Thinking Tools

Akorere - “to learn, to flow, to go into action.”

Digital Technologies has embedded in it a range of thinking strategies. Computational thinking can be seen within a range of the thinking models that schools already use, but it does touch on them in a possibly wider sense.

Computational Thinking Consists of: Creative/Innovative/Abstraction thinking, Logical Thinking, Algorithmic Thinking, Efficient Solutions that can be applied across many aspects of life, Scientific Thinking, Understanding people, Rigorous argument and proof, Computational modelling. (...more info here). How can we keep a blend of these models simple enough to encompass enough tools for thinking?

Other Thinking Tools

Choosing a Thinking and/or Information Literacy model:

A whole school approach is important so that pupils can build a "Thinkers Toolkit" a "common language of learning" through regular exposure and practice of a thinking skills model. Teachers that think help pupils to think, to get feedback on their thinking. Let's make thinking spicy!

We need to pick models that:

  • Can apply to all curriculum areas and year groups or have adaptions that suit.
  • Can work with our theme for the year and highlight the theme better (the theme itself is also a way to help deepen our thinking every year).
  • Simple to remember.
  • Have good resources/posters/movies to back up - easier implementation.
  • Suits the pupils of the school.
  • Acknowledges that pupils have passions!

Deep/critical thinking and reflection in the class starts from the type of learning activities and the way pupils will interact with them. Critical thinking involves a wide range of thinking skills leading toward desirable outcomes and reflective thinking focuses on the process of making judgments about what has happened. At Medbury, we start with our Year long theme which allows each topic to be reinterpreted from new angles to deepen understanding to connect with it in new ways. Teachers create the conditions that allow for thinking. A well understood model of thinking helps scaffold pupil's thinking and helps lessen cognitive overload.

Pointers to better thinking:

  • Give wait-time and space for students to reflect when responding to inquiries.
  • Model meta-cognition processes and scaffold thought processes during explorations.
  • Provide emotionally supportive environments in the classroom encouraging reevaluation of conclusions. Risk- taking and willingness to reiterate is encouraged.
  • Prompt reviews of the learning situation, what is known, what is not yet known, and what has been learned. Creating a visible learning environment.
  • Provide authentic tasks involving ill-structured data to encourage reflective thinking during learning activities.
  • Prompt students' reflection by asking questions that seek reasons and evidence.
  • Provide a variety of learning activities including a less-structured learning environment that prompts students to explore what they think is important.
  • Develop collaborative peer-group and small group activities to give students to see other points of view.
  • Encourage pupils to give reasons to support what they think, show awareness of opposing positions and the weaknesses of their own positions.
Thinking Models, Growth Mindset and Learning Pedagogy
Quick Intro to SOLO
Thinking Resources Blooms
Information Literacy Tips and Resources
Information Literacy Model

See also:

Tap to Agree Posters.pdf

Questioning

Procedural Questions for Philosophy
Connection and Supporting Questions.pdf
Blooms Question Charts_in2educom.pdf
Questions-Information Process.pdf
Question Key.pdf
Learner-judger questions.pdf