Being a Thinker in Early Years
Visible Thinking in the early years
This term we have introduced visible thinking in Nursery. When we start our inquiry into something we first ‘See’, ‘Think’ and ‘Wonder’. So when for example we want to learn about spiders, we first look at some pictures of spiders (or a real one if we’re lucky) and then together we write down what we see. After having written down everything we see, we move on to what we think about spiders and we conclude with what we are wondering about … what would we like to learn about spiders? When we’ve come up with some questions we will try to answer them, we need to think about where we could find information or what we need to do to answer our questions.
Sometimes we look at information on the Internet, or a video, or we go to the library to find some books about a certain animal. If we have questions about some of the animals we have in the classroom, we can go and observe them to see if we can find out what we want to know (we have tadpoles, snails and a fish in our classroom). Other times, we will move like this animal to experience the differences, for example, we walked, trotted, galloped and jumped like horses. When we’ve found our answers we write them down or make a picture of our findings for in our big book so we can look at them again later. Visible thinking enables children to learn from each other and gives them a way to structure what they already know and find out what they want to know. Asking questions is very evident for older children, but the children in Nursery are just finding out what the difference is between stating a fact and asking a question. Visible thinking is an excellent way to support this learning and set them on the right path to become brilliant thinkers.