Monday, January 16, 2017

Think Alouds

Excellence in Education: Think Aloud, Eavesdropping on Someone’s Thinking
Several years ago--OK it was more like fifteen years ago, but I’m feeling a little old by admitting that--I participated in a staff development session that greatly improved my instruction. Dr. Gay Ivey, then at James Madison University, presented the concept of Teacher Think Alouds.

While the idea of Teacher Think Alouds wasn’t new, the point she drove home struck a chord: You need to be deliberate and plan your Think Alouds.

Think Alouds are simply a verbal protocol for explaining your decisions, an inner monologue that helps students understand the necessary steps and thought processes necessary to academic success (Davey). Using Think Alouds helps students see that learning doesn’t just happen and even we, as teachers, struggle at times.

While Dr. Ivey presentation focused specifically on reading strategies, the concepts can be applied to all subjects using guided instruction. In using guided instruction, simply alerts the students to the methods and processes using to solve a problem. By implementing Thinking Alouds, the teacher provides a scaffold to assist students in the next step.

While I deliberately used Think Alouds prior to Ivey’s presentation, I left realizing that to take it to the next level, I needed to specifically plan my Think Alouds. In my reading classes, novels and short stories became filled with Think Aloud Sticky Notes and in my history classes PowerPoints and lesson plans included specific Think Alouds.

Some simple think alouds:
  • So what I’m wondering here is…
  • I don’t know what this word means/what the author means…
  • I’m not sure what’s happening…
  • The first thing I’m going to do…
  • I’ve read this part twice and I’m not sure if it’s important…
  • I wasn’t sure what the word meant here, so I…
  • I’m trying to figure out why…
  • I want to know a little bit more…
  • One way I check my work…
  • Sometimes this strategy works…
  • Model pre-reading, during reading and post-reading or other instructional strategies

Regardless of the Think Aloud used, all Think Alouds provide students with important details that will help students progress to the next step.

Need to Knows:

Please don’t forget that the expectation is that all students complete at least one “assignment” in each class for each term to upload to their online/open portfolios.
Friday Activity Calendar (Mentorship/Portfolio/Club Day) : Senior class meeting; mentorship for others

Portfolio Assistance If you have a student who needs assistance setting up his/her portfolio, click here

Technology / Website Permission Request Form Please use this form to request use of a website that requires student log-in if the site is not already on the approved list. DART approved list

Calendar and Memo Items
B-A-B-A Week

Tuesday @ 6:30: Community Event, Screening of Most Likely to Succeed and Fourm Discussion on High School of the Future

February 20 and March 31 are NORMAL school days now because of last week’s weather cancellations

Grades due January 25 @9am

January 16: Hilary Harveycutter

Worth Your Time

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