Protocols to Support Engagement & Collaboration

Why Thinking Routines?

“Learning is a consequence of thinking, not something extra we tack on for good measure but something in which we must actively engage to promote our own and others’ learning.”
Ron Ritchhart, Creating Cultures of Thinking (2015)

“Thinking routines teach students to make their ideas visible and accessible. This is done through a variety of graphic organisers which help structure ideation and reasoning. They are simple to use, yet powerful in impact. The purpose of thinking routines is to promote a deeper understanding of content and help students understand how they think and learn.  A substantial body of research (Hattie, Murdoch, Ritchhard, and others) underpins the development of thinking routines in the classroom. One of the benefits for teachers in using visible thinking routines is being able to see learning through the eyes of students” (Sara Bell, Tim Power, and Sarah Rich).


Students at the Center Hub

Harvard Project Zero Thinking Routines

Thinking Routines – Inquisitive

NSRF National School Reform Faculty

The School Reform Initiative

MOEduSAIL, from the Missouri Department of Education

Responsive Classroom – Graphic Organizers (protocols)

“Protocols [also] help us to establish transparency and support learning amongst our colleagues. They help us to clarify our own views and those of others, and play an important role in developing a culture that values collective decision-making.” (The Power of Protocols: An Educator’s Guide to Better Practice, McDonald, Joseph P. (2007)