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Making Thinking Visible: How to Promote Engagement, Understanding, and Independence for All Learners
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Making Thinking Visible: How to Promote Engagement, Understanding, and Independence for All Learners

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4.21  ·  Rating details ·  1,463 ratings  ·  145 reviews
A proven program for enhancing students' thinking and comprehension abilities Visible Thinking is a research-based approach to teaching thinking, begun at Harvard's Project Zero, that develops students' thinking dispositions, while at the same time deepening their understanding of the topics they study. Rather than a set of fixed lessons, Visible Thinking is a varied colle ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published May 3rd 2011 by Jossey-Bass (first published March 25th 2011)
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Charlie
Jul 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
Making Thinking Visible lobbies teachers to change from knowledge instruction towards deeper synthesizing and understanding instruction. Although this is not a new concept, Bloom's Taxonomy etc., practical routines are shared as to how to deepen student thinking while at the same time helping teachers assess this process.

One of my favored parts was the DVD accompaniment where I was able to witness teachers meeting to discuss how their routines were working in the classroom. Ego aside, student f
...more
Stephanie
Jul 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
For any educator who would like to feel like they are changing the world and wanting to learn how to create critical thinkers in the classroom, this is the book. This book teaches teachers how to foster a critical thinking environment in an educational world that just looks at scores. It promotes overall learning rather than just teaching to the test. I have already used some of these techniques in my 3rd grade classrooms and I have noticed a difference in my students' thinking as well as my thi ...more
Amy
Aug 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Teachers, READ THIS BOOK. This book, the product of ten years of research at Harvard Project Zero, provides countless thinking routines, not games, not gimmicks, but real strategies to help our students practice thinking skills in the classroom. I have already used this book to shape the language I use with the pre-service teachers who come into my classroom. I cannot wait to begin discussing learning and understanding with my students based on what I have learned from this text.

The necessity of
...more
Monica Hills
Aug 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
This book had some great strategies for getting kids to think. The most valuable part to me was seeing how others used them in their classrooms. I would have loved to see more examples and diagrams/pictures but overall very useful. I look forward to using this in my classroom.
Kim
Jul 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Everybody in education these days is talking about critical and creative thinking. It’s one of the 21st Century skills! It’s engaging, rigorous, and what employers are looking for. But what exactly is it, and how do we foster it in our classrooms (and lives)? In Making Thinking Visible, the authors give teachers some much-needed traction on this question, identifying 8 activities that are components of critical and creative thinking, and then naming and explaining 21 routines for making those co ...more
Laura McCarthy
May 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
MTV is a book to make us (teachers) more thoughtful about the thinking our student do. The book identifies different types of thinking and describes a number of thinking routines that can help students 'see' their thinking and collaborate with peers. The use of the thinking routines has significantly raised the level of the language my First Graders are able to use effectively to explain and expand their thoughts. The website (Project Zero at Harvard) has a number of the routines that you can br ...more
Karen
Jun 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Reading this book makes me want to go back to school again...but a school that follows what this book teaches us. Learning and thinking takes a lot of practice and deep thinking is far from teachers just teaching. Teachers must be mentors and guides. Students can take it from there. This book has many practical tools for every educator, but is also an interesting book to read for parents as well.
Syd Lindblom
May 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
I read this book in bits and pieces, but it works well that way. I liked that each strategy had ideas for situations where it would work rather than just prescribing a "this works!" kind of solution. I think that it is important that we make the abstract thought process as concrete as possible for our students as often as we can, and this book starts to give ways to do that.
Angela
Dec 15, 2016 rated it liked it
This book was filled with some good ideas about how to see student's thinking, but the formatting and lengthiness of explanations made it difficult to skim and hard to keep focused. Overall, it's filled with some excellent strategies for teachers in every subject area and examples and tips of when to use the strategies to get the most out of them.
Temuujin Nyamdavaa
Nov 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
At the beginning of every school year, I go on searching for the book that might give insights into teaching and my career. Teach like a champion has been my bible since the beginning of my teaching career. Not long ago, I’ve come across this book, Making Thinking Visible. It has brought a kinda a total change in my teaching philosophy. Highly recommended!
Ken
May 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
I read this but never reviewed it. During my feverish, read-anything-about-teaching phase. When I thought being a Master Teacher was possible. Yeah. Then.
Angie Hull
Jul 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Making Thinking Visible is a crucial read for teachers who are trying to help students with deep thinking and understanding. It helps teachers guide students to make "invisible thinking" to "visible". The Thinking Routines are broken into three sections based on the level of understanding. This professional text works well in all contents and all grade levels. Enclosed with the text is a DVD of some of the Thinking Routines in action. This is a very important read for educators and one that can ...more
sam howie
Sep 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A new entry to my top 5 all-time educational textbooks. An entirely practical book filled with various 'routines' to help, not guide but draw out children's thinking. While some practical books can be quite closed, in a prescriptive nature, the routines here can be thought of as more of a springboard for engagement and available to be used with students from preschool to tertiary levels. This book is possibly the best way, I have seen, to avoid teachers working in the 'banking' system of learnin ...more
Cathleen
Oct 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An excellent resource with a wide variety of specific activities that can be implemented tomorrow. So many fabulous ideas here for all ages, content, and goals.
Matt Carton
Dec 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The single best pedagogical guide I have ever read.
Mariam
Aug 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed reading this book, It helped me to look back at some of the workshops I give and I think I will always get back to it whenever I am designing a new learning experience.
Before reading this book I browsed quickly the thinking routines on the website http://www.visiblethinkingpz.org/ and I was skeptic, not sure how to use it, how to put it into context or what is so special about those routines. After reading this book I realized that it's not about the routines it self but about t
...more
heather
Feb 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
I read this in bits and pieces at first while searching for new ways to assist my students with reading comprehension and analysis, but came back to it more extensively over the last few weeks to help vary the learning routines for some of the students I tutor, especially those who struggle with comprehension and explaining what they are thinking. I love the organization. Each routine is outlined with its purpose, appropriate content, steps of the practice, how it can be modified for different a ...more
Marc
Apr 07, 2015 rated it liked it
The underlying concept of making the invisible practice of thinking more visible is great and this book offers some ideas on how to go about that task. There is great emphasis on group learning to leverage the collective thinking inherent in a classroom. In an effort to emphasize the group thinking, there is a noted de-emphasis of individual thinking and assessment of the individual's contribution. Given that we are charged with assessing the individual, I would like to see some suggestion as to ...more
Patricia
Jan 28, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: literacy
Great discussion on helping teachers and students to "see" thinking, but a lot of the routines wouldn't be helpful in my high school language arts classroom. I will use a few though, like the 4 C's. I've already tried that one and found it effective.
Alison
Jan 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
In chapter one, the authors argue that “in most school settings, educators have focused more on completion of work and assignments than on a true development of understanding.” This statement captures a lot of my recent thinking about education: we need a paradigm shift that moves from teaching to learning. Simply because we’ve “taught” something doesn’t mean students have learned it.

