Got to Teach!: Tips for Teaching Students to Think and Respond with Depth and Complexity.

Tips for Teaching Students to Think and Respond with Depth and Complexity.

I recently blogged about engaging your students in critical thinking over at and thought I would expand up this topic with a few tips for implementation.  My above post mainly covered what the 11 "Thinking Tools" of critical thinking look like in the classroom. I made a little "cheat sheet" that you can download for free {HERE}

teaching students to think and respond with depth and complexity

The information can be a bit overwhelming, but I promise you incorporating this into your instruction is WELL worth it.  

Here are a few pointers for you to get started:

1. Print the Critical Thinking at a Glance "cheat sheet" and keep it near you when lesson planning and when having class discussions. It can really help you elicit student responses for each of the "Thinking Tools".

2. Start off with incorporating just a few of these "Thinking Tools" at a time.  Don't even look at the rest, and really just focus on learning and teaching 2-3 at a time.  This is especially important if you teach younger students or students who are completely unfamiliar with these "Thinking Tools".

3. Teach one "Thinking Tool" at a time using something the students are already very familiar with, like a picture book that they have ready multiple times.  I use fairytales for this, but you could also use familiar fables and myths too.

4. These are not just for gifted or high-achieving students.  Make sure you are using these with your English language learners, special needs students, and on-grade level students as well.  They will benefit greatly from these and will really rise to the occasion.  

5. Don't try to hit the ground running.  It's okay to really take your time with implementing these. The benefits will not be lost, I promise you!

6. Head over to my blog post at UpperElementarySnapshots and download the FREE Critical Thinking Bookmarks for a quick and easy tool to use in your classroom.


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