Beyond Question Stems: Critical Thinking in the 21st Century Classroom


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I developed and delivered this presentation for South Mebane Elementary School in Alamance County. The focus was higher order thinking and critical thinking skills in reading, writing, listening and speaking. Language, Comprehension and Vocabulary standards were highlighted from the Common Core with a special emphasis on the 3 shifts of the Common Core for ELA.

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Beyond Question Stems: Critical Thinking in the 21st Century Classroom

  1. Beyond question stems: Best Practices for Critical Thinking in the 21st Century Classroom South Mebane Elementary September 19, 2012 by Jennifer Jones
  2. Virtual Annotation (aka Parking Lot)
  3. Setting The stagefor thinking deeply & critically flickr by roujo
  4. The Guided Reading Table
  5. Strategy #2 Describe Guided Reading as a Session Rather than a Lesson• Teacher support enables students to problem-solve, connect and discover• Session is conversational in format• (K-2)Students read a lot (2-5) Students talk a lot
  6. Strategy #15 Engage All Students,Regardless of Instructional ReadingLevel, in Thinking Deeply About Story •Beyond a series of questions •Beyond “Today I want you to make a prediction.” •Beyond story retelling •Beyond details of the reading process but active in all of it •Meaning at the text level
  7. The Language of Teaching Comprehension Instruction DeeplyLittle Questions Big Questions What houses did How are the pigs’ each pig build? houses different? Why did the writer have the third pig build the brick house instead of the second pig?What did the wolf say Why did the wolf saybefore he blew down the same thing at the houses? each house?What happens at the What did the pigs beginning, middle learn from theirand end of the story? experience?
  8. A Where is Your Level of Thinking? Are Your Kids There?
  9. Lower vs. Higher Level Thinking the answer is already known
  10. Critical Thinking Rubric
  11. ….
  12. First We must be Critical Thinkers… Form an opinion and justify it!Image:
  13. Justifying my answersBuildCommunity
  14. Justifying Scientific ClaimsBuildtrust
  15. Science Notebooks… …increase CRITICAL THINKINGbecause students reflect on their learning and their thinking.
  16. www.k-5mathteachingresources.comJustifying in math
  17. 4th Grade Sample Items National Assessments
  18. Daily Analogies Analogy Poster“Mrs. Jones, this is hard!” “I don’t know.”
  19. Schoolwide Vocabulary instruction Tier 2 & Tier 3 Words
  20. Urgency with Word Learning
  21. Creating a Sense of Urgency& the Relationship between Words & Learning
  22. Making Inferences with…Picture of the Day
  23. You Tube ***S**Informational Text I *
  24. Problem-Solvers in a Student Centered ClassroomProblem Solving Framework
  25. First …beforeWe must be Critical We can be CriticalThinkers… Readers. You don’t have to believe everything you read in a book, you have the right to question it and judge for the reasons for yourself.Image:
  26. Literary Text Or Informational TextSo What?
  27. Critical Reading… …is a way of looking at a book andanalyzing what the author is saying and the methods the author [and illustrator] are using to communicate a message or idea. Your analysis is complete when you have formed your own interpretations of the author’s intentions.
  28. Accountable Talk So What?Images:
  29. Critical Read-Aloud Think-Aloud
  30. Character Analysis With EvidenceImages:
  31. Evaluating Author’s Reasons & Word Choice Text Level 3/4 Text Level 4th/5th
  32. CriticallyResponding to Reading
  33. Sticky Thinking 3rd
  34. Non-fiction Reading Shift Our Thinking from… “What do want kids to KNOW?” to “What do want kids to get out of it?” Image: BIG
  35. Evaluating Non-Fiction Textwith Two-Column Notes…all strategies at once
  36. Opinionated Students
  37. Image:
  38. Planning & Assessing Critical Thinking
  40. Cooperative LearningShort Term Book Clubs Long Term Book Clubs
  41. Project Based Learning...Inquiry is part of the Process
  42. Higher Level ThinkingIndependent Projects
  43. Schoolwide Research Model for LMES – remixed by Leigh Pittman from the AGOPE & WISE research models
  44. Image: D. Garland
  45. Thank You! This presentation has received rave reviews by the faculty of the three schools I have presented it to. Many folks said that they finally understood what was teaching the Common Core way meant. My own principal called me a “rock star.” If your school or a school you know of, is interested in or could use some help with this Id be more then willing to travel and present to the faculty and staff. Please contact me and we can figure out transportation and time compensation expenses. I can contacted at References available upon request.