Teaching thinking in the early years with itc thinkdrive – #readilearn

Today I am pleased to announce a new collaboration with itc thinkdrive. While we have been working in partnership since 2019, starting from next week, Gerard Alford, Director of itc thinkdrive, will contribute an occasional guest post to the readilearn blog.

While we are all aware of the importance of teaching critical and creative thinking and of providing opportunities for cooperative learning in the classroom, that teaching can sometimes be overpowered by the demands of content to be taught, tests to be administered, timetables to be followed, and ever-increasing standards to be achieved.  However, help is close at hand with the wonderful resources on thinkdrive, and Gerard will be able to show you just how easy it is in his guest posts.

About Gerard Alford

Gerard is a very experienced and respected education consultant, author and education resource developer. He is passionate in promoting high-order thinking and cooperative learning through engaging and effective evidence-based teaching methods. His teaching resources inspire and support busy teachers in creating engaging pedagogy and time-saving strategies to encourage successful student outcomes. (For a more complete bio, click here.)

Needless to say, I am enormously excited that we will have the additional benefit of his expertise right here.

About thinkdrive

Although I told you about thinkdrive in the post Teaching critical and creative thinking and cooperative learning in the classroom, it was a while ago. So, before I published Gerard’s first guest post, I wanted to remind you about thinkdrive and recommend you take a look, if you haven’t already.

thinkdrive is an online resource for teachers with a focus on critical and creative thinking and cooperative learning. It is a collection of thousands of downloadable worksheets and templates that are designed to support your teaching of these important skills and save you hours of preparation time.

With its focus on cognitive verbs and ways of thinking about things, thinkdrive differs from many other resources available for teachers. The strategies and thinking tools are clearly explained with examples and video demonstrations that make it easy for you to implement or adjust to suit your own lessons. The tools can be applied to any content you are teaching and embedded in your lesson planning.

Each of the 60 cognitive verbs; for example, compare, contrast, calculate, explain, describe, is matched to appropriate thinking tools. The use of each thinking tool is explained with examples, templates or sentence starters.  With more than thirty thinking tools in the kit, there are plenty to choose from; including, KWHL Charts. T-Charts, Y-Charts, Concept Maps, Flow Charts, and Bubble Maps. Most of the thinking tools are used effectively by students in small groups or pairs, though some can involve whole class thinking and discussion.

Other resources from itc publications

In addition to the online resource thinkdrive, itc publications have a range of other resources to support your teaching. You can find the full list of products here.

One of my favourites, that I wouldn’t be without, is the innovative teacher’s companion Early Years edition (F–2), also known as the Early Years Diary. It is available for all year levels.

This video gives you a great overview of just how useful it is.

Continue reading: Teaching thinking in the early years with itc thinkdrive – readilearn

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