom routines, easily and flexibly integrated with content learning, and representing areas of thinking such as understanding, truth and evidence, fairness and moral reasoning, creativity, self-management, and decision making. It also provides tools for integrating the arts with subject-matter content. Finally, it includes a practical framework for how to create "cultures of thinking" in individual classrooms and within an entire school. We have held two world-wide conference on Visible (http://www.pz.gse.harvard.edu/visible_thinking.php)
This week in Grade 4 we are introducing a routine that is call 4 C’s
This routine provides learners with a structure for a text-based discussion built around making connections, asking questions, identifying key ideas, and considering application. It encourages the reading and revisiting of texts in a focused, purposeful way that enables readers to delve beneath the surface and go beyond first impressions. The components of this routine are;
-Connections (What connections can you draw between the text and your own life or learning?)
-Challenges (What ideas, positions, or assumptions do you want to challenge or argue with?)
-Concepts (What key concepts or ideas do you think are important and worth holding onto from the text?)
-Changes (What changes occurred in the text, characters, or your own thinking?)
This week we will be continuing to work on our author study of Chris Van Allsburg. Althouh his work is fictional fictional work can be, with some purposeful modifications on the wording become an appropriate vehicle for this routine.
Our anchor text (anchor text meaning it is used for demonstration and modeling) will be The Stranger.
Connections remains the same, how do you draw connections between yourself, yourself, others, the world around you?
Under “Challenges,” students will be asked to focus on the characters actions with which they disagree. Did the farmer do a disservice to the stranger by not going to the police to identify him.?
“Concepts” can be related to themes- Am I my neighbor’s keeper.?
“Changes” can focus on how the characters themselves changed and evolved over the course of the story and what caused those changes. These changes are very evident in this story. Consideration will be given to the question how would things be different if the character didn’t change?