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Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Let's Get Critical


By Lindsay Brooks, Instructional Coach

    crit·i·cal think·ing
                 noun
Using reasoning and criteria to:
           conceptualize
              evaluate
                           or
        make judgments


Someone with critical thinking skills can do the following:
  Understand/see/make logical connections between ideas.
  Identify, construct and evaluate arguments.
   Defend judgments with reasoning.
  Solve problems
  Identify the relevance and importance of ideas



The Critical Thinking Consortium

https://tc2.ca has amazing resources to inspire, support and advocate for the infusion of critical, creative and collaborative thinking.


These resources support educators in deepening their understanding and enriching their teaching of critical thinking.  I took the opportunity to try out an online resource called THOUGHTFUL BOOKS. Each resource in the thoughtful book series features specific tools supporting literacy development and encouraging the deliberation of ethical considerations. The suggested activities help teachers introduce the tools and encourage young children to apply them in a variety of situations over time.

Thoughtful Books

From here:
Click your chosen book title and download the teacher’s guide which has “Critical questions” built in. It is also set up to give you the suggested grade level.
The guide outlines “Reading as Thinking” and the idea that reading
is more than decoding words. It is the active process of constructing meaning. Readers engage with text, create meaning from text, and extend their thinking beyond text. The activities that go with each thoughtful book help develop literacy by:
·      Accessing background knowledge
·      Reading with a purpose
·      Inferring
·      Synthesizing ideas

I had the opportunity to try out the Story of Ferdinand.
FERDINAND

In this familiar classic, five men misinterpret the actions of Ferdinand the bull and select him as an ideal candidate to take part in the bullfights of Madrid. Students examine the story, identify the mistakes made by the five men, and provide advice to help them avoid making the same mistakes in the future.

The students absolutely LOVED this and the learning environment became one fostering Critical Thinking. Students were making reasoned decisions about a problematic situation. Students demonstrated an enhanced sense of purpose and renewed excitement about learning when they were invited to think for themselves as they considered plausible alternatives and made choices based on clear criteria.

Next Step… TRY ONE OUT






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