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When we know what our kids know, instruction runs smoother.
We know when it’s OK to skip forward because students are solid on that content.
We know when to pump the brakes because we’re getting those confused looks.
We know what little parts of a lesson are causing problems even though the kids get the majority of it.

When new ideas are conveyed in words, our brains have to work double time to make sense of them.  Our thinking is done in pictures. It’s almost like having to translate an entire class into a different language like Spanish or Japanese just to learn.  We can set students up for success if we’re willing to do some of that translation work for them. One easy way is to bring more visible thinking into class.  Making thinking visual (through visual notetaking or a variety of means) has great brain and learning benefits, including: