Routines versus Strategies
Routines are a structure teachers use over and over again to build student independence and to create their classroom culture. When we have routines to support thinking within the classroom we are supporting students thinking as a regular part of their experience and developing their ability to think independently.
Strategies are ways of processing or working. When we teach a strategy for learning, we tend to teach it and then move on. Perhaps we bring out the strategy again once in a while but strategies don’t create culture.
I like the idea of having routines for thinking. I know routines help classrooms run smoothly and make the work of running a classroom simpler and smoother.
The authors of Making Thinking Visible fill the rest of their book with thinking routines divided into three sets: set one – routines for introducing and exploring ideas, set two – routines for synthesizing and organizing ideas and set three – routines for digging deeper into ideas. Although I could summarize them all here, I think perhaps the book does it best. In addition, I think I need to try them to really add anything to what is there.
I hope to try some of each of these routines throughout this year. I’m wondering if I might blog about them here or if they should be blogged as teaching practices on my school division’s instructional practices blog. I’ll see.