Encourage Critical Thinking Among Students

If you would like to strengthen Formative Assessment in your school, visit 60 Non-Threatening Formative Assessment Techniques (Teach Thought, 2015). With the push to cover more content and standards, teachers often make a choice between coverage or pausing for reflection.

Reflection comes in many forms: reflective journals, group work, whole class, silent reflection, reviewing yesterday’s work, reflecting on an essential question, or creating a product that shows your thoughts about a previous lesson or understanding.

They organize instruction so that students are the producers, not just the consumers, of knowledge” (Costa & Kallick, 2008).

Formative Assessment is a method of measuring student understanding.

Skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving, collaboration, and applying academic knowledge are in high demand, even for students who graduate from high school and enter the workforce without a college degree.

Can you identify the last time your assignment required students to engage in a productive struggle?An essential question is timeless, rather than the typical multiple choice questions students are asked from kindergarten to twelfth grade.When teacher teams discuss essential questions, it provides clarity for a unit and a course.Today’s student must be able to apply content knowledge and conceptual understanding across content areas. According to Grant Wiggins (2013), “Transfer is the bottom-line goal of all learning, not scripted behavior.Transfer means that a learner can draw upon and apply from all of what was learned, as the situation warrants, not just do one move at a time in response to a prompt.” “Teachers in thinking classrooms understand how to use concepts to integrate student thinking at a deeper level of understanding – a level where knowledge can be transferred to other situations and times” (Erickson, 2007, p. How can teacher teams design curriculum and instruction that create ‘thinking classrooms’?They can do this using their own language and then find similar connections that exist using the English language.In the 1980s, the focus was on content knowledge and mastery learning.How often do students feel like the pace of schooling is rushed?Once a unit is finished, the teacher moves to the next unit.If you want to teach your students critical thinking, give them opportunities to brainstorm and analyze things. An important part of critical thinking is also recognizing good and bad sources of information.Classroom discussions are a great way to encourage open-mindedness and creativity. Critical thinking is not dependent on language, so it might be helpful to have ESL students make critical connections first.


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