Strategies for devloping creativity and critical thinking
Strategies for DevelopingCreativity and Critical Thinking Christina Bailey
Welcome!Congratulations on your new job. Being a teacheris very rewarding and you will shape the lives ofmany students.Before beginning your job take into considerationon how you will approach your students withyour lessons. How will shape your lessons toprepare students for the future? Here are a fewhelpful suggestions on how to make sure youlead your students on a successful path and to abright future.
Developing CreativityUsing creativity daily in your classroom will bekey to getting students involved and learning.Keep in mind that if you don’t think the lessonis interesting, neither will your students.Make it a lesson that you would want toparticipate in if you were that age again.
Strategies for Creativity1. Incorporate individual work, small group work, and whole group work – Students will prefer one of these more than the other two but keep in mind that you have to address the entire group, not just one student – You pick the groups, not the students (you want to maintain control over the class) – Around 4 to 5 students to a group depending on overall class size – Remember to place struggling or lower students with more advanced and higher skilled students to help facilitate the struggling students
Strategies for Creativity• Change it up – Don’t have students read from the textbook the entire lesson without stopping – Textbooks are dry and boring but as teachers, we must use the information in them – If you have students reading from their textbooks the entire lesson and nothing else, students are going to tune out everything they just heard or read (depending on if the lesson is being read aloud) – Have students stop at random times that you decide, and talk about what was just read – Try having a class discussion on relating what was just read to real life – Jot down important things as a class that are important for a future test on the material
Strategies for Creativity1. Create Games – Anything can be made into a game – Think of board games but use your material instead – Two examples: • Gather the material that was just learned and you can turn it into a game similar to the television show Jeopardy where the material that was learned are the questions • Have students each write down a few questions and answers and put them in a hat, have students partner up and toss a ball around the room to each group. When a pair gets the ball, they draw from the hat and answer the question together, if they can’t answer it, the ball gets tossed to another group*Games can also be used as a critical thinking strategy too!
Strategies for Creativity1. Create Posters – Students can work alone, in pairs, or small groups (depending on what you decide) – Long pieces of paper can be used or even a bigger piece of construction paper – Students write down key facts learned and add illustrations – When everyone is finished, have students present them to the class – Afterwards, hang the posters around the room for students to review and look at
Strategies for Creativity1. Reports – Depending on what is being learned in class, develop a topic that students can do a report on – The report can incorporate research, the textbook, or prior knowledge (maybe you want to use all three) – Have students work on a different part each day in class and what isn’t finished is homework (you could also have students do a part in class and then another part at home for homework) – By allowing students to work on reports in class will help them stay on task and keep them interested – Students will enjoy taking a break from their normal routine assignment
Developing Critical ThinkingIncorporating critical thinking into yourclassroom will be another key component topreparing students for the future. It isimportant that students know how toformulate an answer with evidence as to whythey came up with that answer.
Developing Critical Thinking1. Start by giving students low level questions – Begin with a quiz that gets them thinking about the material – Low level questions build up confidence
Developing Critical Thinking1. Move on to a higher level question that requires students to do some deep thinking – The low level questions helped build up confidence and now students are ready to move onto a question that requires them to think – This means the answer will not be A, B, C, or D – Students will struggle with justifying an open ended question – Give positive comments, a little bit of direction, and encourage thinking to help students
Developing Critical Thinking1. Small group discussion – Students have had time to come up with an answer on their own, and now it’s time to collaborate with others on their answers – Students will share what they have come up with it and decide together what is the best answer to share with the rest of the class – Each person will have to share a part with the class – You will have students in each group that take on different roles • This simulates real life groups that students will use in the future • People take on specific roles then come together and compile their things into one finished product
Developing Critical Thinking1. Small group presentations – Students in each group share with the rest of the class what answer they came up with and why – Each student in the group needs to share a piece of information to prevent one student from taking on the entire presentation – Shows the teacher and the rest of the class a possible answer
Developing Critical Thinking1. Whole group discussion – As a whole group, students can share what went well and what didn’t in this question and answer for themselves or their group – Students can share which answer they feel was the best – Time for feedback and see which groups addressed the questions with good critical thinking
Good Luck!• These are a just a few helpful strategies for developing creativity and critical thinking• As you teach, you will come across new methods that work and some that do not• Remember to always be positive and keep in mind when composing a lesson: what do I want the students to learn from this lesson and how will I incorporate strategies that will prompt them for the future