Using graphic organizers to develop critical thinking

Create webs, idea maps, mind maps, concept maps, graphic organizers, process flows, and other diagrams for thinking, organizing and writing. Use these proven visual thinking and learning techniques to brainstorm or brainwrite ideas, explore and explain relationships, and integrate new knowledge with what you already know.

Using graphic organizers to develop critical thinking

The other day, I walked into one of our primary multi-aged classroom communities. I noticed many wonderful things. It was clear the students were engaged in what they were doing. These young students were working on an inquiry unit related to force and motion.

Other students were using their iPads to view videos related to force and motion. Many of the students were recording notes on their iPads or on paper while watching the videos or reading. A few students were experimenting with different materials such as ramps, matchbox cars, marbles, etc.

Later, students met in small groups and engaged in discussions related to what they learned or discovered through these activities.

Their conversations led the students to synthesize their new learning, reflect on the learning experiences they had, and make connections to how this new information relates to the essential question of their current inquiry unit.

It is clear that these students were working on thinking critically. For us, critical thinking happens when students analyze and evaluate evidence, arguments, claims and beliefs. They can then learn how to make judgments and decisions based on others' points of view, interpret information and draw conclusions.

Fostering Critical Thinking Four main approaches have made the biggest impact on our children's critical thinking: Inquiry "One way we try to foster critical thinking skills in our classroom is by allowing our students to be creative and to inquire about topics that are of interest to them.

The students work through the phases of immersion, investigation, coalescence and demonstration of learning. Throughout these phases the students are able to wonder, build background knowledge, develop questions, search for new information, synthesize information, demonstrate an understanding and share their new learning with others.

Throughout inquiry, the students tie everything together through an essential question which helps them probe for deeper meaning.

These questions are open-ended, encourage collaboration and foster the development of critical thinking skills. Questioning "We push students to dig deeper in their learning by asking guiding questions and providing a variety of resources for students to independently find answers.

Throughout their learning, we encourage students to ask and answer their own questions through small group discussions, conferring, working on their Personalized Learning Plans and using graphic organizers.

Questioning models for students how they should think. Our professional educators use open-ended questions to encourage discussion and active learning. We also incorporate questioning into our everyday discussions with students.

Instead, we turn the problem onto them and ask how could they solve this problem. This allows the child opportunities to solve their problems independently. It is important that our students think for themselves. In problem solving they apply the critical thinking strategies they have learned.

Collaboration "Integrating meaningful learning experiences that promote critical thinking skills is essential in cultivating a classroom of 21st Century learners. One way we do this is by actively involving the students in their learning through collaborative work.

This helps the students take ownership of the learning and think critically about issues. Our student-centered learning environments are varied and flexible to accommodate the needs of learners and provide ongoing opportunities to build a collaborative community of students and staff.

Our environments promote collaborative, individual, small and large group learning. Students learn in collaborative flexible groups based on need. When students collaborate together they learn how to communicate with others effectively, work as a team, practice self-discipline, and improve social and interpersonal skills.

Through collaboration, students are able to have a better understanding of what they are learning and improve critical thinking skills. And Beyond There are many other ways that we foster critical thinking among our learners, but these are the four that have made the biggest impact for us.

Critical thinking is a key skill that our students need to have in order to become life-long learners and self-advocates for themselves. Her district, West Allis-West Milwaukee, is part of the Next Generation Learning Initiative, an effort that involves all teachers working to transform learning for all students.

Her school is a P21 Exemplar. Take a few minutes to share your ideas from want you to takeaway about this week's posts. Share your favorite blog posts to your friends and colleagues.The definition of information literacy has become more complex as resources and technologies have changed.

The continuing expansion of information demands that all individuals acquire the thinking skills that will enable them to learn on their own. June 12, , Volume 1, Issue 5, No. 8 Driving Question: What Does Critical Thinking Look and Sound Like in an Elementary Classroom? The other day, I walked into one of our primary multi-aged classroom communities.

Nov 12,  · A democracy without effective citizenry for large sections of the political community is democracy only for the few. A person cannot be whole while most of the world is broken. A presidential form of government would be better than the current parliamentary system.

Abortion rights are necessary Adult-oriented cartoons should only be broadcast on television. The Verb Recognize a verb when you see one. Verbs are a necessary component of all grupobittia.com have two important functions: Some verbs put stalled subjects into motion while other verbs help to clarify the subjects in meaningful ways.

Using graphic organizers to develop critical thinking

What other critical thinking skills can you work on using graphic organizers? Predicting; Cause/effect; Compare/contrast; Context clues; Social inferencing; and more! Have mixed groups? No worries! You can easily use passages that are bombarded with articulation sounds and have students complete graphic organizers based on the passages.

Many students are used to writing narratives - stories, description, even poetry, but have little experience with analytical writing.

This article is an introduction to six .

Student Interactives - ReadWriteThink