Ten Takeaway Tips for Teaching Critical Thinking Suggestions from educators at KIPP King Collegiate High School on how to help develop and assess critical-thinking skills in your students. Ideally, teaching kids how to think critically becomes an integral part of your approach, no matter what subject you teach. But if you're just getting started, here are some concrete ways you can begin leveraging your students' critical-thinking skills in the classroom and beyond. 1. Questions, questions, questions. Questioning is at the heart of critical thinking, so you want to create an environment where intellectual curiosity is fostered and questions are encouraged. In the beginning stages, you may be doing most of the asking to show your students the types of questions that will lead to higher-level thinking and understanding. 2. Pose a provocative question to build an argument around and help your students break it down. 3. 4. 5. Lively discussions usually involve some degree of differing perspectives. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.
Is There a Best Way to Develop the 4Cs in All Students? Driving Question: Is There a Best Way to Develop the 4Cs in All Students? Lots of books and curriculum materials have been written about how teachers can incorporate critical thinking, collaboration, communication, and creativity into their lesson plans. According to some of these materials, giving students opportunities to build their competence in the “4 Cs” might mean as little as adding a few tweaks to an existing lesson or going bigger by creating all-new assignments. Others have noted that teachers who are implementing Project-Based Learning can go another step beyond to make sure that their students are developing the 4Cs in their projects. Adding the 4 Cs to traditional teaching is all well and good, but I think no other teaching method brings those skills together like Project-Based Learning (PBL). Making the case for the explicit teaching of the 4Cs begins with the Common Core State Standards. The Common Core State Standards fit tightly with PBL and the 4Cs.
21st-Century Libraries: The Learning Commons Libraries have existed since approximately 2600 BCE as an archive of recorded knowledge. From tablets and scrolls to bound books, they have cataloged resources and served as a locus of knowledge. Today, with the digitization of content and the ubiquity of the internet, information is no longer confined to printed materials accessible only in a single, physical location. Consider this: Project Gutenberg and its affiliates make over 100,000 public domain works available digitally, and Google has scanned over 30 million books through its library project. Libraries are reinventing themselves as content becomes more accessible online and their role becomes less about housing tomes and more about connecting learners and constructing knowledge. Cushing Academy in Ashburnham, Massachusetts has been in the vanguard of this transition since 2009, when it announced its plans for a "bookless" library. From Library to Learning Commons Photo credit: Francis W. Transparent Learning Hubs
The Partnership for 21st Century Skills - Communication and Collaboration Communicate Clearly Articulate thoughts and ideas effectively using oral, written and nonverbal communication skills in a variety of forms and contexts Listen effectively to decipher meaning, including knowledge, values, attitudes and intentions Use communication for a range of purposes (e.g. to inform, instruct, motivate and persuade) Utilize multiple media and technologies, and know how to judge their effectiveness a priori as well as assess their impact Communicate effectively in diverse environments (including multi-lingual)Collaborate with Others Demonstrate ability to work effectively and respectfully with diverse teams Exercise flexibility and willingness to be helpful in making necessary compromises to accomplish a common goal Assume shared responsibility for collaborative work, and value the individual contributions made by each team member Additional resources are listed below: 1. Online index of many communication related topics and resources 2. 3. 4. 5.
Above & Beyond In an increasingly complex, demanding and competitive 21st century, students need to learn more than the 3R’s they are tested on in school. It’s time to help them go “above & beyond”, by embracing the 4Cs – communication, collaboration, critical thinking and creativity. To get the word out to about the “3Rs + 4Cs” approach, P21 and FableVision partnered to produce a short, animated film called Above & Beyond. Enjoy & share, so we can help ALL our students flourish in the 21st century. Many members of the Partnership for 21st Century Learning helped shape and refine this story – using their communication, collaboration, critical thinking and creativity skills. “Above & Beyond” was written by NY Times #1 best-selling children’s book author/illustrator Peter H. Download the 4C's Poster for your school, home, office or board room. P21 is a national organization that advocates for 21st century readiness for every student.
