Critical thinking teaches students that knowledge is fluid and builds upon itself

Catalina Foothills Video about Creative and Critical Thinking
...and the Catalina Foothills rubric for critical thinking skills

What jobs are we preparing our students for?
See what future classifieds may look like here

Take the Critical Thinking QUIZ

National Standards for Thinking Skills
STANDARD: Distinction making: Learns to make distinctions by identifying what is and is not included in an idea.
STANDARD: Organizing systems: Learns to think in systems by organizing parts and wholes.
STANDARD: Recognizing relationships: Learns to think about interrelationships between and among things.
STANDARD: Takes Perspectives: Learns to take different points-of-view and see new perspectives.
STANDARD: Integration of Patterns of Thinking: Creates, understands, and changes concepts by integrating the Patterns of Thinking (by combining the traits listed above).
STANDARD: Application of Patterns of Thinking: Differentiates between content and structural context when constructing the meaning of any idea.

How to Promote Critical Thinking in the Classroom

Assessing Critical Thinking
Asking students to write down the clearest and most confusing points for them in a class session, can be very helpful for collecting a lot of information quickly about student thinking and understanding.

One Teacher's Grading Policy:
"I have an all-or-none grading policy with re-do"s as the only option. Either you do REALLY GOOD work the first time and get 100% or else you take a zero and do the work over and over until it meets the requirements. I am very selective as to what I accept because I heard the quote, "The worst paper that you accept becomes your highest standard." After a time, laziness prevails and students do a nice job only the first time. I hope to "corrupt" their brain with this tendency permanently. I point out that you do not get paid 65% for a 65% effort at work, you just get fired. There are plenty of people waiting in line for your job!- so get used to doing your best all the time now. My classroom is the place to practice."

Evaluating Information use this site to determine the owner of the website domain
Websites to Validate Information
Google Search using various country codes (example: tr: economy would return results for economy from the country of Turkey)
Google Reader

Technology Tools that facilitate critical thinking skills
Gapminder data visualization. shows movement of data over time
iCue learning environment built on NBC news archives
Newsmap visual representation of news events
Google News Timeline chronological representation of news events as they are posted to the web
WeSeed virtual stock market game
Scratch a programming tool for students. teaches logic, reasoning, problem solving
Excel -> create visual representations of data, logic (if/then) statements
Google SketchUp -> 3D modeling tool. integrates with Google Earth and Google Maps examining the pros and cons of controversial issues

Resources (online worksheets, pdfs, online materials)
Lesson Plan Redesign Format
TeAchnology free critical thinking worksheets

Click here to get to the end of class reflection.