Raise your hand if you use thinking aloud as a strategy with your students!
All. The. Time.
I think aloud during reading, math, science, social studies... solving behavior problems. I often worry that my students are missing the point. I wanted to create a cue that would remind students of when I was sharing what was in my head, and when I was really talking.
I like to use a lot of visual cues with my students so I decided to create a 'thought bubble' to hold above my head when I'm modeling my think aloud.
To create my 'thought bubble', I purchased a gold paint pen, black poster board and some wooden dowels. I also found a super cool gold marker that had a blade already inserted in the tip that was awesome but proved difficult to use for this project.
To begin, I hand drew a thought bubble and a speech bubble on the black poster board. I cut it out and used the gold paint pen to outline the bubbles in a thick line to make it stand out. I ended up going over it several times to get the gold nice and thick so it would stand out!
While I try to have neat handwriting, there is no way I could write words on the bubbles neatly. Using a font from Teach123, I printed out the words "I think..." and "I say...". Using the fancy trick of penciling the back and rubbing it on the black poster board[KK1] , I was able to transfer the words to the poster board.
First, I turned the paper over so I could see the blank side. Next, I took a pencil and heavily shaded an outline of the letters. It helps if you place it against a window so the sunlight shines through and you can see. For the best results, be plentiful with the pencil to make the transfer easier to see. Then, I turned the paper over and placed it on top of the poster board, with the pencil side down. Last, I used a wood stick to rub the text and transfer the pencil to the poster board.
Using the gold paint pen, I traced the letters a few times until they were nice and thick.
I hot glued dowel rods to the back so I could hold them in one hand while I'm teaching.
In hindsight, I wish the speech bubble was a little smaller. I had to do some complicated dowel gluing on the back to make it support itself. The thought bubble turned out perfectly!
How do you use think aloud as a strategy? I would love to hear about it!