This incredibly practical, yet thoughtful, book is centered around teachers asking “what kinds of thinking do I
...more
Carolyn
May 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction, teaching
If you've ever taken a class on how to teach ELLs, you've probably gotten handed the 99 Ideas and Activities book and/or even been made to lead activities from that book.

I would say that, for me, this is a much more usable and thoughtful version of that book--with only 21 activities, all fully explained with purpose, content ideas, ways to alter, assess, and in depth picture of the routine in practice.

The introductory chapters about thinking and how we do it, and how to promote it, and the final
...more
Luca
May 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: teaching, thinking
I got to this book from the artful thinking project which is a great way to combine art and critical, lateral, creative maybe just good thinking together.

In this book, there are several strategies to help students to develop good thinking. Those strategies are divided into different categories that serve different purposes. Everything is very detailed and well explained.
One could be unhappy that there are no "real" examples to look at, but with the book, comes a cd where you can see how these r
...more
Brandon Nas
Apr 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A detailed pedagogical guide to Harvard Project Zero's visible thinking routines. If you want to learn how to illuminate the process of thinking for your students, not just how to develop their thinking skills, but how to make students aware of thinking processes, then this practical teacher guide is essential reading. The whole visible thinking process is built on the assumption that learning is the result of thinking, not that thinking can only happen after learning occurs. Consequently, “At t ...more
Jen
Jul 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: teaching
This is a fantastic book with wonderful strategies to use in the classroom that could work in a wide range of age groups and subject areas. The authors really explain each strategy, how to set it up in the classroom and then give advice on what to assess as well as concrete examples of how various teachers put the strategy into place into the classroom. While I think this is a very valuable resource for ANY teacher, I think this would be especially amazing for a first year teacher needing a bunc ...more
Evonne
Dec 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
I always struggle to find new ways to access what kids are thinking. Well, I struggle sometimes to just get them thinking! Any time I can find some new ideas to refresh my courses, or just to bring my practise to life, I'm happy!

This book had some really good ideas. I used sticky notes all over it to remind myself of new strategies I want to try, and in which units, in which classes. It's set up well: some theory to begin with; a really practical middle section full of ideas and how to use them;
...more
Jim
Apr 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
If you haven’t read this, are you even teaching?

Among the many, many books I’ve read on teaching and pedagogy (it’s kind of my job), rarely have I encountered a “must read” text like this one. While I’m fairly certain that no book ever published qualifies as THE quintessential how-to-teach manual that every educator at every grade level in every discipline absolutely positively has to read, this one comes pretty darn close.

First, the authors of this book understand that there is no such thing as
...more
Col Harrison
Apr 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Making Thinking Visible has a wealth of strategies to help draw the latent thoughts of students into the open through specific strategies. It is a little overwhelming on a first read and really needs a dose of dipping in and out. There is a good structure regarding the application of each technique by real teachers, but as it warns near the end, better to pick a few strategies that allow students and teachers to become familiar with the process and to refine it with practice to one that becomes ...more
David
Jun 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another way to teach

The ideas in this book could take your classroom from "what do I want my kids to know/do at the end of this unit" to "how has what I taught changed how they think about what we did". This will benefit the children and therefore our society's future greatly but will sabotage the State's goal of measurable progress and good test scores. So my fellow teachers... what will do?
Ross
Oct 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I appreciate the adaptability of the ideas presented in the book and how the activities could apply to my role as a teacher. I appreciated that they discussed pitfalls or concerns when problems arise with presenting new concepts to students. The activities encourage students to interact with learning and demonstrate flexible thinking. I'd recommend this text to any educator regardless of subject matter.
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Ron Ritchhart is currently a Senior Research Associate at Harvard Project Zero where his work focuses on such issues as teaching for understanding, the development of intellectual character, creative teaching, making students' thinking visible, and most recently the development of school and classroom culture. Ron's research and writings, particularly his theory of Intellectual Character and frame ...more

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