Thinking Organizers and Templates

Student-Facing Organizers & ScaffoldsConceptual FramesProcess ScaffoldsSelf ReflectionAnchoring Phenomenon Routine TrackerClaim Evidence Reasoning Rubric and Template.pdfCopy of During Read Opinion Proof NotesCopy of Turn, Exchange, Sort - group learning routineCopy of See-Think-Wonder Post-Lab Group Learning RoutineCopy of Explanation ToolCornell Notes (1).docxJournal Article Notes Template [SHARED].docxKWL_Chart_handout_v.final_.pdfPre Read Concept Definition MapPeer Feedback Prompts.docxObject to Process, Small to Large, Turn, Exchange, Sort - group learning routineRead-Generate-Sort-Solve_(with_directions)Research Questions Organizer.docxSentence FramesThinksheets (Student-Facing Checklist For Interpreting Visual Information)Text Dependent Questions.docxSentence Starters for Project ReflectionsWeekly Planner.docx

Conceptual models serve as critical tools in understanding and visualizing the mechanisms underlying various phenomena. Thinking templates, or structured frameworks for thought, enhance this process by offering a standardized approach to modeling that the thinker can draw inspiration from and then adapt for their specific purpose. When utilizing thinking templates:

  1. Consistency: They provide a consistent methodology with which to first approach characterizing a complex problem or system, which can be particularly beneficial for collaboration.
  2. Efficiency: Thinking templates streamline the thought process, saving time and resources that would otherwise be spent in ideation without direction.
  3. Clarity: The predefined structure of these templates helps in delineating the elements of a concept, making general relationships and components within systems more explicit.
  4. Comprehensiveness: By covering a range of perspectives and dimensions, thinking templates elicit stakeholder consideration of various aspects of a phenomena or problem, which could reduce the risk of oversight, waste, or iatrogenic consequences of organizational intervention.
  5. Communication: They can facilitate better communication of ideas as they typically entail making thoughts visible.
  6. Innovation: Thinking templates can also serve as a springboard for innovation, challenging users to think within certain parameters while still encouraging creative solutions.

Thinking templates-when used well-have the potential to be instrumental in the development of conceptual models—also known as understanding. And the solutions to many of our complex “wicked” problems, are only as good as our (mis)understanding of the nature of the problem in the first place.

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