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Critical Thinking and Problem Solving: 21st Century Skills

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Learn how to implement critical thinking and problem solving in foreign language classrooms using 21st Century tools!

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Critical Thinking and Problem Solving: 21st Century Skills

  1. 1. 21st Century Skills with 21st Century Tools: Critical Thinking & Problem Solving Why is it essential in foreign language classrooms? Thursday, April 3, 2014
  2. 2. What is critical thinking? Learning how to answer and ask questions of evaluation, analysis, and synthesis Puts learners in the role of problem solvers Students reflect on their own thinking processes Expands the learning experience and makes language learning more meaningful Thursday, April 3, 2014
  3. 3. Benefits of Second Language Learning on Critical Thinking and Problem Solving More Creative Better at solving complex problems Have greater cognitive flexibility Better at higher order thinking skills Better at understanding how language works and can be manipulated Students become: Thursday, April 3, 2014
  4. 4. How to foster these skills Encourage all students to think Use a variety of methods and strategies Set the scene for thinking Give adequate thinking time Build background knowledge & cover topic in depth Model thinking process Support and explain solutions Thursday, April 3, 2014
  5. 5. Types of questions to ask to promote Critical Thinking and Problem Solving skills Thursday, April 3, 2014
  6. 6. Higher Order Thinking Skills Critical thinking is inherent in the higher- order thinking skills of Bloom’s Taxonomy Thursday, April 3, 2014
  7. 7. Tools to cultivate Critical Thinking and Problem Solving Thursday, April 3, 2014
  8. 8. Thursday, April 3, 2014
  9. 9. Thursday, April 3, 2014
  10. 10. Make activities that... Combine cooperative, creative, and critical thinking Make learners collaborate Relate to the real world Identify relationship between second language and first language Draw inferences Use language creatively Thursday, April 3, 2014
  11. 11. ACTFL Definition and Sample Activities Thursday, April 3, 2014
  12. 12. One Massachusetts Avenue NW, Suite 700 Washington, DC 20001 202-312-6429 www.P21.org Publication date: 03/11 9 Critical Thinking and Problem Solving Students as inquirers frame, analyze, and synthesize information as well as negotiate meaning across language and culture in order to explore problems and issues from their own and different perspectives. EXAMPLE: Students develop a survey to investigate the eating habits of the class, interview students, analyze the data in terms of good nutritional habits, synthesize it into a graph, and create a document to share the results with others. EXAMPLE: With the job title omitted, students read various job/career ads and then match the appropriate job title to the ad. Students are divided into groups. Each group is asked to investigate 3-5 different career/ job sites and identify the jobs and careers that are in high demand in a particular city, region, or country. Students present their findings to the class. EXAMPLE: Using a word cloud generator, present students with a graphic visualization of a text (poem, song, rhyme, fable) and have them predict (whole class, groups or pairs) the main theme, idea or key concepts. EXAMPLE: Students explore an environmental issue in a target language country with a group of peers from that country.Together they propose solutions that are environmentally safe. EXAMPLE: Students examine a variety of resumes from Internet sites.They then identify possible jobs/careers that the resume writer(s) might seek. Using an Internet resume site, students complete a template for a job/career they might have at some time in the future, and write a cover letter in which they "apply for" a prospective job. Students organize a class job/career fair, alternately playing the roles of interviewer and interviewee. EXAMPLE: Students investigate an immigration issue in the US and a target- language country, analyze and synthesize the information, and propose a solution in the form of a letter to the editor. • Exercising sound reasoning in understanding • Making complex choices and decisions • Understanding the interconnections among systems • Identifying and asking significant questions that clarify various points of view and lead to better solutions • Framing, analyzing and synthesizing information in order to solve problems and answer questions INFORMATION, MEDIA AND TECHNOLOGY SKILLS Novice Range Intermediate Range Advanced Range Thursday, April 3, 2014
  13. 13. More Activities! Students research topics given to them using Spicynodes to organize information and support and explain solutions to hold debates in class. Students use Google Maps to follow directions to unknown destinations and find alternate routes due to “closed” roads. Students in groups use Google Maps and local real estate websites in a target country and synthesize the information to find an apartment for their made-up families. Before class begins, encourage all students to think and brainstorm a cultural topic as a class using Padlet as your medium to express ideas.Thursday, April 3, 2014
  14. 14. More Activities! Place students in groups and give each group a different question on Tricider comparing two solutions to a problem. Have the students analyze the pros and cons of each solution and then present their work. The rest of the class will then vote on which solution is the best. Have students collaborate on mindmeister to organize and plan information and work for group projects. Students will use lino to share ideas and discuss what was presented during class time to continue building their schema on the topic. Thursday, April 3, 2014
  15. 15. Tell me what you think and share more ideas! https://todaysmeet.com/CriticalThinking21 Thursday, April 3, 2014
  16. 16. Further Resources Do you know the true benefits of learning a foreign language? How Global Language Learning Gives Students the Edge The Benefits of Second Language Study ACTFL 21st Century Skills Map Developing Critical Thinking through Cooperative Learning Future Foreign Language Teachers' Social and Cognitive Collaboration In an Online Environment Exploring the Relationship Between Critical Thinking, Reading Comprehension and Reading Strategies of English University Students Enhancing critical thinking in foreign language learners Newmann, F.M. (1990). Qualities of thoughtful social studies classrooms: An empirical profile. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 22, 253-275. Turouskaya, Faina A., and Iryna S. Turouskaya. "Teaching Critical Thinking in a Foreign Language." Education Et Sociétés Plurilingues, N° (2001): n. pag. Web. Thursday, April 3, 2014

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