Goal: Better Teaching and Learning via Thinking Routines

This year, my professional development goal is to incorporate the Visible Thinking Routines into my 6th-grade reading class. In a year when all things are new, I want to capitalize on my experience and learning from Project Zero. I am convinced that incorporating the visible thinking routines will improve the learning experience for my students and help them develop into more thoughtful readers. My hope is that using the thinking routines will deepen class discussions, improve student understanding, and provide time for meaningful reflection.

In order to accomplish this goal, I plan to take the following steps:

  1. Read Ron Ritchhart, et al’s Making Thinking Visible (2011).
  2. Blog my metacognition marks and reflections on the text.
  3. Meet regularly with colleagues in a book club to discuss the text and our experiences incorporating the routines.
  4. Research and connect with other members of my PLN who are using visible thinking routines.
  5. Design and write lessons/units employing the routines.
  6. Document student thinking and the use of routines through sticky notes, photos, pencasts, student reflections, and blog posts.
  7. Blog reflections on my experiences using the routines in class.

When my blog posts, conversations, and lessons demonstrate greater proficiency using the visible thinking practices and student thinking shows a deeper understanding of reading texts, I will consider my goal accomplished. I know that’s somewhat obtuse and not measurable, but I’m not trying to create data. I’m trying to become a better teacher–and no matter what politicians and reformers say, that isn’t easily quantifiable.

If you are interested in talking about the routines, in reading the MTV book together, or even collaborating on a project, let me know. As always, I am open to questions, comments, and feedback.

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