Print Critical thinking has become a buzzword in education. Put another way, critical thinking is about knowing how to think, not what to think. Teachers use a number of techniques to help students learn critical thinking, starting as early as kindergarten and ramping up especially in 2nd grade and beyond. Below are a few of the methods educators employ; you can try them at home to help your child become a critical thinker.
More Getting students to dig deeper and answer questions using higher-level thinking can be a challenge. Slow down the pace. There are times you may even want to wait up to a minute or longer if the question is particularly complex or time-consuming.
To avoid an awkward pause, you can let kids know that they have 10 seconds to think before answering the question or that you need to see 10 hands raised from volunteers before you hear a response.
Pose a Question of the Day.
Put a new spin on bell ringers by asking a Question of the Day. Use a questioning stem e. Students can write answers in their critical-thinking journals. Then have a class discussion at the end of the day.
Make a response box. Write a random critical-thinking question on the board, e.
Give students a specified amount of time to provide a written response and put it in the response box. Pull out entries one by one and read them aloud to the class. Alternatively, you can give a prize—like a homework pass or free time—to the student with the first appropriate response whose name is drawn from the box or to everyone who submitted appropriate answers.
First, read a statement that has two opposing views e. Ask kids who agree to stand on one side of the room and those who disagree to stand on the other side.
Then have kids talk about why they chose each side. They can switch sides if they change their minds during the discussion. When you encounter a problem in class, you can help the class come up with a solution by using the Why? Ask the first why question e. The idea is that after the fifth question is asked, the problem will be solved.
Come up with an imaginary scenario and have kids work through the steps to solve a problem as a class. First, identify the problem and write it as a question e. Then brainstorm ideas to solve it and choose the best one to write as a solution statement.
Finally, create an action plan to carry out the solution.
Write a problem on an index card and pin it on the top of a bulletin board. Then put different headings on index cards and pin them below the main card. Have kids brainstorm ideas that develop each of the heading cards and let kids pin them on the board. A great way to focus on the positive in not-so-positive situations is the Turn Around thinking strategy.
Put your pocket chart to good use. Choose some strips as mandatory and let kids pick two from the higher levels to answer aloud or in a journal. One way you can figure out how well kids are grasping critical-thinking skills is by holding question-and-answer sessions. Ask a variety of questions one-on-one or in small groups and take note of the levels of thought individual students use regularly and avoid over time.
You can review your notes to help build more higher-order-thinking questions into your lessons. Posted by Marlana Martinelli.Boost critical thinking skills with our selection of puzzles, strategy games and brain teasers.
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