A Quick Guide to Making Thinking Visible Using Thinking Styles


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.

Tip: if the student is too young, I ask parents to help.

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.


Author: HollyClark

Holly is the co-author of Google Infused Classroom. She lives and works in San Diego, California. She delivers professional development to schools internationally and speaks at conferences about empowering teachers and students with iPads and Google Apps for Education. Contact her at holly@edtechteam.com to have her present or work with your school.

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