Sunday, October 18, 2015

One Simple Way to Teach Critical Thinking + a Freebie!

Hi Everyone! Kelsea here from Teacher Gems! Today I will be sharing one simple strategy for increasing your students' higher-order thinking skills.

Have you ever felt bogged down by the need to cover so many standards or to get through a particular curriculum? With so much expected of teachers to cover these days, this can become a reality for many! Unfortunately this can also lead our students to believe that their main role is to get the work done quickly and correctly. If they can come up with the correct answer quickly there is no need to think deeply or critically about what they are learning. 

Ideally it would be wonderful to incorporate critical thinking skills into each of our daily lessons but this is not always realistic. There are however several ways we can be purposeful about teaching critical thinking. I want to share one of those methods with you today. It is a method that I have found great success with my 4th grade students. It is a simple, fun way to teach critical thinking AND it can be a spare time activity and not take away any of your precious teaching time. Logic puzzles!

Logic puzzles are so much fun for students and can really help develop critical thinking skills! In my classroom I set up a tub specific for logic puzzles in my math center. I included several copies of each puzzle so there were enough for each student to complete at their own pace. I found that most students are self-motivated by the puzzles but a few will give up after trying one or two if they think they are too hard. To solve this problem I created a logic puzzle incentive program where students are rewarded for doing puzzles. 

When introducing logic puzzles it is important that you teach your students how to solve them first. I prefer to use the grid style logic puzzles because they provide students with a scaffold to use for process of elimination. To get you started here is a free sample from my Fall Logic Puzzles. I hope your students enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by!


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