During our inquiry meeting this month our group focused on what thinking strategies come easily and naturally to us. We shared our examples in order to give each other new ideas because we each have different strategies that we do naturally/easily during different parts of our day (lit, writing, math, science, social studies). The thinking strategies that I think come up easily for me in kindergarten are schema, creating sensory images and sometimes asking questions. We have decided our next steps will be to focus on some ideas our teammates have and try them in our classroom. Our next steps will be to think about the thinking strategies that were not talked about during our group time and ones we find most difficult and try to think of times during the day we can implement them. The thinking strategies that feel unnatural to me and I really have to work hard on are determining importance, synthesizing and sometimes making inferences. We will share our ideas at our next meeting.
I used to think that incorporating the thinking strategies into everyday lessons and "talk" was going to be so difficult for kindergarten and for myself. I really did not think I would be able to do it. in my classroom gracefully. I now think it is totally possible and becoming easier for me everyday. The more I familiarize myself with the language and just do it (even when it feels uncomfortable and unnatural) the easier it becomes. Some of the thinking strategy language is coming out of my mouth easily and naturally now............and even my kids are using it in their vocabulary......not always correct but they are attempting and that is really all that matter in Kindergarten. The more you attempt vocabulary the more it will become party of your dialogue.
I think the pictures I posted last time are still relevant to this post. I have my "Your Busy Brain" posters hanging in the classroom and these are visual cues for the kids to remind them what thinking strategies we have really delved into and remind them what they mean if they forget. I don't point them out every time the vocabulary comes up any more which I think is okay because some of it just comes up naturally and easily and doesn't need a reminder (schema, creating sensory images).