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Think Models

Page history last edited by Carol Koechlin 11 years, 3 months ago

Think Models 


The School Library is a knowledge building environment.


Librarians cannot claim a contribution to teaching and learning unless literacy and understanding are being built day in and day out. David Loertscher 2005




  The Think Models are developed by Loertscher, Koechlin and Zwaan in Ban those Bird Units and further refined with new unit ideas as well as planning templates in Beyond Bird Units.

These publications are available from the OLA Bookstore.





àThe Big Thinkà




So What?

What do we need to consider, to ensure success for all students:


  • What skills and literacies will students need in the 21st century?


  • How can we enhance reading, writing and thinking in content curriculum?


  • How can we design for building big ideas and deeper understanding?


  • How can we work toward success for all students?


  • How can we move beyond those bird units?







     The models are design frames that ensure high levels of thinking when students are working with information .They are process models that help students build deeper understanding of information and ideas. During the process teachers and teacher-librarians guide the inquiry and intervene with explicit teaching of skills and strategies at suggested stages.The models are grounded in best teaching methodology and current research.



    There are 18 Think Models for building Deeper Understanding







             1.    Background to Question


             2.    Sensemaking Model


             3.    Read, View, and Listen Model


             4.    Advice to Action Model


             5.    Compare and Contrast Model




    The Main Course:




             6.    Concept Building Jigsaw Puzzle Model


             7.    Problems/Possibilities Jigsaw Puzzle Model


             8.    Decision Matrix Model


              9.   Patterns and Trends Matrix Model


            10.    Timeline Model



            11.    History & Mystery Model


            12.    Take a Position Model


            13.    Re-Create Model


            14.    Reinvent Model


            15     Learn By Doing


            16.    The Teacher Directed Quest Model


    a.       On-Line Quest Projects


    b.      The Report


    c.       The Research Paper


    d.      The WebQuest as a Research Model






           17. Learner Directed Quest


    a.       Hero’s Journey 


    b.      Become an Expert


    c.       I Search




    18.  Mix It Up!



     How can the THINK models elevate the quality of student engagement and learning in the Wiki environment?


    The THINK Models:


    • apply critical and creative thinking.


    • build cross curricular literacy skills and new literacies.


    • are engaging and effective.


    • empower students to build deeper understanding.


    • are knowledge building learning experiences.


    • are a framework for designing successful assignments.


    • effectively utilize information and technology rich learning environments


    • provide opportunity for differentiated instruction.



    Some examples of high think applications

     When you consider all the advantages of designing learning experiences with a THINK model and combine that with the power of Web 2 environments like the wiki you have the potential for creating engaging and effective tasks that will be a hit with teachers and students. We will work our way through a couple of examples to show you just how easy it is.


    THINK Model

    Wiki Application

    Background to Question Model                                   

    Create a Pathfinder of best resources for students to explore. Set up pages for each student or group of students and give them a task to complete as they navigate through the resources so they are making connections.

    Use a question building strategy ( Blooms Taxonomy, De Bono’s Six Hats, Q matrix etc.) to prompt students to create different kinds of questions they now have about the topic.

    Have students review each other's questions and respond and/or create even more questions.


    Sensemaking Model

    Set up pages for each student or group of students to record data they gather and analyze about a sub-topic of a larger issue.

    Have students review and respond to the work of other students and then create and post a visualization ( web, chart, graph etc.) of the big ideas they discovered from reviewing the work of their peers.

    Compare visualizations and look for commonalities and big ideas.


    Decision Matrix Model

       Provide an overview of a problem. Create a wiki page for research teams to gather data about  the aspect of the problem they are investigating.

    Create a matrix or grid that will allow each team to record their findings organized by set criteria. Have teams analyze the collective data on the matrix and make and defend their decision based on their analysis.

    Discuss the importance of contributing accurate data in each cell.Why is it critical to validate sources?



     Some actual tasks designed with THINK Models


    Examine The Read View Listen Model 

    M3 ReadviewListen.pdf


    Each model is accompanied by a planning template.



    Now we'll explore a Wiki application from Beyond Bird Units called Fad Diets



    What about using a Wiki to build a WebQuest? Use a THINK model at the Processing Stage to ensure that your Web Quest will have high-think results.

    This WebQuest called Bully also from Beyond Bird Units is designed using The Problems Possibilities Model.




    Another tool you may find useful to get you started building wiki assignments is Wiki Templates for Super Teaching also available at OLA Bookstore.





    Back to The Big Think

    What if learning didn't stop after the research product is handed in? Consider the research project as a beginning for higher level learning. Help your students transform their new knowledge into something different. Combine the expertise students now have and search for big ideas.


    Activities to try:

    • conduct active discussions
    • present a new problem
    • develop a new challenging question
    • write about big ideas, concepts and processes of learning
    • collaboratively build a visual representation of learning
    • interact with an expert
    • take action
    • enter the real world


      After exploring this section on using the Think Models in your Wiki assignment design please add your responses to this PMI Chart.




      PMI Chart

      Plus +    


















      What Next?


      • Follow the design down process.


      • Select a model that fits the information problem or issue.


      • Provide students with an information rich environment.


      • Teach information literacy skills when needed.


      • Infuse appropriate ICT in program design.

        • differentiate for best learning


        • Gather evidence of success.


        • Consider designing your WebQuest using a THINK model at the Processing Stage.


        • Use the Web 2 environment to design collaborative workspaces for students based on the THINK models.


        • Experiment and tweak the models to fit your need –transform your old units!


        • Design your own THINK Models



          Bottom Line… Use the Think Models to demonstrate that :


          Collaboration in the Library Is the Best Teaching and Learning in the School!



          If you are interested in hearing more about designing assignments using the THINK Models please join Carol Koechlin and Sandi Zwaan on Saturday morning at SuperConference for Designing Assignments that Work.














































































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