As we talk more about Student Voice and Making Thinking Visible, I always go back to these thinking styles – because they are so spot on about thinking and learning . As an example, I am a Concrete Random Thinker – and use this knowledge all the time – to help people understand my actions and reactions – and to analyze why I am doing things a certain way. Why I am not organized but often seem to accomplish more work than a person who is – my thinking styles helps me understand this better.
In the modern classroom this is more important than ever as we strive to let students take risks, work in a personalized environment, work effectively in groups and share their voices!
At the beginning of the year, I have them take this quick assessment – from Anthony Gregorc (professor of curriculum and instruction at the University of Connecticut), who came up with this brilliant model – to find out which thinking style they are.
This one step really helps me understand what kind of work or assignment will help them learn best and later demonstrate their knowledge. I think it is a crucial step in understanding our learners – and it makes me a fan favorite at parent teacher conferences when I go over this thinking style with the parents – as the information often helps them parent better.
As you design your curriculum this year, the thinking routines you want to uncover- it is critical to understand this first. Otherwise you might not get the results you are looking for.
Below is a quick look at the thinking styles and here is a link to the doc if you want to make a copy.
Tip: To help me remember my students dominant thinking style, I like to make little cards of the learning styles and place student names on them so I can remember that when they are not doing well with the work I might assign.