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Extending and developing your thinking skills
Extending and developing your thinking skills

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3 Different kinds of thinking

Thinking is something we do all of the time.

Activity 3

Briefly write the story of your day so far reflecting carefully on the amount and types of thinking you have done.


Perhaps your day started like the following extract:

A day in the life of…

I started my day trying to decide whether to get up straight away when the alarm went off. I thought about the consequences of having a 'lay in' for an extra ten minutes. If I did this, would I have time to get my children ready and off to school in time? No I wouldn't so I got up! I chose some clean clothes and got dressed after having a wash. The letters were on the mat when I went downstairs and I sorted them and made a pile for each member of the family. I wondered whether to bother opening the letter claiming I was the lucky winner of a grand prize. After everyone had breakfast and set off for school and work I settled down to do some studying. I spent a few minutes daydreaming then started to sort my notes out and group them into related sections.

This person engaged in a lot of thinking - making decisions, considering consequences, classifying and sorting, and daydreaming. Whatever your day was like, this activity is likely to have illustrated that you can and do lots of thinking and that there are many different kinds of thinking. How did you describe the types of thinking that you did? Perhaps you included some of the words and terms in the box below? These are all important thinking skills. Thinking is an active process, and the words used to describe it are usually verbs.

Words to describe thinking

finding, deciding, solving, justifying, remembering, planning, arguing, identifying, speculating, calculating, comparing, deducing, presuming, analysing, summarising, hypothesising, evaluating, sequencing, ordering, sorting, classifying, grouping, predicting, concluding, distinguishing, creating, planning, testing, assessing

(Adapted from McGuinness, 1999)