A routine for students to identify how their thinking has changed over time.
Description: This routine helps students reflect on their thinking about a topic or issue and explore how and why that thinking has changed. It is useful in consolidating new learning and identifying new understandings, opinions, and beliefs. In addition, it develops metacognitive skills, reasoning abilities, and the identification of cause-and-effect relationships.
How to Use the Strategy:
Refer to pages 154-161 in the book Making Thinking Visible: How to Promote Engagement, Understanding, and Independence for All Learners.
Access online instructions here at Harvard Project Zero.
See the routine in practice here at Harvard Project Zero.
Look for patterns of responses – do they mention particular concepts that have changed for them? Do they reflect upon a new set of skills acquired? Do they mention shifts that the teacher might expect them to have reconsidered? Do they mention other kinds of ideas that strike them as significant in ways unexpected to the teacher?
This routine must carry the message that a teacher is genuinely curious about how his/her students’ thinking has grown, deepened, shifted, or changed. This is NOT a routine about saying what they had “wrong” before and what they have “right” now. It is Not beneficial to conduct the “I Used to Think…” portion at the beginning of a unit since students’ cannot identify misconceptions and assumptions until they have been confronted.
Download these resources to use in your classroom.