Medium 9781936764075

How to Teach Thinking Skills Within the Common Core: 7 Key Student Proficiencies of the New National Standards

Views: 1235
Ratings: (0)

Packed with examples and tools, this practical guide prepares teachers across all grade levels and content areas to teach the most critical cognitive skills from the Common Core State Standards. Discover a doable three-phase model of explicit teaching, guided practice in content-based lessons, and authentic application in standards-based performance tasks that will strengthen students’ ability to learn across the curriculum.

List price: $33.99

Your Price: $27.19

You Save: 20%

Remix
Remove
 

9 Chapters

Format Buy Remix

1 Critical Thinking

ePub

Critical thinking was central to great teaching in the days of the Greek philosophers Plato and Aristotle. Aristotle set the course of Western education by defining the educated mind and setting a standard of action by telling us that no idea should go unchallenged. The English essayist Francis Bacon introduced the “how to” for challenging ideas when he wrote, “Read not to contradict and confute; nor to believe and take for granted; nor to find talk and discourse; but to weigh and consider” (Bacon, 1625). More recently, Jean Piaget brought his prodigious mind to the subject when he said, “The principal goal of education in the schools should be creating men and women who are capable of doing new things, not simply repeating what other generations have done; men and women who are creative, inventive and discoverers, who can be critical and verify, and not accept, everything they are offered” (as quoted in Jervis & Tobier, 1988, p. 30).

None of these students of learning seem to advocate for more memory, more drills, or more reduction of the curriculum to facts and procedures to be tested so teachers can find the one correct answer regurgitated on a standardized test. Instead, they hold high expectations for the development of students’ minds by challenging ideas; by weighing and considering; by creating, inventing, and discovering; and by being critical. For this, they know that teachers need the resources to engage their students in thinking about important, relevant issues, never to “accept everything they are offered.”

 

2 Creative Thinking

ePub

Embedded in the CCSS is the big idea of creativity and innovation. The associated thinking skills provide students with ways to demonstrate authentic evidence of what they have learned in any of the disciplines. Creativity taps into one’s imagination and is often the magic link in problem solving and decision making because it brings to mind unusual, novel, and unique ideas. Creative thinking can be clever, wise, out-of-the-box thinking. It sometimes yields thoughts that seem outlandish, as the mind makes strange connections between ideas considered quite alien.

Innovation and creativity are inextricably linked. It has been said that innovation is imagination realized and that only when the creative thought is put into action does innovation occur. In the broadest sense, imagination, invention, and innovation are of the same ilk. They signal original, fluent, flexible, and elaborative thoughts (Torrance, 1974), and they are cornerstones of productive, generative thinking in the rich, rigorous, and relevant curriculum espoused in the CCSS. They are also necessary for effective problem solving, shrewd decision making, and productive ideation in the future world of our young citizens.

 

3 Complex Thinking

ePub

The concept of complex thinking is complex in itself. Complexity involves the sophistication of the language used, including word choice and sentence structure, as well as the level of discipline-based concepts. With complex thinking, the student is expected to not only read with literal clarity but also to interpret what is implied. Complex thinking requires skill in determining the author’s perspective and purpose, the inherent bias, the nuance of tone and tenor, and the real meaning of the words on the page as crafted by the author, with intended or unintended persuasion. Complex thinking can be seen as the ability to cut through the abstract ideas presented in order to discern them in concrete ways. It helps the student grasp the underlying meaning of the concept.

All too often, texts are complex in vocabulary and concepts, and students with little background knowledge are lost before they begin the comprehension process. When narrative or informational texts combine discipline-specific vocabulary, sophistication in structure, subtle tonality, dense meaning, and intentional nuance, they can create frustrating barriers to student understanding.

 

4 Comprehensive Thinking

ePub

When applied to how people think, the adjective comprehensive signals the type of thinking that is both broad and deep—all encompassing. Comprehensive thinking provides us with a full grasp of the subject matter. In short, comprehensive thinking enables us to get the whole picture and comprehend it fully. For instance, if the topic of a seminar investigates the relationship of two different cultures, attendees will need to think comprehensively to understand the topic’s full ramifications, infer connections that are not immediately apparent, and compare or contrast the similarities and differences in each culture. In these ways, attendees discover the full meaning of the relationships between the two cultures.

The three thinking skills in this proficiency are essential for the development of student comprehension: (1) understand, (2) infer, and (3) compare and contrast. The first, understand, is the skill that enables the student to dig deep into a significant topic or to answer a big question. The skill leads to the “I got it” element regarding the relationship between content and process.

