On Tuesday, 17 March last week, AISL hosted a Parent Coffee morning to present information on Visible Thinking. This session was led by Julie Baldry, Terry Maguire, Leslie Jeffery and Ingrid Turner.
Teachers at AISL use the research from Harvard University’s Project Zero to enrich learning at AISL. Project Zero’s “Cultures of Thinking” reminds teachers about the importance of routines, environment, interactions, language, expectations, opportunities, time, and modeling. Project Zero’s research indicates that if all these forces are present and working well in a classroom, then optimum learning can occur. Our teachers use the thinking routines that have been developed and named by Harvard researchers to enable students to access habitual deeper thinking more quickly and efficiently.
Why is this important? According to Krueger, 2019, “We can’t prepare students for specific careers when we can’t even fathom what those might be. Nearly half of what students learn in their first year of university is outdated by the time they graduate. Thus students will need to be able to think in a variety of ways in order to be successful in the workplace”.
The Coffee Morning session saw parents identify a number of different thinking words such as analyse, develop, generate, consider, contrast, interpret, classify, judge etc.
We then took a look at the 8 thinking moves we help students make during learning experiences:
Routinely asking your children “WHAT MAKES YOU SAY THAT?” Rather than “WHY?” has proven to make a marked difference in eliciting reasoning. Asking “What Makes You Say That” is much more invitational in nature whereas “Why” is more likely to lead to a defense of a position. Teachers at AISL are also transitioning to asking for ideas using the language of possibility. The use of ‘might’ in ‘How might you do that?’ creates safety in that they understand there are multiple answers not just one right answer.
The session ended with information for parents on how to promote thinking at home.
Here is the link to the Visible Thinking website for more information and step by step instructions for the routines, and here is the link to other useful documents as well as the 10 Visible Thinking Tips for parents.
The Leopard's Tale is our main medium to keep our families informed on such things as the day to day happenings on campus, after school activities, summaries of any arts and sports events, helpful resources, and important dates and reminders.
Parent Information Sessions
Here are the upcoming sessions – all parents are welcome and encouraged to attend: