Critical thinking in children: Are we teaching our kids to be dumb? © 2008 - 2014, Gwen Dewar, Ph.D., all rights reserved In his review of critical thinking research, Stephen Norris wrote that critical thinking in children is uncommon: “Most students do not score well on tests that measure ability to recognize assumptions, evaluate arguments, and appraise inferences" (Norris 1985).
Why is critical thinking so difficult? Some argue that humans aren’t designed for it. How to think, not what to think. Thou shalt not commit logical fallacies. Three Habits Of The Most Creative Problem Solvers. Some people are better at getting out of tough challenges than others.
Many of them, at least in our experience, are entrepreneurs. But all of them are creative, innovative thinkers. That doesn't mean they're easy, though. Learning Styles. Along with Multiple Intelligences, I also have them do a Learning Style surveyPage 8 Learning Style Survey This page is a survey that the kids take to identify what their personal learning style is.
The survey is split into three parts (visual, auditory, kinesthetic). They read each statement and mark it with a 0 if the statement does not apply to them, a 1 if the statement sometimes applies to them, and a 2 if the statement strongly applies to them. When they are done with each section the add up their numbers.Underneath the survey, the kids tape down a page of learning style suggestions. I've had kids complain to me that they aren't doing well in a particular class where the teacher lectures and they tell me that the reason is, "I'm a visual learner, of course I'm not going to be doing well when all she does is talk.
" This makes me smile because I'm glad that they know this information about themselves. Reading 2.0. Many educators are worried about how technology is affecting the amount of reading that students are doing.
They notice that: Students are struggling to read and comprehend longer texts.Students are struggling to read deeply.Many students report that they don’t read outside of school at all. There are a few contributing factors to this, technology being one and high-stakes testing being another. We could also argue that kids aren't reading less, they're reading differently. Non-Readers, Occasional Readers and Digital Readers. Your paper brain and your Kindle brain aren't the same thing.
Would you like paper or plasma?
That's the question book lovers face now that e-reading has gone mainstream. And, as it turns out, our brains process digital reading very differently. Manoush Zomorodi, managing editor and host of WNYC's New Tech City, recalls a conversation with the Washington Post's Mike Rosenwald, who's researched the effects of reading on a screen. Why Read Fiction? We often hear friends ask why they should read fiction.
There is so much to learn, they say, from history, from what is going on at the frontiers of science, and from contemporary studies of human behavior. Why should they spend their scarce “free time” reading fiction, the purpose of which, at best, is only entertainment? We bristle at such comments. Reading Fiction Improves Brain Connectivity and Function. The Surprising Power of Reading Fiction: 9 Benefits. “There is no doubt fiction makes a better job of the truth.” ― Doris Lessing One of the most inspiring perks we’re lucky enough to have at Buffer is a free Kindle for each teammate (and her family!)
And as many free Kindle books as you like, no questions asked. When we share what we’re reading at Buffer on our Pinterest page or in our Slack community, the selections often tend to skew more toward non-fiction—you can generally find teammates reading books that help us improve at our jobs, understand our world better and become more productive, for example. What’s interesting—and maybe a bit counterintuitive—is that reading fiction can provide many of those same self-improvement benefits, even while exploring other worlds through stories that exist only in the mind. Three Cognitive Benefits of Reading Fiction. Recently, Noel Gallagher, the frontman of the band Oasis, (I didn’t know who he was either) lashed out against fiction, saying, “I only read factual books.
I can’t think of … I mean, novels are just a waste of f–king time.” Though we’re all entitled to our opinions, I was perturbed to see such a complete and disrespectful dismissal of a pastime that has enriched the lives of countless humans for hundreds of years. I wondered how many others feel similarly. TEDTalk: How Books Can Open Your Mind. The Old Schoolhouse Magazine - December 2012. The Joy of Teaching. Reading with a pen in hand.
Questioning as you read. Responding to a text. Whatever name we give it, annotating is one of the best reading tools we can give to our students. The AoW: A Way to Work Nonfiction Into Your Instruction - The "Real" Deahl. Each school year, I like to implement a few new ideas into my practice.
After reading Kelly Gallagher's Readicide: How Schools are Killing Reading and What You Can Do About It, I was struck by his Article of the Week (AoW) assignment. It reminded me of the Current Events articles assigned by my history teachers in high school, which helped spark my interest about the world beyond "my world". In Readicide, Gallagher discusses his "students lack of background knowledge of the world. " Annotate Novels With Sticky Notes. It's already 2014?!? Quite a bit into 2014, actually! Wow. I can't believe my first year of teaching is halfway through!
Close Reading and Written Conversations. One of the things that I did this year that was successful in getting the kids to dig a little deeper into what they were reading was a "Written Conversation". I got this idea from the book Texts and Lessons for Content-Area Reading . I have been using it quite a bit to help ease me into this idea of "close reading" and I am loving it! Close Reading Picture Books. When we think of close reading, we most often think about dense passages that, at first glance, seem like they require a magnifying glass, if not a sturdy pair of reading glasses, to analyze. But, the goal of close reading is not to read and analyze as many words as possible, but to engage in critical thinking about a text and its ideas.
And, particularly in elementary school, that includes illustrations. Illustrators make many of the same choices authors make. They draw with purpose and create scenes and images that convey the arc of a narrative as well as the story’s deeper meaning. Teaching in Room 6: Digging in to Find Evidence. We have been really focusing on finding evidence and supporting our answers during our reading of Bridge to Terabithia . Our discussions, though very lively and thought provoking, have been lacking the "back up" of the book.
The students seem to know what they want to say, and are sticking with the plot of the book, but actually going back into the book and finding where they came up with the answer is a bit tricky. So this past week we did something that really got the kids digging into the book and looking at their evidence. Text-Based Opinion Posters. Kids form opinions on everything they encounter rather easily. The know what they like and what they don't like in an instant. But getting the students to dig in and really think about opinions that they have made based on what they read is rather difficult. Socratic Seminar. Socratic Smackdown. Making Meaning with Melissa: Why I Use Mentor Sentences to Teach Writing in my High School English Classroom. How to Write an Effective Essay: The Introduction.
Socratic Seminars: Patience and Practice.