Visible Thinking is the latest course that a couple of teachers from my school are doing from WIDE courses developed at Harvard University. It’s also my first online course so I am quite excited to see how it goes along. I am part of a team and just knowing my team members gives me a sense of comfort. The main challenge will be to find the time for the assignments across summer and to follow up the practise of Visible Thinking in the classroom and provide guidance to teachers in my department.
So what is Visible Thinking? Visible Thinking is making the students thinking visible to both the teachers and students. It allows for intellectual collaboration as observable representations of the students thoughts, ideas, questions, reasons and reflections are done wither through mind maps, charts, sticky notes or diagrams. There are many thinking routines to be followed like connect -extend- challenge or claim- support -question routines. It allows teachers to document what students are learning and where they might need help. Moreover, it sets a culture of a thinking classroom where students realize that thinking is valuable.
One may wonder what’s new about Visible Thinking? Is thinking not happening in the classroom? Surely, thinking is happening in most classrooms. However, this is a technique that allows teachers to organize the inquiry process and a method that allows to students to reflect more meaningfully on their learning journey.