I am returning this evening to link up with Hello Sunshine for chapter 4 of Mindsets in the Classroom.
Critical thinking is an important part of a growth mindset classroom. There are three types of critical thinking: reasoning, making judgements/decisions, and problem solving. As Ricci points out we use all three daily but not always at the critical thinking level. Critical thinking is a deeper level of thought then the decision on what you wear or eat for breakfast in the morning. It is also not a skill that can be mastered. It is something that is constantly growing and changing as we grow and develop more strategies for deeper thinking and problem solving.
Challenging our students with critical thinking questions is so important. They need to have questions and activities that make them interpret information and figure out ways to problem solve. As I was reading this chapter I was thinking about times when we have done this in our classroom. One way is through number talks. I was introduced to these earlier in the school and loved them. It was interesting to see the different ways that students looked at numbers and represented them. We also did a lot of problem solving in our math journals. Towards the end of the year we did a lot more in reading. We began talking about what lessons we thought the author wanted us to learn from our stories. That led to some very interesting discussions from my little firsties, but they need those opportunities to think through problems and stories to interpret information and figure things out.
My favorite line in this chapter is the last one by Ricci; "We can expect students to embrace challenge only if we make it available to them on a consistent basis." I completely agree. They need the challenge of critical thinking questions and activities on a daily basis. They need the ability to expand their thinking to realize that when they keep trying they can figure the problem out which helps them develop the growth mindset.
Well, that's all for tonight! Have a wonderful evening!