Cultures of Thinking

“What makes you say that?”, “Justify your answer”,  or, “I agree”, and “I disagree”,  is what you may hear as you walk down the hallways of Roosevelt .  You may also see  the thinking routines posted  throughout the building:

  • Chalk Talk
  • I See-I Think-I Wonder
  • Tug-of-War,
  • I Used to think/ Now I think

What is going on?  Students are actively engaged in a culture of thinking! 

A ‘Culture of Thinking’ is a learning environment where thinking is valued, questioning is encouraged and creativity and curiosity are inspired.   Here at Roosevelt, teachers and students are intentional about how they learn.  From language to thinking routines, a culture of thinking begins to take shape in an environment that values and respects each other’s ideas.  ‘Thinking Routines’ are instructional strategies that empower teachers to move student learning from just knowing the correct answers to thinking about, looking closely at, understanding and questioning what is being presented.  The thinking and questioning language (accountable talk) of the routines  encourage students to go deeper  into their learning and make their thinking visible.

The culture of the classroom grows as students learn collaboratively, ask each other questions, give feedback,  and build on one another’s ideas, in a risk-free environment of respect.   As one student expressed after the thinking routine, “Chalk Talk,” “ I feel like my voice is heard. It’s like silent conversation, and no one is interrupting me. I can share my ideas, freely.”

Learning becomes fun as students, parents, and educators  freely share their ideas, use their imagination to problem solve, challenge one another and engage in meaningful dialogue.  So, the next time you are presented with an idea, don’t be afraid to ask, “ What makes you say that?”

Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.  Albert Einstein

Teacher and student on first day of school