Reflection: Routines and Procedures Our Stars - Section 2: Engage:


How to create think time that is effective for all children

Think time is a very important strategy that is used in my classroom throughout the day.  This routine is developed the first week of school because it is one of the most important routines that I establish and it is used multiple times throughout the day.

The quiet signal:

In every lesson I pose a variety of statements, questions or problems that require a great deal of thinking.  In a classroom a raised hand can be distracting to a child’s thinking so in place of raising a hand as a signal, my students quietly (the quiet part always needs some practicing) place their thumbs in front of their chest.  This is the signal to let me know they have an idea to share whether it a question, answer, or strategy.

The waiting:

When children are ready to share they sometimes can be a little impatient that is why I tell my students if they have one thought or idea, it is important to think of another.  Using the fingers on the same “thumbs-up” hand students can signal how many strategies or ideas they have come up with. This allows for the think time to be constant even for the angels with quick thinking skills.

Specific Language for Introducing Think Time:

Boys and girls the other day my sister was in a big hurry and she asked me if I could tell her my address. I know my address but she was in such a hurry that she said, “I am in a hurry and I need it quick.”  This made my brain think slower and I told her my phone number on accident.  Sometimes when are brains are rushed we don’t answer the questions the way we want to. That is why it is so important that we allow all of friends to have something called Think Time. Think Time is the time your brain needs to come up with an idea or an answer to a problem.  If I said what is 2+2 …Go, go, hurry, hurry. That would not be good think time.  If I said what is 2+2 and all of your friends yelled the answer, then you would not get any think time either because you already heard the answer.  In our classroom we want to respect all the thinking and smart brain work that goes into every part of our day. On way to do this is to very, very, very quietly put a silent thumb up to your chest when you have an idea. Are you ready to practice? What is your favorite color? I allow my students time to think and then put a quiet thumbs-up to their chest. Great JOB! You respected everyone’s think time because you were so quiet. That is helpful! Now some you had your thumb up quickly because you knew your favorite color. What you can always do next is to think of more favorite colors and then with your fingers show me how many colors you like.  I ask the question again and allow my students to practice using their fingers as counters for ideas.  Some classes may need a little extra practice and some students may need 1-1 coaching to help for success. I never punish the mistakes but rather celebrate respectful behaviors for think time. I then teach my students to make a fist for when they are still thinking or stuck.

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  Routines and Procedures: Think Time
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Our Stars

Unit 3: Unit 3: Celetial Patterns: The Sun, The Moon and Stars
Lesson 11 of 21

Objective: SWBAT observe and communicate how the stars are in the sky both day and night.

Big Idea: Twinkle, twinkle little star how I wonder where you are during the day? Students will investigate these stars at night and what happens during the day.

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star observations
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