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Making Thinking Visible: How to Promote Engagement, Understanding, and Independence for All Learners [Paperback]

by Ron Ritchhart, Mark Church, Karin Morrison
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)

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Book Description

May 3, 2011 047091551X 978-0470915516 1
A proven program for enhancing students' thinking and comprehension abilities

Visible Thinking is a research-based approach to teaching thinking, begun at Harvard's Project Zero, that develops students' thinking dispositions, while at the same time deepening their understanding of the topics they study.? Rather than a set of fixed lessons, Visible Thinking is a varied collection of practices, including thinking routines?small sets of questions or a short sequence of steps?as well as the documentation of student thinking.?Using this process thinking becomes visible as the students'?different viewpoints are expressed, documented, discussed and reflected upon.

  • Helps direct student thinking and structure classroom discussion
  • Can be applied with students at all grade levels and in all content areas
  • Includes easy-to-implement classroom strategies

The book also comes with a DVD of video clips featuring Visible Thinking in practice in different classrooms.


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Making Thinking Visible: How to Promote Engagement, Understanding, and Independence for All Learners + Essential Questions: Opening Doors to Student Understanding
Price for both: $34.32

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Editorial Reviews

From the Author

Over the last 12 years we have had the pleasure of working with schools, museums, and organizations all over the world.  As we shared our research and classroom tested ideas about how to make thinking visible, be it in a classroom or with a group of adult learners,  people kept asking us where they could read more about them.  How could they learn more about how others were using them?  How could they ensure that they and their students weren't just using the thinking routines as activities?  To answer those questions we put together this book with help from educators around the world.

Since its debut, the response has been overwhelming.  We've been getting emails and facebook comments (facebook.com/MakingThinkingVisible) about how people have used the book and more importantly how the ideas are transforming learning both in and out of classrooms.  As teachers have started using the ideas, parents have begun to request more information on how they too can use the routines with their children to support their thinking and learning.  This has lead to the creation of some great applications for parents.  At a time when teaching for the test is the order of the day, it is so inspiring to see the thirst from students, parents, and teachers for deep learning, critical and creative thinking, and true engagement in the learning process.

From the Back Cover

How can classrooms become places of intellectual stimulation where learning is viewed not in test scores but in the development of individuals who can think, plan, create, question, and engage independently as learners?

Making Thinking Visible offers educators research-based solutions for creating just such cultures of thinking. This innovative book unravels the mysteries of thinking and its connection to understanding and engagement. It then takes readers inside diverse learning environments to show how thinking can be made visible at any grade level and across all subject areas through the use of effective questioning, listening, documentation, and facilitative structures called thinking routines. These routines, designed by researchers at Project Zero at Harvard, scaffold and support one's thinking. By applying these processes, thinking becomes visible as learners' ideas are expressed, discussed, and reflected upon.

Making Thinking Visible includes a DVD of instructive video clips featuring visible thinking strategies being applied in a variety of classrooms.

Praise for Making Thinking Visible

"There is a worldwide movement afoot to make the development of the intellect a priority for education in the twenty-first century. This book will become a landmark in that journey."
Arthur L. Costa, Ed.D., professor emeritus, California State University, Sacramento; coauthor, Habits of Mind series

"Making Thinking Visible is essential reading for every educator who strives to provide students with the skills they need to become thoughtful and enthusiastic directors of their own learning."
Tina Blythe, author, The Teaching for Understanding Guide and Looking Together at Student Work

"When thinking is made visible, learning is inevitable. Making Thinking Visible invites the reader to craft a new definition of education and presents a dramatic leap forward for education."
Adam Scher, school principal, Bloomfield Hills Schools, Michigan


Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Jossey-Bass; 1 edition (May 3, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 047091551X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470915516
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 7.1 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,266 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Authors

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
45 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Smarter Way to Learn in Schools April 15, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
In Making Thinking Visible, Ritchhart,Church and Morrison make a compelling case that eliciting the thinking of students is paramount to the best instructional practice and how it can be transformative in nature for educators at all levels. Moving beyond theory, the authors illustrate, very specifically, how opportunities for thinking can be cultivated via thinking routines.

It is very rare to find literature that proposes a fundamental change for instructional practice, but Making Thinking Visible does just that. All educators worth their salt will quickly see the value of the Visible Thinking framework for their students. Perhaps, even more importantly, they will rediscover the joyous dichotomy of being learner and teacher at the same time. Thinking will be the gold of the future. Making Thinking Visible allows all educators to start unearthing the nuggets.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
A significant contribution to the literature on thinking. Ron Ritchhart, Mark Church and Karin Morrison put together groundbreaking theories connected to practice for engaging children in thinking and understanding in real classrooms . This is the book that I've been waiting for to help pre-service and in-service teachers (from all grade levels) to understand the complexity of thinking in a teacher friendly language. I use this book in my curriculum courses and highly recommend it to teachers. Many schools that I know are adopting this book as a summer reading requirement for teachers.

