T4T home
Search the collection
What's included
How to use
How to access
Purchase a print version
T4T home
Search the collection
What's included
How to use
How to access
Purchase a print version

How to use

The Tools for Thought (T4T) online collection includes a robust search engine that filters by categories such as grade, subject, format, competency and language, making it easy and quick for you to find the lessons you need.

Infusing a tool into any subject area

Lessons in the T4T collection are designed to be seamlessly infused into classroom teaching and can be adapted for use across disciplines. For example, an instructional goal might include building student competency in drawing inferences. The developmnet of this competence could be infused across any of the following subject areas:

English/Language arts students draw inferences about one or more of the main characters based on their reading of selected text.

Science students to learn to draw conclusions about the behaviour of magnets or objects based on recorded observations.

Social studies students learn to draw plausible interpretations of a primary document or analyze the potential causes of an event.

Mathematics students learn to interpret a chart or graph.

Identifying tools to teach

Develop task-specific competency

Teachers may decide they want to focus on developing student competency in a given area to support an upcoming project or assignment.

Begin by focusing on the handful of most commonly needed tools described on the Tips for Teachers: Eight great tools.

Use the T4T search function to identify the competence you want students to develop and then filter more narrowly by grade and subject area.

Find specific tools to teach using the T4T search feature or by consulting the list of key tasks on the tip sheet Tools for Thought: Tools for specific tasks that you want to develop and, identify the most relevant tools found under that heading.

Remediate specific shortcomings

Another approach in selecting tools is to identify lessons in the T4T collection that can help students remediate specific shortcomings or gaps. Review the following examples to see how an area of growth and a T4T lesson or tool might be matched.

Possible shortcoming Potentially useful tool
Students seem to be making decisions based on emotional responses rather than on reasoned judgments May be a sign that students need explicit instruction on the importance of criteria (for example, assessing website credibility)
Students need help organizing their thinking May be a sign that students need explicit instruction regarding a thinking strategy (for example, assembling evidence and organizing supporting details)

Search tips

Use the T4T search function by typing in key words that describe the desired ability in order to find a tool that may help to address your students’ needs.