Rockvale Middle School

Skip to main content
Main Menu Toggle
Professional Development at Rockvale Middle School » Rigor: The Five Thinking Processes.

Rigor: The Five Thinking Processes.


5 Thinking Processes from


Thinking Process


Decision Making

·         Choosing among several alternatives

·         Learners ask and answer the question "What is the best way to do something?"




Are kids being asked to gain a conceptual understanding?


·         Constructing a definition of a concept, an explanation of a past event, or a scenario for some future event.

·         Learners ask "What are the defining characteristics?", "How did something happen?" or "Why did something happen?"

Hypothesis Testing/Experimental Inquiry

(is there a prediction going on)

·         Observing, analyzing, predicting, testing, and reevaluating a statement used to describe a phenomenon

·         During experimental inquiry, the questions most often asked "How can I explain this" and "Based on my explanation, what can I predict"

Problem Solving

(are there constraints or challenges)

·         Developing, testing, and evaluating a solution to answer a problem or overcome an obstacle or constraint

·         Although the term 'problem solving' is often equated with mathematical skills, problem solving involves asking questions such as "How will I overcome this obstacle?" and "How will I reach my goal but still meet these conditions?"


·         Creating something that fills an unmet need or desire

·         The questions often asked during the invention process include, "what would I like to create?", "what is a new way?", or "what is a better way?"