This chapter was pretty quick as it is just laying the structure of how the Thinking Routines are set up and why it was chosen this way. My takeaway? First, it reminds teachers that like any planning, you need to look at what specifically you wish to teach during planning in order to be more successful. Though this felt redundant as I read this section, I have to admit I’ve been caught up in the flow of the year, trying to juggle everything that needs to be done, then needing to stop to remember the real reason I am in the classroom. It’s not a string of activities; each hour is an opportunity to promote real growth. I think all teachers need this reminder at some point, whether novice or veteran.
The thinking routines are set up under three categories to support the way we plan: Introducing and Exploring, Synthesizing and Organizing, and Digging Deeper. More explanation is given to thinking routines with the main idea being that the routines teach skills of thinking that support and promote curiosity and true thought, that builds upon older ideas to give new learning. This continues as real learning should come with new questions. For some reason, the round “And the Green grass grew all around, and around, and the green grass grew all around,” rings in my head when I think of this.
When implemented properly, the skills will become intrinsic to use, teaching children how to learn. Throw in kindness, respect, citizenship, self-discipline, and a passion to learn – a teacher can ask for no more. 🙂
My favorite quote from this chapter: “Through ongoing use of the routines, this idea that questions not only drive learning but also are outcomes of learning becomes embedded in the learning process.”
I love when children ask questions (with respect of course), some even that other teachers seem to find frustrating. Their natural curiosity makes the day more interesting, and often entertaining. It’s the children that keep me accountable. The smallest comment reminds me why I teach such as a struggling reader who shares, “Mrs. Achée, last night I read just for fun! Can I share the story with ____ today?”