Sunday, October 31, 2010

Daily Assignment #17: Thinking Skills, what are they?

We hear so much about teaching "Thinking Skills."  I'm sure everyone has heard of Bloom's Taxonomy of Thinking Skills:   There is also Deborah Burn's Taxonomy of Thinking Skills:

Bottomline, this is my definition, "Thinking Skills" are the higher level learning objectives that teachers' design for students within a lesson.  Wow, that was a mouthful.

Let me give you some examples of what this means:

Objective for a literature lesson:  Students will know and be able to identify 5 characteristics of the  main character in the novel To Kill A Mockingbird, by completing a Descriptive Graphic Organizer.

  *the "Thinking Skill" is an Analytical Reasoning Skill: Identifying Characteristics (Bloom's).  The graphic organizer provides a visual tool for the student.

 (I will do more on graphic organizers on Wednesday).

Objective for a math lesson:  Students will know and be able to categorize a group of 10 objects according to attributes.

     * the "Thinking Skill" is, again, an Analytical Reasoning Skill:  Categorizing (Bloom's).

Objective for a social studies lesson:  Students will know and be able to brainstorm 8 possible reasons people have migrated to the U.S.A.

     *the "Thinking Skill is a Creativity Skill:  Brainstorming and a Critical Thinking Skill:  Deductive Thinking.

Most lessons have thinking skills embedded within them.  Being cognizant of the importance of "Thinking Skills" during planning is essential.  You might want to take the opportunity to reflect on previously taught lessons and highlight the "Thinking Skills."

If you discover that your lessons do not include a "Thinking Skill," it is time to deliberately include them and teach them within your lesson designs.  Take a look at the links, included in the first paragraph, to help your thinking.

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