Over the years, I have come to rely upon the thinking routine: See, Think,Wonder. Students always love it and dive right in, but I am invariably frustrated that it just scratches the surface of concepts. After spending time investigating the rigor of my student's tasks, I finally understand why it is in the "explore" section of the Making Thinking Visible book!; it is not meant to deeply analyze a subject, but to elicit interest, motivation, engagement, student ownership and intrigue. With that in mind, I am successfully matching thinking task to learning objective. :) Thank you Backwards Lesson Design!
What we did:
When I plan each literacy unit, I also plan the thinking strategy that I want to investigate with students. Multiple thinking strategies are used all the time and hopefully with flexibility, but it is beneficial to my students when I explicitly teach one at a time.
It is difficult to tease out just one, so I used See Think Wonder to acknowledge multiple strategies and then for my narrative fiction unit, I wanted to zoom in on Inferring. My learning objective was for students to realize that when we infer we use background knowledge and text/visual clues. "See" is activating background knowledge to recognize features, "Think" is inferring based on clues, "Wonder" is questioning. I added the "Why" after the "Think" and it has helped students to cite text evidence.
The book, Journey by Aaron Becker, is a vivid picture discovery. Students must infer to make sense and create understanding. I highly recommend it!
I think she wants to go where kids notice her and play with her, because she asked her family to play, but they ignore her and she looks lonely.
I wonder if she is going to go to another place and become noticed. Maybe she will go to another world because she drew a door and went in and came to an unfamiliar place.
This strategy worked for fiction and now I begin a nonfiction social studies unit on Regions of the U.S. For the onset, my learning objective is for students to build background knowledge. I will use images so students can infer and construct meaning. This will be the foundation for the unit. My expectation is that it will motivate and engage students in order for them to develop ownership of the content.
I also want students to metacognitively choose what thinking strategy helps them create understanding at particular times in their research. Is it questioning or inferring?