EdCamp “Swag” Contributor: Mentoring Minds


Mentoring Minds’ mission and commitment is to motivate children to think critically and learn effective problem-solving skills in the classroom to prepare them for life in the 21st Century global marketplace.
Mission: “Be the leading partner in education,serving and empowering learners to discover within themselves how to positively impact the global community.”

Contact Information:
Phone: (800) 585-5258
Twitter: @MentoringMinds

Mentoring Minds is generously providing the following giveaways for EdCampOKC! 

Mentoring Minds Guest Blog Post: Today’s Students as Critical Thinkers

By: Sandra L. Love, Ed.D., Former National Distinguished Principal and Educational Consultant at Mentoring Minds 

Teaching for 21st century thinking is no small task. Any educator, whether a novice or master teacher or somewhere in between, must prepare students to take more responsibility for and control of their learning.

Educating students for success in the future requires schools to create thinking-centered classrooms. Critical thinking must be integrated into daily instructional practices if students are to become active thinkers. As teachers focus instruction on rigor and complexity, students will develop thinking skills in several areas including critical analysis and reasoning, decision making, problem solving, generation of ideas, and connections to the real world. General strategies can be integrated within content areas in order to guide students to become independent critical thinkers.

There is no doubt that students must advance toward achievement of autonomy in learning if they are to be successful in school, in college, in the work force, and in life. The infusion of rigor and complexity in teaching and learning will help develop students as critical thinkers. Educators must assume active roles in structuring thinking-centered classrooms that are connected to classroom curriculum and standards. All students have the right to be prepared for success in an increasingly complex and global society.

Infuse strategies into daily instruction:

  • Choose or construct a framework or context from which students think.
  • Utilize thinking skills daily.
  • Incorporate higher-level thinking questions and experiences when instruction is planned.
  • Teach direct-thinking strategies that focus students on how to think (e.g., reasoning, problem solving, making decisions, evaluating).
  • Employ organizers or templates to facilitate critical thinking and model the steps/processes for their use.
  • Use wait-time before allowing responses to questions so processing of ideas can take place.
  • Ask open-ended questions.
  • Invite and encourage students to ask higher-level thinking questions.
  • Use the think-aloud strategy to model the process of responding to questions.
  • Have accountable conversations with students about text or electronic information.
  • Expect students to use higher-level thinking questions in small-group settings.

Engage students in reflective thinking:

  • How can I improve?
  • What do I still wonder about?
  • I am most proud of___.
  • The most difficult part of this task was ___.
  • I used to think ___, but now I know ___.
  • I understand ___ at a deeper level.
  • I now know that I have strengths in ___.
  • How does this apply to the world in which I live?

Focus on depth of thinking:

  • Tell me more.
  • What evidence can you give to support your response?
  • Explain how you arrived at that answer.
  • What if….? What alternative action might you take?
  • Now that you know ___, so what? What happens next?
  • What impact does ___ have on ___? What led you to that decision?
  • What causes you to respond in that way?
  • With which part do you agree or disagree? Share your reasoning.
  • Choose one part and tell how it makes you feel. Why?
  • What is the author’s point of view? What is your point of view? Your parent’s? The principal’s?
  • How do you know the source is reliable?

For more articles by Mentoring Minds please visit: http://www.mentoringminds.com/thought-leadership/

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