Uncovering Complexity

Uncovering complexity

ATL SKILL: Thinking

STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOME:
Students show the ability to be open-minded, to consider multiple points of view, and explicitly support opinions and reasons with evidence.

APPLICATION AT NIS – the Thinking Routines outlines below are taken from Ron Ritchhart’s Thinking Routines.  References page numbers refer to his book Making Thinking Visible (2011).

 

3-2-1 Bridge (pp 85-90)

This routine is used for activating knowledge before a learning experience.   It may be used at the start of a unit of study, and then followed up and reviewed later in the unit.

  • The topic for this routine should be one where all students have at least some prior knowledge.  The instruction following this routine should be provocation and not limited to informational or procedural practice only.
  • Decide how students will record their thinking.  As this will be referred back to later, it should be easily accessible at a later time.
  • 3 WORDS: Students generate 3 words that quickly come to mind when they think of this topic – these should be quick associations.
  • 2 QUESTIONS:  Students general 2 questions that quickly come to mind.  These also do not need deep thought.
  • 1 METAPHOR or SIMILE: Students create a metaphor of simile for this topic (you may need to review these two terms).
  • Provide a learning experience such as a video, text, image, story, experiment, etc. that conveys new information and pushes students beyond their initial understandings.
  • Repeat 3-2-1 based on the learning experience.
  • Share the thinking: with a partner, student compare the initial 3-2-1 with the new ones.  What shifts or changes have taken place?

See attached template, to be modified for learning, as desired.

Headlines (pp 111-115)

This routine is used for succinctly synthesising big ideas, thoughts, and impressions.   It is may be used during or at at the end of a unit of study.

  • The content for this routine should reflect rich ideas and the possibility for multiple interpretations and perspectives.
  • Have students consider what they think are the core ideas of the learning.
  • Students then write a (newspaper) headline or long strips of paper that captures an important aspect or core idea that we would want to remember.   This may be done individually, with a partner, or in a small group.  It may be interesting for teachers to see to what extent these are in line with the UOI central idea (PYP) or the statement of  inquiry (MYP/DP).
  • Share the thinking: students share their headlines as well as the reasoning to “unpack” the headline.   This is not a competition, but rather an opportunity to look at nuances and perspectives.

 

 

Color, Symbol, Image (pp 118-122)

This routine is used to distill the essence of ideas and to help students think metaphorically.  Connections are creative, highly personal, and rely less on written language.   It may be used at any time during a unit of study.

  • The content for this routine should reflect rich and complex ideas that prompt diverse interpretations and perspectives.  If selecting a text, a single chapter or a shorter passage is preferable.  It may be fiction or non-fiction.
  • Share the prompt with the students (passage, speaker, video, image, etc.)
  • COLOR: Each student individually chooses a colour that represents the core ideas being explored.  Students explain and justify their choices.
  • SYMBOL:  Each student individually chooses a symbol that represents the core ideas being explored.  Students explain and justify their choices.  Students may need clarification about what a symbol is: dove ~ peace; icons on digital device.
  • IMAGE:  Each student individually sketches or chooses an image that represents the core ideas being explored.  This may be a sketch, photograph or other picture that is more detailed than a symbol.  Students explain and justify their choices.
  • Share the thinking with various partners through rotations or in small groups.

See attached template, to be modified for learning, as desired.

 

Connect – Extend – Challenge (pp 131-136)

This routine is used to help students synthesise information by connecting ideas and dealing with complex conundrums.   It may be used during or at the end of a unit of study.

  • The content for this routine should reflect rich and complex ideas that incite diverse interpretations and perspectives.
  • Refocus the students on what they have been studying.  Prepare them for a prompt (story, passage, video, activity, etc) by asking them to be mindful of how this is related to information they already have.
  • CONNECT: After sharing the prompt or doing the activity, ask the students how the ideas connect to ideas they already thought about or knew.  Have students respond individually first and then allow group discussion.
  • EXTEND:  Have students consider how their ideas have deepened or expanded as a result of the prompt or the activity.  Does this thinking take them in a new direction?
  • CHALLENGE:  Ask students “What challenges or issues have come up on your mind about this topic?”
  • Share the thinking: ensure that students give their seasons and thoughts behind each of the stages.  Display on chart paper to make the whole class’s new thinking visible.

No template has been developed.  If you have one to share, please send it to Kasson to post here.

 

Red Light, Yellow Light (pp 185-188)

This routine is helps students become critical readers/listeners to more effectively evaluate generalisations, conclusions by identifying unexpressed bias and hidden motives through developing a healthy skepticism.  It deals with the elusive ideas of truth.  It may be used at any time during a unit of study.

  • The content for this routine should present particular stances, claims or generalisations that incite diverse interpretations and perspectives.
  • Introduce the source material to be used.  Do not say anything that will prejudice the students; only that you want them to dig deeper.  Students may start the routine individually or right away in pairs.
  • Ask students to identify statements that are “red flags”, that cause them to doubt their truth or accuracy.  They might use a red pen or marker or a pink highlighter to do this.
  • Next have students identify statements that give them cause to slow down, to wonder about their accuracy.
  • Share the thinking: collect students’ observations and have them provide reasons.  Look for specific areas that are heavily red or yellow.  Try and identify signs that could indicate that there may be a problem of truth.

No template has been developed.  If you have one to share, please send it to Kasson to post here.

 

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