A Community of Deep Thinkers

The mind is a mystery. A space for remembering, creation and innovation! But how do we, as educators, truly see what is in the mind of the child? How do we truly know the impact we might have on the learning of the student? John Hattie, in his book 'Visible Learning for Teachers' (Hattie, 2012,pg.vii) says that the major message in his work around visible learning is to ‘know thy impact!' At Christian College one of the ways we are working on truly knowing our impact on student understanding is through the use of Visible Thinking routines which make thinking visible. These routines have been developed through Project Zero's Visible Thinking approach by Ron Ritchhart and David Perkins. The routines are simple structures, for example, a set of questions or a short sequence of steps, that can be used across various year levels and content. What makes them routines, versus merely strategies, is that they get used over and over again in the classroom so that they become part of the fabric of classroom culture. The routines become the ways in which students go about bringing the process of learning to the fore. Some of the Visible thinking routines, with their goals that you might see include:

  • Think, Puzzle, Explore- A routine that sets the stage for deeper inquiry
  • What makes you say that?- Interpretation with justification routine
  • Think, Pair, Share- A routine for active reasoning and explanation
  • I used to think…Now I think…- A routine for reflecting on how and why our thinking has changed
  • Compass Points-A routine for examining propositions and
  • See, think, Wonder-A routine for exploring works of art and other interesting things

These routines assist teachers in seeing what is in the mind of the child therefore giving them the ability to truly cater to each student’s individual level of understanding. At Junior School we see that our learning oriented classroom is substantially enriched by the implementation of these Visible thinking routines and we encourage you as parents and families in partnership with us to visit the following website to discover more about thinking routines. I would also like to encourage our families to consider how they might also use opportunities in the home to present and use these very valuable thinking routines.



Ann-Marree Weigl

Head of Junior School


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