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For any subject and any grade, explore Harvard’s Graduate School of Education Project Zero’s (PZ) Thinking Routines Toolbox.

This toolbox highlights thinking routines developed across a number of research projects at PZ. A thinking routine is a set of questions or a brief sequence of steps used to scaffold and support student thinking. PZ researchers designed thinking routines to deepen students’ thinking and to help make that thinking “visible.” Thinking routines help to reveal students’ thinking to the teacher and also help students themselves to notice and name particular “thinking moves,” making those moves more available and useful to them in other contexts.

Thinking routines are designed to be used routinely. In the same way that physical exercises need to be repeated in order to develop certain muscles, thinking routines, used repeatedly, help students to develop certain kinds of thinking.

Choose one core thinking routine and use it in many contexts to support individuals in habits of thinking and groups in developing a culture of of thinking together. These routines are flexible enough to be used to engage learners with any artifact, system, or concept.


To celebrate National Teacher Appreciation Day, our local McDonald’s owner/operators have...