Teacher Education

5 Core Thinking Routines for Students

A short video clip about the power of ditching questions that begin with “wh” and replacing them with other key prompts

Discover how to use video to observe student teachers and the core thinking routines Debra Lively uses to enhance reflection and probing among teacher candidates.


Debbie Lively:

These are the core thinking routines that I use when with student teachers. Now, there are other thinking routines, but I’ve just selected these few core ones that I could start using more consistently.

And the See, Think, Wonder. The I used to think, and now I think. I love connect extended challenge. This one describes what made you think that or what made you say that one I use so much. And then Think, Puzzle, Explore. And then there is the website below there, but it will be put in the chat too. So the See, Think, Wonder, and I tried to put this in the framework of if you were observing with a student their video, and you can do that and GoReact, you can do that really in real time. So I might if using a See, Think, Wonder and my students know these routines so their brain gets ready, remember what the brain thinks. And if you use routines, it helps them think deeper. We use See, Think, Wonder, describes some of the strategies you see in your teaching.

Share what you think about the strategies you used, identify what you wonder about those strategies in your teaching. I take the WH. I don’t say, what do you think about the strategies you use? I say share. I also from training and cognitive coaching, there’s been a lot of research done on when you ask a WH question, sometimes the brain will stop thinking because there’s a right or wrong answer. The way you frame your question really allows that brain an opportunity to think more openly without feeling like, “Oh, I’m going to be wrong.” It really encourages when you ask questions like this or you use these thinking routines, it really just encourages risk taking, which is what we want student teachers to do. Take a risk and share what they’re really thinking. I used to think this is one of my favorite. And now, I think. Share what you used to think about how you should teach reading what you learned in your methods courses and explain what you think after you’ve been teaching for eight weeks now.

So I used to think and now I think and then extend connected challenge describe what connects with what you already know or what you saw in your small group lesson or on the video. How might you extend your learning from what you saw and any challenges that you noticed? And so if using these thinking routines when we’re reviewing video has really helped for more critical thinking and not just that surface thinking that they do often do.