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
A Breakthrough in Social and Emotional Learning Teacher: The swine-flu snake greeting. Morning. Morning. Morning. Morning. Narrator: At Carrithers Middle School, the day begins with goofy games, which are often followed by serious discussions. Teacher: We've been discussing bullying all week long. Narrator: The 20 minutes spent in this daily morning meeting is a critical component of Jefferson County, Kentucky's, district-wide Care for Kids initiative, which seeks to build positive, caring learning communities. Sheldon: There's a pretty complex puzzle that we have to put together to have a successful school, but a foundational element of that puzzle is the culture and climate of that school, and when students feel safe. Teacher: Hello, sweet girl. Sheldon: When they feel that culture and climate supports that, when they feel cared about not only by the adults in the school… Teacher: Got that? Sheldon: …but by other students in the school, they can do their best. Deirdre: Good morning, Storm. Storm: Good morning, Deirdre. Jasmine: Thank you.
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
Redes - La adolescencia nos hizo humanos, Redes Presentado por: Eduard Punset Dirigido por: Eduard Punset El economista Eduard Punset presenta este espacio de divulgación científica. El contenido del programa abarca la medicina, la química, las Tecnologías de la Información y la Comunicación y todas aquellas disciplinas que puedan englobarse bajo el paradigma de la ciencia. Según el propio Eduard Punset "REDES nació en Madrid, y durante la primera temporada contábamos en el plató con la presencia de famosos artistas o empresarios acompañados de científicos. Aportaba dinamismo, pero nos dimos cuenta de que debíamos profundizar en el conocimiento científico si queríamos que los propios científicos se dieran cuenta de que sus investigaciones también importaban en la vida cotidiana de la gente, y que la gente descubriera hasta qué punto la utilización del método científico en lugar del dogmatismo iba a transformar sus vidas. El blog de Eduard Punset:
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?