The authors' discussions are founded in research in classrooms with teachers from different places around the world which makes it reliable. The book provides resources for teachers to implement thinking strategies and cultivate cultures of thinking in their classrooms. After reading this book teachers don't need too much time or "training" to bring all these great ideas into practice. The book is an invitation for teachers to explore their role of teacher-researchers and lifelong learners.

I also recommend readers to get the DVD, it is really helpful since it provides videos that show how these ideas work in different classrooms involving teachers from all grade levels and disciplines including teacher study group strategies. I consider this book a "must" for any teacher and school interested in helping students develop 21st Century Skills.
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57 of 65 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a fantastic book, but don 't buy the KINDEL edition. Although the content of the DVD is digital, it has not been included, not even a link for the kindel readers to see the content online. It's a shame, 'cause all the technologie is there. When I purchased it the image on the book on the page said DVD, but NO DVD!
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must Have Teaching Book - All Grade Levels December 15, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is brilliant. It has revolutionized my teaching and I have watched my kids grow as thinkers since the beginning of September. This is my go to teaching book and I recommend it to anyone and everyone who is interested in growing as a teacher and thinker.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Easy to read, and useful every day in the classroom September 10, 2011
Format:Paperback
I'm using this book in a number of schools with which I work as a consultant to help teachers create a school environment that supports the development of thinking and understanding for both students and teachers. I'm finding the book to be a great resource both as an introduction to the idea of creating "Cultures of thinking" and as a guide to using thinking routines, which are simple strategies to support and scaffold students' thinking in the classroom. The book is both practical and theoretical. Several of the teachers I have been working with say that they have it open on their desks, dipping into it during the day; we use it also as the springboard for discussion in professional learning groups, focussing particularly on the early chapters and the last two chapters, and using routines to structure discussion. One of the strengths of this book is that it can be read straight through, or dipped into as needed; and the thinking routines matrix is an easy and important reminder that thinking routines are not just strategies but have clear and distinct purposes in terms of the thinking they invite.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
By Nush
Format:Paperback
I recommend this book to anyone who wants to promote thinking in their classroom. My colleagues and I formed a book group to work through some of the routines and have been really impressed with the thinking our children / students have achieved and how motivating the routines were for us as staff. We teach a wide range of year groups and subjects from PreSchool through to Upper School and all of us were able to use the routines in a meaningful manner with our children / students.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Valuable Resource August 10, 2011
By Susan
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Making Thinking Visible is an important resource for educators across all grade levels and disciplines. It provides teachers and students with essential tools and strategies that promote thinking, questioning, engagement and independence. The accompanying DVD is an added bonus and illustrates examples of classroom teachers interacting with students and engaging with visible thinking practices. Making Thinking Visible is a practical and essential book for all teachers.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Change your thinking June 24, 2011
By Jools
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A 'must have' if you are in any way involved with teaching and learning. This book will change the way you think about what you are doing in the classroom. The routines are so simple to embed into teaching practice and are are such a powerful way to unlock students' thinking. Every child is a thinker, every child is valued and every child is set up to succeed. Fabulous!!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic book!
I like that the thought processes necessary for writing are given concrete practices for kids to use. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Julie Bogart
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Book!
This book is wonderful in the sense that it gives applicable classroom activities that help students understand material. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Edward
5.0 out of 5 stars All Teachers should read this book!
I am an elementary teach and so many times hear students say they do not understand. it all teachers made learning more concrete and visible to the eye, we would all learn better... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Lois
5.0 out of 5 stars Primary resource for educators
Excellent resource for educators if all levels and subjects, plus DVD for administrators to use for professional development. I will now be ordering copies from my entire staff.
Published 3 months ago by Kate Fioravanti
5.0 out of 5 stars Great resource for teachers!
In this age of testing, this book brings thoughtful and sound activities and routines to help students make their thinking visible, beyond choosing A-D. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Robsmm
5.0 out of 5 stars Recommended!
This approach really makes a difference in your teaching and in your students' learning -- and this is true from kindergarten through high school and beyond. Read more
Published 4 months ago by pam
5.0 out of 5 stars Thinking Deeply About This Book!
Just began reading this in earnest today. I am really interested in how to get my students to think more deeply. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Mrs. Noodlebaum
5.0 out of 5 stars Practical and adaptable
I found this book so user friendly and versatile that I bought another copy for my daughter who is just starting her career as a teacher.
Published 7 months ago by 27 yrs as principal/teacher
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Resource
This book identifies some strategies you already use in the classroom as well as providing you with many more ideas for how to stretch your students thinking helping them to think... Read more
Published 8 months ago by MrsD
5.0 out of 5 stars Tough Read But Amazing Usable Content
This book reads like a college textbook. To the point that I have to re-read most pages then use a highlighter to be sure I don't forget things I want to use. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Jess
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