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The main goal of my Deep Student Thinking with the Writing Traits Workshop is to show what amazing things can happen when students take 6-trait and writing process vocabulary all the way to the analyze and evaluate level of Bloom's. The second biggest goal is to help teachers design some deep-thinking tools to introduce during those critical first weeks of a school year. Our Common Core State Standards absolutely expect our students to apply much deeper cognitive skills to their reading and writing, and a foundation for this type of thinking must begin early in the year, not late.
What does it mean to think critically? Some individuals would say to think critically is to deep think. Other individuals may say that critical thinking is thought that explores all possible logical outcomes. Critical thinking is best understood descriptively and through real life application analysis.
As some of my readers may know, I had an awakening of sorts this past summer: I am NOT going to teach so test driven, I told myself. I'm tired of the five-paragraph essay! Where does it exist anywhere but in school? Instead, I decided, that everything I did this school year would have some connection to the world outside of school. The plan: to immerse my lessons and my classroom assessments in authenticity. And test scores be damned.
OK, so maybe I wasn't that confident. Nevertheless, I went ahead with my plans and devised units based on project-based writing.
From Channel: QualiaSoup | December 24, 2009 A look at some of the principles of critical thinking.
This is an excellent short video that introduces critical thinking concepts and vocabulary with clear examples. Excellent foundation resource!
I see this as an important way to approach informational and expository writing themes. It fits with the Common Core Standards and provides an exceptionally strong answer to the age old question: "Why do we have to learn this?"
Common Core State Standards-friendly Workshops: Building Critical Thinkers with Trait Language.
I spend the first twelve weeks of my school year teaching students to apply the language of the six writing traits to everything we read and everything we write. I do this diligently, as though the success of the entire school year depends upon it. Why? This establishes a vocabulary for writing, and I am a true believer that you can't teach writing well if you don't have a vocabulary to discuss it with your students. Giving my students--early on--better ownership of trait-inspired language becomes the single best investment of time that I make while building my community of readers and writers.
Check out these fun writing games for kids. Enjoy a range of free activities, resources and practice exercises related to writing letters, stories, newspapers, debates, advertising and instructions.
The games are perfect for challenging students who enjoy interactive learning online. Find a topic that suits you and improve your English by completing as many of the educational challenges as you can.
Interest-based negotiation is a process that has proved to be effective in building on common experiences, focusing on interests and needs, and using a structured process of inquiry that leads to a deeper understanding of each person's viewpoint and learning while at the same time resolving issues, reaching agreement, and evolving a stronger relationship.
Writing teachers must teach questioning to develop communication and collaboration, two 21st century skills students all must have.
This skill set also speaks to the essential ideas of the Common Core Standards for English Language Arts. ~Dennis
"I teach in an inquiry, project-based, technology embedded classroom. A mouthful, I know. So what does that mean? To begin with, I don’t lecture. My students don’t take notes, at least not in the traditional sense, and we don’t read a novel and simply answer the questions.
It means my classroom is a place where my students spend time piecing together what they have learned, critically evaluating its larger purpose, and reflecting on their own learning. It also means my students don’t acquire knowledge just for the sake of acquiring it. They need to do something with it — that’s where “project-based” comes into play..."
National Writing Project
Summary: Grinding New Lenses, a four-week professional development intensive camp held over the summer, brought together numerous teachers from the Chicago area to collaborate on design and systems thinking.