Making Thinking Visible : How to Promote Engagement, Understanding, and Independence for All Learners

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Paperback w/DVD
  • Copyright: 2011-05-03
  • Publisher: Jossey-Bass

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Visible Thinking is a research-based approach to teaching thinking that develops students' thinking dispositions, while at the same time deepening their understanding of the topics they study. Rather than a set of fixed lessons, Visible Thinking is an extensive and adaptable collection of practices that include thinking routines and the documentation of student thinking.The routines are a central element of the practical, functional and accessible nature of Visible Thinking. Thinking routines are easy to use mini-strategies that are repeatedly used in the classroom. They are a small set of questions or a short sequence of steps that can be used across various grade levels and content. Each routine targets a different type of thinking and by bringing their own content, teachers can integrate the routines into the fabric of their classrooms.Thinking Routines help direct student thinking and structure classroom discussion. Thinking becomes visible as the students' different viewpoints are expressed, documented, discussed and reflected upon.

Author Biography

Ron Ritchhart, Ed.D. is a senior researcher at Project Zero, Harvard Graduate School of Education. He is the author of Intellectual Character from Jossey-Bass.

Mark Church is the Learning, Assessment, and Instructional Resource Supervisor for the Traverse City Area Public Schools in Michigan.

Karin Morrison is director of The Development Centre at Independent Schools Victoria, Australia and instructor for the WIDE World online course, Making Thinking Visible, at Harvard.

Table of Contents

List of Tables and Figures.

DVD Contents.




The Authors.

Part One Some Thinking about Thinking.

One Unpacking Thinking.

Beyond Bloom.

Beyond Memorization, Work, and Activity.

A Map of Thinking Involved in Understanding.

Other Kinds of Thinking.

Uncovering Students' Thinking about Thinking.

Two Putting Thinking at the Center of the Educational Enterprise.

How Does Visibility Serve Both Learning and Teaching?

How Can We Make the Invisible Visible?


Part Two Using Thinking Routines to Make Thinking Visible.

Three Introduction to Thinking Routines.

Three Ways of Looking at Thinking Routines.

How Are the Thinking Routines Organized?

Four Routines for Introducing and Exploring Ideas.


Zoom In.


Chalk Talk.

3–2–1 Bridge.

Compass Points.

The Explanation Game.

Five Routines for Synthesizing and Organizing Ideas.


Color, Symbol, Image.

Generate-Sort-Connect-Elaborate: Concept Maps.


The 4C's.

The Micro Lab Protocol.

I Used to Think. . . , Now I Think . . .

Six Routines for Digging Deeper into Ideas.

What Makes You Say That?

Circle of Viewpoints.

Step Inside.

Red Light, Yellow Light.




Part Three Bringing the Power of Visible Thinking to Life.

Seven Creating a Place Where Thinking Is Valued, Visible, and Actively Promoted.

Making Room for Reflection.

Making Time for Our Own Learning.

The Making of an Elaborated Conversation.

The Forces That Shape Culture.

Eight Notes from the Field.

The Challenges of Making Thinking Visible in a Mathematics Class and Beyond: The Case of Mark Church.

Content + Routines + Students = A Culture of Thinking: The Case of Sharonne Blum.

Stages of Development in the Use of Thinking Routines.

Common Pitfalls and Struggles.

In Conclusion.



How to Use the DVD.

Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?

The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.

The Used, Rental and eBook copies of this book are not guaranteed to include any supplemental materials. Typically, only the book itself is included. This is true even if the title states it includes any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.

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