At Alexander Muir P.S. one of our school focus areas is Making Students Thinking Visible. Our assessment data suggests that students struggle to fully articulate their thinking and that students often provide surface level responses to open ended inquiry questions. As a school staff, we have been learning about and working with our students to improve their ability to express their thinking by using a variety of THINKING ROUTINES . As described on the Visible Thinking Website, these routines guide learners thought processes and encourage active processing. They are short, easy-to-learn mini-strategies that extend and deepen students’ thinking and become part of the fabric of everyday classroom life.
We track student progress through ongoing observations and conversations with our students as well as accessing the products that students are creating through daily classroom work. We are already starting to see evidence of improved thinking both orally in student responses and in the thinking routine graphic organizers that staff are using. We are also hearing students using the thinking routine terminology in our classrooms. It is beginning to become a ‘routine’ part of the school experience at Muir!
Our goal, continues to be, too embed thinking routines in all subject areas and at all grade levels. We are working to help support students to reflect, clarify and expand their thinking. Our belief is that this will lead student to a deeper level of understanding of the curriculum content that we are covering and ultimately to improved student achievement.
We are currently working on selecting appropriate assessment tools to monitor our progress in these areas.
We will provide you with updates in the new year!