Learn to Reason with TAPS  A Talk Aloud Problem Solving Approach

Well, you use TAPS every second of the day. You use it in all subjects and work - everything in normal life and school! In school, you use it by figuring out problems: math, reading, writing!

Sydney, 4th Grade

A total classroom package

The Learn to Reason with TAPS package includes everything you need to build critical thinking skills with any student.

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Classroom Ready
Teacher guide, student workbook, activity cards, DVD and poster!

Talk Aloud Problem Solving

Talk Aloud Problem Solving (TAPS) is a strategy that promotes remarkably strong reasoning skills that can be used in any situation, both nonacademic and academic. This active approach to becoming a confident and able problem solver becomes a lifelong habit. With the materials provided here, the TAPS approach can be acquired systematically. The lessons provided are designed to establish two repertoires: a Problem Solver and an Active Listener. The Active Listener serves to keep the Problem Solver activated, following the process carefully and encouraging the reasoning process. The Problem Solver learns to break every problem situation into smaller manageable parts, carefully checking under the watchful eye of the Active Listener. Problems or instructions or real-world tasks that seem challenging become fun and engaging as solutions are reached!

The psychology behind this instruction

Problem solving can be defined as a two-stage process. First there is an absence of a solution or answer to our problem, and second there is the enquiry that leads to the solution. The answer to the problem is not readily available nor is it immediately obvious what is to be done to get to the solution or answer. The process of finding the answer in these situations can be described as reasoning.

Reasoning involves inspecting the problem, determining what is required for the solution, and actively engaging with the material until the solution is reached. Such a process involves those activities where the reasoner learns specific talk aloud strategies to supplement content knowledge already in the reasoner’s repertoire. The reasoner engages in a self-dialogue that leads to the solution.

Instruction provided in this guide is intended to have learners identify the problem to solve, ask the “right questions,” classify examples and nonexamples of the critical attributes found in the performance of an expert reasoner and problem solver, and solve problems in both classroom and everyday activities. These important metacognitive skills allow learners to examine resources that lend themselves to effective peer tutoring or self-instructional repertoires required to truly be independent thinkers.

An accomplished TAPS learner moves to solo performance of a Text Reconstruction exercise having developed both Problem Solver and Active Listener repertoires.

About the Author

Dr. Joanne Robbins is the Principal and Associate Director of Morningside Academy in Seattle, WA, and co-founder and Executive Director of Partnerships for Educational Excellence (PEER) International. She has more than 35 years of experience in program development, curriculum design, and teaching and supervision of programs for children and youth. Dr. Robbins’s experience has been in both educational and mental health settings. She has developed programs for pre-kindergarten through the college level. She is the author of Learn to Reason with TAPS: a Talk Aloud Problem Solving Approach, and co-author of Fluent Thinking Skills: A Generative Approach. She recently served as co-chairperson of the Seattle Public Schools Superintendent’s Positive Climate and Discipline Advisory Committee. She is a Board member of Balefire Labs, a company that evaluates apps according to the best practices of instructional design and usability design as established by scientific research. Dr. Robbins completed her Ph.D. in educational psychology at the University of Illinois at Chicago under the mentorship of Dr. Susan Markle, Dr. Phil Tiemann, and Dr. Herbert Walberg.

Learn to Reason with TAPS
Includes shipping and handling.
Teacher Guide
Student Workbook
Slapjack Cards
Classroom Tested
The Teachers Guide and Workbook have been implemented in learning centres and classrooms for learners as young as 7 years old.
The same instruction can be used in Professional Development sessions to introduce the sequence to educators and psychologists.
The material is presented with general teaching procedures in addition to carefully designed scripted instruction.
Fully Featured
Included in this package is a Teacher Guide, Student Workbook, a poster, a set of cards for the game Slapjack, a video of students engaged in the process of using TAPS, and a published workbook with logic problems.