 

5 Collaborative Thinking

ePub

While collaboration is an acknowledged skill of the global community, it is also an essential skill of the school community. In fact, according to numerous studies (Johnson & Johnson, 1975, 2010; Joyce & Weil, 1995; Kagan, 1994; Marzano et al., 2001; Sharan, 1990; Slavin, 1996), it is the number-one proficiency in terms of student achievement. It is a proficiency with its own benefits—collaboration, problem solving, and leadership—but it also facilitates the implementation of other high-yield classroom strategies, like comparing and contrasting.

Collaboration has been examined for essential component parts that contribute to a successful structure: teamwork, communication, leadership, and conflict resolution. More specifically, teamwork refers to invested members working toward a common goal, communication refers to a skillfulness that fosters a back-and-forth sharing of ideas, leadership skills showcase the strengths and talents of each member, and conflict resolution skills allow teams to move forward despite differences.

 

6 Communicative Thinking

ePub

What do researcher Michelle Dawson, inventor Temple Grandin, composer Hikari Ōe, wildlife illustrator Dylan Pierce, and Australian author Donna Williams have in common? All of these brilliant minds are challenged with autism. In their younger years, these famous individuals struggled to communicate by spoken word with most people who met them. The fault was not in the listeners, nor in the speakers. Each one of these people with high-functioning minds found it difficult to speak with precise language just what was on his or her mind.

Although these are special cases, there are many students who are inhibited by one challenge or another when explaining what they want others to understand. Communication doesn’t work well. Sometimes the break is with the spoken word. Other times, it is with the written word.

Teachers may often assume that this inability to communicate is due to the person’s mental ability. However, this is seldom the case. Some students have difficulty gathering the information they need to understand an idea. Blind and dyslexic students face this challenge. Others lack skill in processing information. Others still struggle with communicating. Teachers can help these students strengthen their communicative skills, especially in classrooms that intentionally adopt project-based learning and active inquiry instruction. Both models provide teachers with multiple opportunities to integrate written and spoken communication for daily instruction and practice.

 

7 Cognitive Transfer

ePub

This proficiency includes skills involved in cognitive transfer and the practical use of what has been transferred. These skills will be used to transfer learning from one setting to another, to apply an idea, concept, or skill in ways that are useful and relevant. A simple example of transfer is learning math facts early in the school curriculum. These facts, once known, are transferred and used in computations and calculations in various school disciplines and in real-world scenarios for the rest of the students’ lives.

The three skills included in this proficiency are: (1) synthesize, (2) generalize, and (3) apply. Each contributes to the cognitive transfer of ideas, skills, and concepts. Synthesizing requires the blending of component parts to create a whole, leaving one with the core essence of the reading. Generalizing describes how the idea travels from one context to the next. For example, formulas taught in math class can later be used to determine how much paint to buy for a room. Finally, applying is the skill used to move ideas in the most practical ways.

 

Appendix A: Reproducibles

ePub

Fishbone Diagram

Ranking Ladder

Four-Fold Concept Development

ABC Graffiti

Comic Strip Template

KWL Chart

Story Grid

Math Grid

Parts-of-Speech Grid

Book-Blurb Grid

 

Appendix B: Additional Resources

ePub

Books and Articles

Barrows, H. (1985). How to design a problem-based curriculum for preclinical years. New York: Springer.

Bellanca, J. (2010). Enriched learning projects: A practical pathway to 21st century skills. Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press.

Bellanca, J., & Brandt, R. (Eds.). (2010). 21st century skills: Rethinking how students learn. Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press.

Bellanca, J., & Stirling, T. (2011). Classrooms without borders: Using Internet projects to teach communication and collaboration. New York: Teachers College Press.

Bloom, B., Englehart, M. D., Furst, E. J., Hill, W. H., & Krathwohl, D. (1956). Taxonomy of educational objectives handbook I: The cognitive domain. New York: Longman.

Brookhart, S. M. (2010). How to assess higher-order thinking skills in your classroom. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

 

Details

Print Book
E-Books
Chapters

Format name
ePub
Encrypted
No
Sku
BPE0000242347
Isbn
9781936764099
File size
1.82 MB
Printing
Allowed
Copying
Allowed
Read aloud
Allowed
Format name
ePub
Encrypted
No
Printing
Allowed
Copying
Allowed
Read aloud
Allowed
Sku
In metadata
Isbn
In metadata
File size
In metadata