I began pondering student thinking this week and how we foster it in education.
Last year I began providing my students with more opportunities to think. But not just think...I wanted them to think critically and be observers of their world.
Therefore, I began using language like, "What do you notice?" or "Tell me more" to get them to think critically about whatever activity we were doing. On my DPI, I had a thinking routine scheduled for once a week. That was my way of holding myself accountable to do a thinking routine at least once a week. During read alouds, I would use questions like, "What do see?" or "what are you thinking about this book?"
I immersed them in inquiry language...it was all around them. Each week I saw their thinking and language grow. I began noticing students using, "I noticed..." or "I see..." on their own - without my prompt. It would even happen during playtime!
It became a part of the culture in my classroom.
We cannot expect to foster a culture of thinking by only sneaking it in once in a while. It's through thinking routines, intentional language, inquiry activities, etc that students begin to think deeper. It takes time and practice. They need to have personal experiences with it. The more intentional you are, as a teacher, the more growth you will see with your students thinking. They will surprise you.
So, how can you foster student thinking in your classroom? What adjustments can you make in your day to cultivate a culture of thinking?