Thinking Friends© Learning Workshops
In addition to the support you find through the Thinking Friends© website, we offer face-to-face workshop to guide you in using Thinking Friends© successfully with your children. At a Thinking Friends© workshop, you’ll learn and practice strategies for introducing the Thinking Friends© to children through the initial stories and discover and develop ways to bring thinking to life with Thinking Friends® in all aspects of the academic curriculum and in experiences beyond school, as well.
If you would like to contact us about scheduling a Thinking Friends© Professional Learning Session click here to send us an e-mail and we’ll get back to you right away.
Extending the Use of Thinking Friends©
Introducing each of the Thinking Friends© is only the first step in the process of helping children develop the skillful use of their thinking processes. At home, or in a pre-school or primary school’s curriculum is a virtual sandbox in which children can further explore and exercise the use of their thinking skills, Habits of Mind, and social emotional learning processes. You will notice, without much effort, that the eight thinking skills that the Friends animate are easily identified in the curriculum, especially in the questions and prompts that link to content learning and concepts.
Expanding the Use of Thinking Friends©
Beyond the Classroom
Thinking isn’t something we do only when we are learning academic content. Children’s brains are active all the time and every experience has the potential to excite and challenge their thinking and behavior in ways that introduce new understanding of themselves and the world in which they live.
Becoming aware of and in control of one’s thinking processes and actions when engaged in new experiences is a life-long skill that begins at birth. From the very beginning, children are processing countless new ideas, experiences and sensations—some that they initiate and others that simply occur as part of living in the world. Learning how to think and act in ways that enable them to take full advantage of these learning opportunities is so important to their development.
Here are some guiding questions that we use within our workshops and offer here for you to consider as you begin to introduce the Thinking Friends to young learners:
How do you set the stage for the experience before directly engaging the children in it?
How do you re-introduce the thinking process(es) and the Thinking Friends® that will be a focus of the activity?
What questions do you use to prompt the children’s interest and thinking about the content and prepare them for the experience?
How do you use questions during the experience to check on the children’s thinking and understanding? To help them anticipate what might happen next? To draw conclusions from what they have seen and heard? To elicit the use of the thinking process(es) being focused on?
What do you observe the children doing and saying throughout the experience? How are the adult’s actions influencing these behaviors?
How do you help children connect the learning from the experience and the use of the thinking process(es) to other experiences the children have beyond
Ask a Thinking Friend
We all need to get by with a little help from our friends (sorry, but we couldn’t resist the connection) so we’ve created this link where we respond to questions from our ‘Thinking Friends’ all over the world.
Please send us an email with your questions, new ideas, a ha! Moments, and even videos of you interacting with young learners!