Thinking Classroom

What is Building Thinking Classrooms?

Building Thinking Classrooms is a framework for organizing your classroom involving 14 principles used to help teachers structure their math classes around student thinking.

It is based on the research of Peter Liljedahl who writes

"a thinking classroom is ... a space that is inhabited by thinking individuals as well as individuals thinking collectively, learning together, and constructing knowledge and understanding through activity and discussion. It is a space wherein the teacher not only fosters thinking but also expects it, both implicitly and explicitly." *

This framework relies on students working in visibly random groups on vertical non-permanent surfaces (such as vertical whiteboards).

The Thinking Classroom Framework

This sketchnote was made by Laura Wheeler based on Peter's Liljedahl's research.

More Information

Check out this article with a summary of Building Thinking Classrooms written by Peter Liljedahl.

Many of the prompts and tasks within the K-12 Math Task Collection lend themselves well to the Thinking Classroom framework.

Here are additional resources:

PD via Twitter: @pgliljedahl, @JudytaLarsen, @AlexOverwijk, @wheeler_laura, @MaryBourassa, @thinkingclssrms, #thinkingclassroom, #vnps, #vrg

Avaialble webinars and podcasts for self-directed learning:

Check out the sample classroom videos below where students are engaging in Thinking Classrooms.

Time Lapse

Classroom Panorama


Explaining Thinking in Primary

* Liljedahl, Peter. Building Thinking Classrooms in Mathematics, Grades K-12: 14 Teaching Practices for Enhancing Learning. Corwin Press, 2020.