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Resources What Are You Thinking?

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Wed 22 Oct 14; Wed 26 Nov 14; Wed 28 Jan 15

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Mon 1 Dec 14

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Mon 2 Mar 15

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What are Thinking Skills?

Thinking Skills are the mental processes we use to do things like: solve problems, make decisions, ask questions, make plans, pass judgements, organise information and create new ideas. Often we're not aware of our thinking - it happens automatically - but if we take time to ponder what's going on then we can become more efficient and more creative with our minds.
(Note: thinking about thinking is called Metacognition)

Researchers at Newcastle University, UK found well over 50 different classifications of thinking skills. They distilled them all down into one useful diagram:

Cognitive Thinking Skills

Information Gathering:

  • Sensing – seeing, hearing, touching
  • Retrieving – memory skills

Basic Understanding:

  • Organising gathered information
  • Forming concepts
  • Linking ideas together

Productive Thinking:

  • Using information and understanding
  • Creating, deciding, analysing, evaluating
Child Thinker 1 Child Thinker 2 Child Thinker 3
Strategic and Reflective Thinking Skills

This is metacognition - thinking about thinking. It can involve planning, monitoring and evaluating your use of the cognitive skills above. A good way to introduce young thinkers to reflective thinking is by making a display like this one (from Nettlestone Primary):

What is in your head?: A photo of a display of silhoette heads with a collae of pictures of their thinking inside thier heads

Training Thinking Skills Training

I’ve been using Thinking Skills in classrooms and training rooms for over a decade and have written widely and practically on the subject.

I often run non-closure days in schools to demonstrate simple techniques for building Thinking Skills into the curriculum.

All my training is shot-through with opportunities to think, reflect, create and evaluate and demonstrates how easy it can be to bring Thinking Skills alive for all ages.

For more information about Thinking Skills INSET for your school please make an enquiry or visit the training page

Resources Featured Thinking Skills Resources

Journey Stick Thinking

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Journey Stick Thinking A Thinking Skills Tool inspired by ancient story telling and memory techniques. Pupils create a stick that represent key facts, events and ideas. It's use for recall then embeds ideas in sequence. Includes a Christmas example.

Categories: Thinking Tool, Memory Skills, Thinking Skills, Any Subject, Early Years, Infant, Junior, Boys' Learning

Tags: Memory Multiple Intelligences Christmas
Free Standard Member Resource: Login or Join for Free to access this resource and others.

Patchwork Thinking

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Patchwork Thinking A very popular Thinking Skills Tool that uses basic subject knowledge to make creative connections. Straightforward to plan and run in class. Makes content memorable and interesting.

This is a Free Sample Resource

Find out more or Download now:
Categories: Thinking Tool, Creative Thinking, Any Subject, Junior, Secondary, Thinking Skills

Tags: Connections

Hotter Thinking

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Hotter Thinking Thinking Skills Tool that helps you to reflect on the type of questions that you use most in class and then to develop a broader range of higher order prompts.

Categories: Thinking Tool, Questioning, Any Subject, Educators, Thinking Skills

Tags: Bloom's Taxonomy Questioning
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Thinking Stories to Wake Up Your Mind
by Mike Fleetham

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Thinking Stories to Wake Up Your Mind <br>by Mike Fleetham A Book containing 27 original tales with follow-on currciulum-linked activities for Primary and Lower Secondary. Literacy infused with the full range of Thinking Skills inspired by Bloom's Taxonomy. Classroom tasks with photocopiable worksheets that will save you planning time and embed Thinking firmly into everyday lessons. 

Available in our shop

Find out more 
Categories: Book & EBook, Thinking Skills, English, Junior, Secondary

Tags: Assemblies Bloom's Taxonomy Thinking Stories

Memory Team Thinking

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Memory Team Thinking A Thinking Skills Tool for developing collaboration and memory.

Categories: Thinking Tool, Collaborative Thinking, Memory Skills, Thinking Skills, Any Subject, Infant, Junior, Secondary, Boys' Learning

Tags: Memory Team Work Archive
Teacher Premium Resource: Login or Upgrade to Teacher Premium to access this resource.

30 Questions

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30 Questions A Poster with 30 questions to ask in class - teacher to pupil, pupil to teacher and pupil to pupil. A handy visual reminder to vary and deepen questions for learning.

Categories: Poster, Thinking Skills, Any Subject, All Ages

Tags: Questioning
Teacher Premium Resource: Login or Upgrade to Teacher Premium to access this resource.

Literacy Think Sheet - Grammar

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Literacy Think Sheet - Grammar A Think Sheet offering a more creative twist on KS2 Grammar.

Categories: Think Sheet, Thinking Skills, English, Junior

Tags: Grammar Assessment
Teacher Premium Resource: Login or Upgrade to Teacher Premium to access this resource.

STAMP Thinking

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STAMP Thinking A Thinking Skills Tool that provides a memorable template for quickly assessing evidence, opinion and reports.

Categories: Thinking Tool, Critical Thinking, Thinking Frames, Thinking Skills, Any Subject, Media, Junior, Secondary

Tags: Trust
Free Standard Member Resource: Login or Join for Free to access this resource and others.

All Thinking Skills Resources
Books Featured Thinking Skills Books

Stories for Thinking
by Robert Fisher

Stories for Thinking <br>by Robert Fisher

Stories for the classroom with thinking skills questions.

Available from Amazon 

Opens in a New Window

Categories: Suggested Books, Thinking Skills, English

Tags: Stories           


Once Upon an If
by Peter Worley

Once Upon an If <br>by Peter Worley

Once Upon an If: The Storythinking Handbook, a practical story-based resource with multiple curriculum wins.

Available from Amazon 

Opens in a New Window

Categories: Suggested Books, Thinking Skills, RE & Philosophy

Tags: Stories           


Thinking for Learning
by Mel Rockett & Simon Percival

Thinking for Learning <br>by Mel Rockett & Simon Percival

One of the first NEP books to combine thinking skills theory with its practical classroom applications. Includes basic concepts, short case studies and learning activities.

Available from Amazon 

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Categories: Suggested Books, Thinking Skills

Tags: Quality Teaching           


How to Teach Thinking & Learning Skills
by Jane Simister

How to Teach Thinking & Learning Skills <br>by Jane Simister

A step by step programme for embedding thinking skills into day to day practice. Progressive and pragmatic.

Available from Amazon 

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Categories: Suggested Books, Thinking Skills

Tags: Quality Teaching           


Resources Featured Thinking Skills Web Links

More About High Order Thinking

More About High Order Thinking

What to say to help activate pupils' high order thinking.

www.med.wright.edu QuestionTemplates.pdf 

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Categories: Websites, Thinking Skills

Tags: Questions           


Northern Irish Curriculum

Northern Irish Curriculum

Thinking Skills and Personal Capabilities as interpreted for the Northern Irish curriculum. On this page you can watch a video of Carol McGuinness whose ideas partly inspired this website.

www.nicurriculum.org.uk/what_are_tspc/ 

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Categories: Websites, Thinking Skills, Curriculum

Tags: National Strategies           


Online Diamond 9s

Online Diamond 9s

Many subject-linked Diamond 9 templates.

www.classtools.net/samples/diamond9 

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Categories: Websites, Thinking Skills

Tags: Activity           


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