Thinking Friends®• Professional Development
Introducing and using Thinking Friends® effectively with young children can create the foundation for endless fun and worthwhile learning experiences. Your Thinking Friends®: A Teachers’ and Parents’ Guide for Developing Thinking in Children is an excellent resource for you as you begin this process with your children. For additional support and guidance, we have created a series of links, tool sheds, so to speak, to equip you with strategies to accomplish all the things possible with our Thinking Friends®.

Introducing Thinking Friends®
We all know how important first impressions are. A child’s introduction to Thinking Friends® sets the stage for all future interactions with the friends and how they can help children develop skillful thinking and the dispositions necessary for successful learning. For each of the Thinking Friends® we have included videos of teachers and parents modeling effective strategies for introducing the friends to children.

As you watch these videos, here are a few questions to think about:

Click here to see Videos.

Extending the Use of Thinking Friends®
Introducing each of the Thinking Friends® is only the first step in the process of helping children develop the skillful use of their thinking processes. The school’s curriculum is a virtual sandbox in which children can further explore and exercise the use of their thinking skills and learning behaviors. The process of transforming information into knowledge happens most meaningfully and lastingly when children have the confidence and competence—the attitudes, tools, and strategies—to make sense of the world of ideas and experiences.

We have organized videos by subject matter (Science, Social Studies, Math, Language Arts, etc.) and by age level so you can see and learn from the various ways teachers and parents have used Thinking Friends® to deepen and enrich the learning experiences in all content areas and with different learning resources such as fiction and non-fiction books, manipulative materials and visual representations.

As you view these examples, here are some guiding questions for you to consider:


Expanding the Use of Thinking Friends®
Beyond the Classroom

Thinking isn’t something we do only when we are learning academic content. Children’s brains are active all the time and every experience has the potential to excite and challenge their thinking and behavior in ways that introduce new understanding of themselves and the world in which they live. Becoming aware of and in control of one’s thinking processes and actions when engaged in new experiences is a life-long skill that begins at birth. From the very beginning, children are processing countless new ideas, experiences and sensations—some that they initiate and others that simply occur as part of living in the world. Learning how to think and act in ways that enable them to take full advantage of these learning opportunities is so important to their development. We have organized videos by age level so you can see and learn from the various ways teachers and parents have used Thinking Friends® to deepen and enrich the learning experiences of children beyond the traditional academic areas. As you view these examples, here are some guiding questions for you to consider:

Click here to see Videos


Ask a Thinking Friends®...
We all need to get by with a little help from our friends (sorry, but we couldn’t resist the connection) so we’ve created this link where we respond to questions from our ‘Thinking Friends’ all over the world. As we gather more questions we’ll ask Kitty Categories to help us organize them so you’ll be able to easily find questions that you might want to revisit or learn from for the first time. In the meantime, use the button below to read responses to the questions our ‘Thinking Friends’ have begun to ask of us. If you have some thoughts to share in response to these questions, we encourage you to use the social media links below to send them to us so we can post them along with ours.

Click here to see the FAQ


Participate in a Thinking Friends® Professional Learning Session
In addition to the support you find here on the Thinking Friends® website, we offer face-to-face sessions to guide you in using Thinking Friends® successfully with your children. At a Thinking Friends® workshop, you’ll learn and practice strategies for introducing the Thinking Friends® to children through the initial stories and discover and develop ways to bring thinking to life with Thinking Friends® in all aspects of the academic curriculum and in experiences beyond school, as well.

If you’re interested in attending a session in your area, click here to learn about upcoming Thinking Friends® workshops in your area. If you would like to contact us about scheduling a Thinking Friends® Professional Learning Session click here to send us an e-mail and we’ll get back to you right away.




Thinking Friends®