Margin Notes



Project Zero, hosted by the Harvard Graduate School of Education, describes its mission as “to understand and enhance learning, thinking and creativity for individuals and groups in the arts and other disciplines.” You can learn more about Project Zero and its focus on making thinking and learning visible through thinking routines and protocols, documentation, and artifacts here.

Project Zero’s Thinking Routines Toolbox is an extensive collection of routines “designed by PZ researchers to become one of the regular ways students go about the process of learning. Routines are patterns of action that can be integrated and used in a variety of contexts. Educators might even use more than one routine in teaching a single lesson. Routines don’t take time away from anything else educators are doing; instead, they enhance learning in the classroom.”

The toolbox organizes the routines into categories based on the kinds of thinking they will inspire, such as Perspective Taking and Digging Deeper into Ideas. By selecting an activity and clicking on the title under “Resource Links,” you can access a printable one-page description of the routine that outlines its purpose, describes possibilities for applying this routine, and offers tips for launching it in the classroom.

The routines make students’ thinking and learning visible in multiple ways, including writing, talking, drawing, and movement. They are easily adapted to any grade and learning context and are a powerful way to scaffold students’ explorations of various texts, topics, and concepts. This toolbox is filled with options for facilitating authentic discussion and helping students develop the essential skills of critical thinking, close reading, and questioning texts and their world.


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