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Making Thinking Visible

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Arts Integration

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Making Thinking Visible: See, Think & Wonder


I used to be a long-distance runner.  One of those people who wouldn't drink more than two beers on a Friday night because I had an early morning training run (usually 10 + miles) in the morning.  Many marathons, races, and injuries later, I am a walker and hiker. 

I walk an historic neighborhood close to my house.  Out of necessity, I walk either at night or early morning. My dog, Gracie and I, hoof it through the same routes day after day after day.  There is something comforting about the routine of seeing the same strangers leaving for work at 6 a.m. or returning at night...seeing the warm glow of a lamp in the same window each evening...the same neighborhood dogs heralding our passing by everyday. The familiarity of my route enables me to observe and notice things that I might have overlooked the first time along.  

That's the beauty of many of the thinking strategies in Making Thinking Visible and the practice of conducting CLOSE Reads in the classroom...the familiarity one gains with a text helps the observer go deeper. My last post, I wrote about how I used the CSI strategy to wrap up novel studies with my guided reading groups.  This week, I used "See-Think-Wonder" (STW) to begin novels with new reading groups. The purpose of STW is to engage students in looking closely at an image or object.  I zeroed in on this strategy because we were in the "looking at the cover of the book and talking" stage of our small group discussions.  This thinking move focuses on the importance of observation and uses the observation as a foundation for thinking and interpretation.  

I created a triangle-shaped graphic organizer with each corner labeled either "See, " "Think," or "Wonder."  I gave each of my students this organizer before I began modeling how to use it on a poster-sized version.  Here's what I did:


(I showed the cover of Because of Winn Dixie, a former mentor text from a previous unit). Friends, I'm going to hang out here at the top of my triangle where it says, "See."  I'm going to name what I see.  I see a girl and a dog.  I see what looks like a dirt road.  I see a lot of gold or yellow on the cover illustration.  I see the title of the book. I encourage students to add to my observations, correcting them when they fall out of observing and begin telling their thoughts.  I write all observations on my organizer for them to see.
Now I'm going to go to the left corner of my triangle where it says "Think."  I'm going to say what I think about my observations.  I think the dog belongs to the girl.  I think they live in the  country because the road doesn't look paved.  I thought Winn Dixie was a grocery store down south (Students add their thoughts).  I write down all of our thoughts.
Lastly, I'm going to look at "Wonder," the final angle of my triangle.  I have some wonderings about my observations that I'm going to record on this angle.  For example, why is there so much gold or yellow on the cover?  What happened at the Winn Dixie?  Where are the girl and dog going?  Etc.

After modeling this strategy, I asked students to work together with partners in the small group to do the same thing for the cover of their new books (City of Ember & Digory the Dragon Slayer).  After students worked with partners, we came back together as a whole group and discussed each corner of the STW triangle.  

I was very happy with how this thinking move went.  It was the first time I've used it for this purpose.  Previously, I've used it for reading diagrams in nonfiction text, graphs in math or nonfiction text, and illustrations in picture books.  It reminded me of doing CLOSE reads with my students because we "read" the cover illustrations on the books three times, each time delving deeper into the meaning of the illustration and title.  In fact, the next Close read I do with my students, I will be combining the two (See, Think & Wonder and close reading). 

To see the organizers I developed as well as the fabulous Close Read bundle I use from Rainbow City Learning, click the pictures below. 
                                                        In the meantime, teach on my friends!

                                                                                 
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/See-Think-Wonder-Critical-Thinking-Graphic-Organizer-2222770


https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Color-Symbol-Image-A-Deep-Thinking-Move-2214633








https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Close-Reads-Growing-Bundle-1773792


https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Detectives-At-Large-Visual-Literacy-1960579


If your interested in reading more about metacognition, check these links out:






2 comments

  1. Familiarity is such a positive tool! I love your running analogy. It had me hooked hooked from the very beginning! Thank you for taking the time to link up with my Teaching Tuesday link up party! I appreciate it!
    ~Heather aka HoJo~

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