Academic Conversation Through Silent Debates

When I taught high school, my favorite day of the week was current event Friday because students shared about the events of the week and the class engaged in academic conversation and debates over current affairs. When I attempted to bring this same idea to middle school it flopped! It turned into arguments and hurt […]

If I knew I wouldn’t fail…

What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail? Have you ever asked your students this question? You might be surprised at what they tell you.  For the last few years I’ve started the year in my 7th and 8th grade Language Arts class with a small unit on Famous Failures. Our students often feel that […]

Why Do We Need To Make Thinking Visible?

When you ask questions in class, do you already have an answer in mind?  I loved the phrase in chapter 2 of “guess what’s in the teacher’s head”, it made me chuckle out loud.  As someone who has observed many lessons in a variety of subjects, it is easy to spot a teacher that has […]

Is Thinking Visible in your Classroom?

Right from page one, the authors of Making Thinking Visible challenge what we know about thinking in our classrooms.  When posed with the question, “What kinds of thinking do you value and promote in your classroom?” I admit I was a bit stumped.  I immediately thought of questioning. The idea to question students to get […]