Hi everyone, I'm Heidi Raki of Raki's Rad Resources and I am super excited to be here with you today on Fabulous 4th Grade Froggies! I love reading Lorraine's posts and I hope you will enjoy what I have for you today as much as what she normally provides for you!
Recently, I was quoted in the TPT newsletter for saying that instead of doing test prep, I felt it was more important to build critical thinkers who could solve any type of problem, whether it was in real life or on a test. Today, I'm going to talk about some ways to develop critical thinking skills in your students while you are working on skills you would already be working on in your classroom.
Another way to build critical thinking skills, is to add puzzles of all kinds into your classroom. My kids do puzzles all day - jigsaw puzzles, self-correcting puzzles, tiling puzzles, 9-square puzzles, computer based puzzles - if I can find a curriculum link, I add a puzzle into my day. If I can't find a puzzle for the curriculum I'm working on - I make it! In a society so based on TV and video games, I find that my kids don't have a lot of time spent working on puzzles at home, and puzzles do so much to work on critical and visual thinking skills. One of my favorite types of puzzles is the tiling puzzle. You give students number tiles with the digits 0-9 and a sheet of problems with one of each of those digits missing. Then, students use the tiles to fill in the missing digits. While they are working on their math problems, they are also building critical thinking skills and working on 'trial and error' and 'if this, then that' thinking strategies. Click on the tiling puzzle above to grab it free from my TPT store.
Building critical thinking in our students will help them this year, next year, and 20 years from now. Christa McAuliffe said "I teach. I touch the future." When we go to our classrooms, we need to remember that we are not just teaching students to think for today or tomorrow, but for the rest of their lives.
Thanks for stopping by to read my guest blog post here for Fabulous 4th Grade Froggies - please feel free to stop by and visit me at my blog Raki's Rad Resources.