Thinking Strategies

Thinking Strategies

Thinking strategies are an integral part of SCPS classrooms on a daily basis.  ESL students benefit from learning to use these strategies.  First of all, try to have visuals to go with the strategies so they can associate the meaning with the term.  They can think on a deep level;  it is sometimes just the language that makes them appear as though they are only thinking superficially.  After you show them the term and the corresponding visual, and you think they grasp the meaning of the strategy, give them the language they need to use to demonstrate their capability of using the strategy.  This can be in the form of a word bank, sentence frames, or incomplete sentences. 

 In a nutshell these strategies are:

  • Making Connections to Text / Schema / Building Background Knowledge
  • Inference (Predicting / Anticipating)
  • Visualization / Sensory Imaging / Mental Images
  • Synthesizing / Summarizing / Concluding & Evaluating / Applying
  • Questioning (Before and During and After Reading)
  • Monitoring for Meaning / Fix-It Strategies
  • Determining Importance


Website resources: (this site is comprehensive with all of the thinking strategies and you can click on the strategy.  Then you will be able to choose from a plethora of graphic organizers and practice activities.)


ANCHOR CHART RESOURCES:   Click on “Elementary Curriculum.”  There are RW Mentor Lessons (RW – Reader’s Workshop), RW Focus Lessons and unit trajectories, as well as WW – Writer’s Workshop Units, Focus and Mentor lessons.  Possibly could be adapted for the secondary level.

primary:  but can be adapted…

 Mentor Texts:

Into the Book:

Determining Importance