Critical thinking activity for middle school students

There are teaching strategies, a glossary of important terms, as well as articles by thought leaders in critical thinking, such as one by Bertrand Russell on the importance of developing critical thinking skills. Visit the site. These methods are applicable for middle school aged students, giving them exposure to thinking critically before arriving to high school. One notable technique from KIPP is to teach students to constantly ask questions.

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Lesson Plans for Creativity, Problem Solving, and Critical Thinking

Microsoft Education offers material for teaching critical thinking for the 21 st -century student. Lesson plans focus on fine-tuning search skills, how to evaluate discoveries and then incorporate findings in student work. On teachers.

Creative and critical thinking activities

The most popular feature of this site is its teacher collaboration. This site details the basics about critical thinking: what it is, the characteristics, and why it should be taught. It also provides several differing perspectives about critical thinking for readers to consider. How does K a AMS support reflective thinking? When students are faced with a perplexing problem, reflective thinking helps them to become more aware of their learning progress, choose appropriate strategies to explore a problem, and identify the ways to build the knowledge they need to solve the problem.

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The lesson plans:. Links to additional information on critical and reflective thinking:. A Selected Reflective Thinking Bibliography:. The description of reflective thinking: Critical thinking and reflective thinking are often used synonymously. Critical thinking is used to describe: " Critical thinking is sometimes called directed thinking because it focuses on a desired outcome.

Characteristics of environments and activities that prompt and support reflective thinking: Provide enough wait-time for students to reflect when responding to inquiries. Provide emotionally supportive environments in the classroom encouraging reevaluation of conclusions.

Critical Thinking Resources for Middle School Teachers

Prompt reviews of the learning situation, what is known, what is not yet known, and what has been learned. Provide authentic tasks involving ill-structured data to encourage reflective thinking during learning activities. Prompt students' reflection by asking questions that seek reasons and evidence. Provide some explanations to guide students' thought processes during explorations. Provide a less-structured learning environment that prompts students to explore what they think is important.

Provide social-learning environments such as those inherent in peer-group works and small group activities to allow students to see other points of view. Provide reflective journal to write down students' positions, give reasons to support what they think, show awareness of opposing positions and the weaknesses of their own positions.

Study guides or advance organizer should be integrated into classroom materials to prompt students to reflect on their learning. Questioning strategies should be used to prompt reflective thinking, specifically getting students to respond to why, how, and what specific decisions are made. Social learning environments should exist that prompt collaborative work with peers, teachers, and experts.

Learning experiences should be designed to include advice from teachers and co-learners.


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Classroom activities should be relevant to real-world situations and provide integrated experiences. Classroom experiences should involve enjoyable, concrete, and physical learning activities whenever possible to ensure proper attention to the unique cognitive, affective, and psychomotor domain development of middle school students. The lesson plans: Provide teacher questions designed to prompt students to identify and clarify overall and subordinate problems.


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Provide many opportunities to engage students in gathering information to look for possible causes and solutions.