Saturday, December 4, 2010

Thinking Classrooms, Visible Thinking

  • Deeper understanding of content

  • Greater motivation for learning

  • Development of learners' thinking and learning abilities

  • Development of learners' attitudes toward thinking and learning and their alertness to opportunities for thinking and learning (the "dispositional" side of thinking)

  • A shift in classroom culture toward a community of enthusiastically engaged thinkers and learners

These are the stated goals of the blog "Visible Thinking".

On their blog there is an assessment tool for thinking classrooms. The criteria from the tool are below (see the assessment tool for complete viewing).

1. In this class, the work students are doing is connected to big or important ideas in the subject area.
2. In this class, the work is focused on developing well articulated understandings. It is relatively evident what understandings are to be developed as a result of doing the work.
3. In this class, a few topics are explored in depth rather than attempting to cover or touch on many.
4. In this class, the work is purposeful and has meaning for students. It is not just work for work’s sake.
5. In this class, students find the work engaging and worthwhile. Engagement is intellectual as well as social and/or physical.
6. In this class, there is a level of meaningful choice embedded in the work that allows students to have real ownership of the work or helps to personalize it.
7. In this class, the work challenges students in some way, by pushing their thinking in new directions or asking them to reexamine ideas or beliefs.
8. In this class, the work asks students to generate original ideas, explanations, solutions, responses, or findings.
9. In this class, the work has depth and regularly goes beyond the level of knowledge/skill building.
10. In this class, students’ thinking is made visible through the work/discussion/ reflections they do so it can be discussed, shared, examined or reflected upon.
11. In this class, patterns of thinking/habits of mind are on display. It is possible to identify the types thinking that students are engaged in and must do to be successful with the work
12. In this class, there is adequate time for thinking, to prepare responses, and express ideas.

I apologize for copying and pasting another's work. I think this is an amazing assessment piece which I am going to have my students fill out on our classroom. I also have an intern (not exactly and independent source) and I will ask him to assess our class as well.

Look forward to the results in a future post!!

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