Shop Now Login/Register View Quote View Cart
1.800.221.5175
Mathematics
Core Math
Sadlier Math Grades K–6 View Details | Buy Now
Progress in Mathematics Grades K–6 View Details | Buy Now
Progress in Mathematics Grades 7–8+ View Details | Buy Now
Supplemental
Progress Mathematics Grades K–8 View Details | Buy Now
New Jersey Progress Mathematics Grades K–8 Buy Now
New York Progress Mathematics Grades K–8 Buy Now
Common Core Progress Mathematics Grades K–8 Buy Now
Let's Target Math Problem Solving Grades 1–8 View Details | Buy Now
Let's Target Real-World Math Word Problems Grades 1–8 View Details | Buy Now
Critical Thinking for Active Math Minds Grades 3–6 View Details | Buy Now
Preparing for Standards-Based Assessments Grades 7–8 View Details | Buy Now
Vocabulary
Vocabulary Workshop Enriched Edition Grades 1–5 View Details | Buy Now
Vocabulary Workshop Achieve Grades 6–12+ View Details | Buy Now
Vocabulary Workshop Achieve Interactive Edition Grades 6–12+ View Details | Buy Now
Vocabulary Workshop Enriched Edition Grades 6–12+ View Details | Buy Now
Vocabulary Workshop Interactive Edition Grades 2–12+ View Details | Buy Now
Vocabulary for Success Grades 6–10 View Details | Buy Now
Let's Target Vocabulary Acquisition Grades 1–8 View Details | Buy Now
Let's Target Vocabulary and Usage Grades 1–8 View Details | Buy Now
Building an Enriched Vocabulary Grades 9–12 View Details | Buy Now
English Language Arts
Progress English Language Arts Grades K-8 View Details | Buy Now
New Jersey Progress English Language Arts Grades K–8 Buy Now
New York Progress English Language Arts Grades K–8 Buy Now
Common Core Progress English Language Arts Grades K–8 Buy Now
Grammar & Writing
Grammar Workshop, Tools for Writing Grades 3–5 View Details | Buy Now
Grammar for Writing Grades 6–12 View Details | Buy Now
Let's Target Grammar Grades 1–8 View Details | Buy Now
Writing Workshop Grades 6–12 Buy Now
Writing a Research Paper Grades 6–12 Buy Now
Grammar & Writing for Standardized Tests Grades 9–12 Buy Now
Reading
From Phonics to Reading Grades K–3 View Details | Buy Now
Close Reading of Complex Texts Grades 3–8 View Details | Buy Now
Close Reading of Complex Texts Interactive Edition Grades 3–8 View Details | Buy Now
Sadlier Phonics Grades K–3 View Details | Buy Now
Let's Target Comprehension Grades 1–8 View Details | Buy Now

Sadlier's
English Language Arts Blog

The home of Vocab Gal and other educational experts K–12 resources

September 1, 2016 ELA PD - Literacy, ELA PD - Thinking Routines, ELA K-5, ELA Focus - Reading, ELA Resources - Graphic Organizers, Core Literacy

The Explanation Game Visible Thinking Routine; A Professional Development Series

In January, I began an ongoing monthly post describing a “thinking routine” Making Thinking Visible: How to Promote Engagement, Understanding and Independence for All Learners by Ron Ritchhart, Mark Church, and Karin Morrison. If you are already familiar with previous posts discussing the book, scroll down to the Thinking Routine of the Month. If this is your first time seeing the posts on this topic, here is what you missed.
Last June, you may have read the post where I shared a few of my favorite books, which I thought might make good summer reading material. The professional book I suggested was: Making Thinking Visible: How to Promote Engagement, Understanding and Independence for All Learners by Ron Ritchhart, Mark Church, and Karin Morrison.

We used Making Thinking Visible: How to Promote Engagement, Understanding and Independence for All Learners by Ron Ritchhart, Mark Church, and Karin Morrison for a book study at my school last year. I really enjoyed the book because I have always considered that my job as a literacy specialist is to teach students strategies that allow them to better comprehend literature. One way that I do that is by making my thinking visible to my students. I try to explain to my students exactly what I do (my thought process) as I work through a text. Making Thinking Visible as been a valuable resource because the book contains "thinking routines." These are thinking activities to use with students to increase understanding of a topic by analyzing their thinking.

How Teachers Can Use Visible Thinking Routines

If you are a teacher, each individual visible thinking routine will help your students deepen their comprehension. The book divides the “thinking routines” into three categories:

1. Routines for Introducing and Exploring Ideas

2. Routines for Synthesizing and Organizing Ideas

3. Routines for Digging Deeper into Ideas

There are 21 “thinking routines” suggested in the book, with seven in each of the three categories. Every month I will highlight a visible thinking routine from Making Thinking Visible and how I have used it with my classes.

How Principals Can Use Visible Thinking Routines

If you are a principal, this text would be a great choice for a school-wide professional book study and/or a staff development project. Not only would you provide your staff with an invaluable resource, you will most likely increase the level of thinking within the student body. Here's how it will benefit you personally:

  • As you do school walk-throughs or observations, Making Thinking Visible will give you something to target as you enter classrooms.

  • By focusing on the “thinking routines” you should find that your teachers observations are easier, because the staff will know what is expected of them.

  • It will also help you provide feedback to your staff as you focus specifically on the “thinking routines.”

Thinking Routine of the Month: The Explanation Game

The purpose of the Explanation Game is to encourage students to look more closely at the details of an object and think of several reasons why that object is the way it is. It gets students to think about the “parts of the whole.” The Explanation Game asks learners to think about the reasons something works the way it does or about its purpose. By explaining the parts of an object and the relationship between those parts students can gain a deeper understanding.

This is how it works:

  1. Take a close look at the object you are trying to understand.

  2. Name it. Name a feature or aspect of the object that you notice.

  3. Explain it. What could it be? What role or function might it serve? Why might it be there?

  4. Give reasons. What makes you say that? Or why do you think it happened that way?

  5. Generate alternatives. What else could it be? And what makes you say that?

the-explanation-game-visible-thinking-routine-750px.png

download now

The Explanation Game is a great way to start off the school year. Give students a copy of the Explanation Game Note–Taking Sheet (available for download) and have your students select various objects around your classroom to write about. The Explanation Game is also a terrific engagement activity to kick off a history or science unit. For example, if you are studying Pacific Northwest Native Americans, show your students a totem pole and have them play the Explanation Game before delving into the unit.

 

 

 

 RELATED RESOURCES:

see-think-wonder-thinking-routines-worksheet-350px.jpgSee-Think-Wonder
Thinking Routine

persuasive-writing-lesson-Download-Now

zoom-in-thinking-routine-activity-350px.jpg

Zoom In
Thinking Routine

persuasive-writing-lesson-Download-Now

think-puzzle-explore-visible-thinking-routine-350px.jpgThink-Puzzle-Explore
Thinking Routine

Reading-Strategies-Download-Now

chalk-talk-activity-graphic-organizer-350px.pngChalk Talk
Thinking Routine

Reading-Strategies-Download-Now

 

3-2-1-bridge-3-2-1-graphic-organizer-750px.png

3-2-1 Bridge
Thinking Routine

Reading-Strategies-Download-Now