Teach Basic Dictionary Skills Unscrambling Stories Arranging Words into Alphabetical Order To find words in a dictionary, students must understand alphabetical order. IortwoonehereneedcomezebrasAllen This is what they should end up with. I recently did this activity with a small group of students and they liked the activity so much, they wanted to keep doing it. A big dog eats the watermelon.A little mouse napped on the violin.Apples are delicious in taste.Big cars drive fast on streets.Abbie cooked lots of pumpkin soup. Dictionary Treasure Hunt Finding Words Quickly After my eight-year-old lost a tooth, I hid a dollar and prepared a treasure hunt for him in his dictionary. Sometimes learners start to look for a word from the beginning of the dictionary and turn page after page until they find it. Dictionary Race Add a little competition This is a dictionary speed drill for more than one student. Another way to play this game is to number the members on each team and give one dictionary to each team. Spelling Resource
QR Codes in the Classroom Mobile Learning | Q&A QR Codes in the Classroom Wyoming science teacher London Jenks not only allows mobile technologies in his classroom, but he's also learned how to maximize them as educational tools, tapping the devices for assessments, research, and even student scavenger hunts using QR codes. By Bridget McCrea08/31/11 At a time when schools are banishing student-owned mobile devices from their classrooms--or, at least making sure the disruptive laptops, tablets, and phones are powered down class begins--London Jenks is taking a decidedly different tack. A science teacher at Hot Springs County High School in Thermopolis, WY, Jenks welcomes iPhone- and Android-toting students into his classes. A Google-certified educator who teaches earth science, physics, chemistry, and astronomy, Jenks explainedhis reasons for letting down the walls that so many other instructors have erected during this "mobile" age and told us how the strategy has helped him be more effective as a teacher.
Social Studies Hammond, T. C., & Manfra, M. M. (2009). Giving, prompting, making: Aligning technology and pedagogy within TPACK for social studies instruction. Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education [Online serial], 9(2). Retrieved from Giving, Prompting, Making: Aligning Technology and Pedagogy Within TPACK for Social Studies Instruction Thomas C. Meghan McGlinn ManfraNorth Carolina State University Abstract Technological pedagogical content knowledge (now known as technology, pedagogy, and content knowledge, or TPACK) has become a widely referenced conceptual framework within teacher education. In 1997, Peter Martorella wrote, “Arguably, technology is a sleeping giant in the social studies curriculum” (p. 511). Social studies journals such as Social Education and Theory and Research in Social Education devote annual issues to technology integration. Giving: Tell It to Me Straight Prompting: What Do You See?
Librarygame™ This post is part 2 of 3, it’s about our first hand experience of #ALA12 So after what can be described as a pretty gruelling journey, I arrived in Anaheim, safe and sound, and super excited about the days ahead for librarygame. A good chunk of our time prior over the past few months had already been spent defining and refining what would be the documentation people receive when they’re ready to discuss a formal relationship with us. In the lead up to the trip itself we were all hands on deck trying to unify and finalise these documents. The moment I was within my first WIFI signal, I checked dropbox and downloaded the freshly uploaded documents; flicking through them while waiting to board the plane to Santa Ana, was actually quite exciting. One part of the documentation we worked on, covers the technical setup and the other contains the contextual underpinnings of why Librarygame exists in the first place. Speaking to friends Speaking to the RITH/Librarygame office The Exhibition Floor.
West Virginia learns Finland's 'most honorable profession': Teacher Why Finland is important to U.S. education Only 10% of 7,000 teacher applicants to primary school programs accepted in FinlandFinland tops international tests rankings, but doesn't use standardized tests domestically"It is a patriotic, national calling to be a teacher," said one Finnish teacher (CNN) -- When newly minted West Virginia Schools Superintendent Dr. The contrast couldn't be more stark: In West Virginia, many children face poverty, illiteracy and broken homes and lack easy access to health care or proper nutrition. Finland has a largely literate and relatively homogeneous population, little immigration and almost no poverty or social problems. Still, Finland was -- and remains -- at the top of international test rankings for elementary through high schools and after studying and observing Finnish schools for several months in 2004, Paine was convinced they had useful things to teach West Virginia. This was the toughest part for many parents and educators to swallow.