Teaching Tip of the Month
This month's Teaching Tip comes from Nonfiction Writing for the Common Core Grade 4.
The Common Core State Standards place an emphasis on argument in student thinking and writing. As students cite evidence to support their views, they learn to think critically about what they read and write. Critical thinking includes identifying relevant evidence and details, analyzing strengths and weaknesses of various perspectives on an issue, and comparing two or more texts or viewpoints.
Critical-Thinking Skills for Students
- Begin with questions, challenges, and an investigation of topics, issues, and/or problems.
- Hear and analyze different viewpoints and perspectives on a topic.
- Compare and contrast, or notice similarities and differences between two objects or topics.
- Use evidence and sound reasoning to persuade others of a particular viewpoint.
- Determine how cause and effect work together.
- Identify and refer to relevant evidence.
- Ask questions at different levels of thinking.
- Develop proficiency with technology tools.
- Build collaborative relationships with others in order to ask and answer questions about issues and problems .
- Apply and demonstrate learning through nonfiction writing projects.
Critical-Thinking Skills for Teachers
- Incorporate students' thinking in lesson activities.
- Connect teaching to students' experiences.
- Explain and discuss how people think. Use modeling and think-aloud techniques to show students your thinking processes.
- Write down students' comments during class discussions.
- Ask students to explain what they do understand and encourage questions when they don't understand .
- Teach students to ask themselves these questions: Does this make sense? Why or why not?
- Ask students to explain and elaborate on their answers. Provide prompts as needed to get them started .
- Teach students how to become aware of their own thinking.
- Help students identify what they do and do not know about a topic.
- Provide opportunities for students to observe classmates' thinking processes.
- Model and teach students how to analyze others' thinking.
- Have students rotate through small groups to hear different perspectives.
- Encourage students to persevere when solving problems.
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