Cultures of Thinking

Language

"This is the hidden power of language: its ability to subtly convey messages that shape our thinking, sense of self, and group affinity." Ron Ritchhart

1. I make a conscious effort to use the language of thinking in my teaching discussing with students the sort of thinking moves required by verbs such as 'elaborate', 'evaluate', 'justify', 'contrast', 'explain', etc.

2. I seldom use generic praise comments (good job, great, brilliant, well done) and instead give specific, targeted, action-oriented feedback that focuses on guiding future efforts and actions.

3. I use "conditional" phrases such as 'could be', 'might be', one possibility is', 'some people think' or 'usually it is that way but not always'.

4. I try to notice and name the thinking occurring in my classroom. For example, might I be heard to say things like, "Sean is supporting his ideas with evidence here", or "Sam is evaluating the effectiveness of that strategy right now", or "Iris has presented an interesting analogy today".

5. I use inclusive, community-building language by talking about what "we" are learning or "our" questions.

Resources

10 Things to Say to Your Students Everyday.pdf
Language
Language of the Classroom_V3.pdf