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Tag Archives: critical thinking

5 Strategies to Improve Critical Thinking in Classrooms

thinking clip art

In the Edutopia article “Getting Critical about Critical Thinking,” Heather Wolpert-Gawron explores five pedagogical practices teachers can adopt to improve students’ critical thinking skills.  Check them out in the excerpt from her article below: Adopt a PBL philosophy. Project-based learning differs from mere projects because it triggers more critical thinking. Rather than write a report on a state, why not ... Read More »

Depth and Complexity Icons Boost Student Understanding

Clip art of icons

The Depth and Complexity Icons are visual prompts that help students go beyond the basic understanding of a concept and boost their ability to think critically.  These critical thinking tools help students dig deeper into a concept and understand that concept with greater complexity.   These icons were based upon the work of Sandra Kaplan. http://envisiongifted.com/depth-and-complexity.html See examples http://envisiongifted.com/applying-icons.html   Learn ... Read More »

Makerspaces: Not Just for Kids

Makey Makey

Think for a moment: In what part of your school building are children most engaged and actively initiating their own learning? What is it about this space that cultivates curiosity and is trademarked by innovation? What if there was a space designed to allow for students to make, invent, reinvent, hack, design, create, manufacture, develop, collaborate, produce, construct, and tinker? ... Read More »

Taking 4C’s of Learning Above and Beyond at Shuford Elementary

Teachers are taking 21st century learning to the next level at Shuford Elementary School.  Each month the school has a weekly agenda which has a focus on lessons using the 4Cs’s of learning, for example: week 1’s focus is Communication, week 2 Collaboration, week 3 Critical Thinking, and week 4 Creativity.  Teacher led activities produce student work within the realm, ... Read More »

The Snowball Technique

The purpose of the snowball fight strategy is to predict, summarize, justify, and think critically.  Teachers can adapt the strategy to their own purposes. First, have students write the answer to a poignant content-related question on a piece of paper.  Students then crumple their paper into a “snowball.”  Then, students throw their “snowballs” across the room and retrieve one that ... Read More »

NCDPI Offers Webinars on the 4 C’s

Many know that our district has placed a focus on the 4 Cs of Communication, Collaboration, Critical Thinking and Creativity with their application to our classrooms.  The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) has presented and posted all their recorded webinars on the web to provide educators with the opportunity to maximize the interactivity of the internet to enhance teaching and ... Read More »

Creating Digital Ripples in a Borderless World: Why Cultural Responsiveness is No Longer Optional

The notion of cultural relevancy or cultural responsiveness is often misunderstood in the field of education even today. Some still harbor the belief that our moral imperative to be “culturally responsive” is fully attained when we add festivals, food, flags, famous people, and bulletin boards to our syllabus. Sadly, these sometimes stereotypical and shallow surrogates often serve as the core ... Read More »

Are you ready for Genius Hour?

Genius hour is a movement that allows students to explore their own passions and encourages creativity in the classroom.  It provides students a choice in what they learn during a set period of time during school.  It’s not easy to determine where the idea was originally created, but there are at least two events that have impacted genius hour. Learn ... Read More »

NCCS Student Advisory Places Emphasis on the 4Cs

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The NCCS Student Advisory for the 2013-14 school year met at Newton-Conover High School recently.  This year, for the first time, the advisory includes not only high school students from Discovery and NCHS but also middle school and elementary school students from around our district.  Dr. David Stegall’s vision for Student Advisory is to blend leadership discussion and team building ... Read More »

Allied Health Students Create Infographics to Demonstrate Mastery

health occupations

The goal of Digital Days is to provide educators in NCCS an opportunity to learn about new digital resources and tools for professional and classroom use.  During our October Digital Days sessions, Jenni Killian, Allied Health Sciences teacher at NCHS, attended a session on Infographics.  Infographics are an increasingly popular way to share research and information in a visually appealing ... Read More »