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Thursday, May 2, 2013

How Dr. Lyman’s Think-Trix construct can be used to promote Judaic instruction and teacher training

When mentoring our pre-service and in-service teachers we need to describe and model both research-based and clinically tested best practices, and demonstrate how these best practices can be applied in the real (i.e. physical) and virtual (i.e. online) classroom for both teaching and teacher training. The combination of face to face instruction in a physical setting and online learning is called blended learning. In this section of the blog we will describe how the internet can serve as a supplemental resource for instruction and the mentoring of pre-service and in-service Jewish educators. In this post we will discuss how Think-Trix can be used to promote Judaic instruction and the training/mentoring of pre-service and in-service Jewish educators.

Assumption: The teacher or mentor teacher has a interactive white board (i.e. SMART Board, Promethean, etc.), a Tablet PC (also called a Slate or Blade), a computer presenter or computer with internet access attached to an LCD projector in the classroom. It would be ideal if students or mentees had access to their own laptop computers or Ipads. Given parental and school approval, and the development of specific guidelines, smartphones can be used to enhance instruction as well.

Note: Although the Think-Trix cognitive construct can be applied in the Judaic Studies blended learning classroom, it can be also be used for training pre-service and in-service Jewish educators for professional or staff development. It is our hope that Jewish educators around the globe will form an online community of practice, a CoP, a group of people who share an interest, a craft, and/or a profession, to enhance the delivery of instruction and training of Jewish educators. For example, here is a CoP you might want to join. 

Note: The Think-Trix cognitive construct can be used in a face to face and virtual classroom.

In previous blog posts we have defined thinking skills and processes, creative thinking, critical thinking and Benjamin Blooms taxonomy of educational objectives. We have also shared creative and critical thinking tools developed by Dr. Donald J. Treffinger.

What is the Think-Trix cognitive construct?

Dr. Frank Lyman (1987)[1] created the Think-Trix cognitive construct as a visual cuing prompt  to empower students to create their own questions for classroom discussion and inquiry. Each visual cue is designed to enable students to ask different types of questions (i.e. recall, similarity, difference, cause and effect, from idea to example, from example to idea and evaluation).
See Dr. Lyman's Think-Trix cognitive construct image below.

How does Dr. Frank Lyman’s Think-Trix Empower Students to Generate Their Own Questions?

After explaining, and demonstrating how each visual cue refers to a particular type of thinking, the teacher invites students to create their own questions related to a topic they are studying on the form that you see below.


For additional resources on Dr. Lyman’s Think-Trix refer to the sources listed below:

Below please find an example of student generated questions related to the topic of the Tishrei holidays:

For more information on how to use Dr. Frank Lyman's Think-Trix for Judaic instruction, see these two sources:


On the next post we will discuss how Dr. Chuck Wiederhold’s Q-Matrix can be used to promote Judaic instruction and teacher training.

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