7 Strategies for Teaching Critical Thinking Skills in Classroom

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Teaching critical thinking skills early helps kids develop better cognition and helps with their development. These aren’t just useful in the classroom, too, as these skills help students in and outside of the classroom. That’s why teachers will often integrate learning these skills into the lessons. More than thinking logically or rationally, critical thinking is about thinking independently, about analyzing situations and finding connections between ideas. It also means being open to multiple viewpoints and opinions, even if they differ from your own, or even if these ideas seem out of the ordinary.

Here are some helpful suggestions to add to your teaching practices

1. Start with a Question

With many schools still offering virtual classes, it’s easy enough to start your online sessions with a question. It’s a straightforward way to delve into a topic. It already tells your students something about what you want to discuss for that day, or what their next lesson will revolve around. Questions also encourage the curiosity of your students and get them to ask even more questions. That could even lead to brainstorming, which supports the development of their thinking skills wonderfully.

2. Provide a Foundation 

It’s not easy to think critically if the kids don’t have the details they need. Before you get started with any exercise, it would be wise to provide a review or summary of the related data. That practice is one of the most common ones used in the best school in Noida. That way, they know the pertinent facts.

You can give them assignments and homework to make that happen, or previous lessons and exercises about the topic. You can also send a video or text to the class that they can read or view outside of class to prepare for the lesson.

3. Go Back to the Classics

Classical literary works are a good option if you want to strengthen critical thinking in your students. There are pieces that you can use, depending on the theme you want. Some stories are better in demonstrating character motivation and some are a much better choice for plot predictions.

You can use Shakespeare, but there are also plenty of modern authors who fit the bill. Given the outdated language of the classics, your students might find it hard to relate to some of the works, though, so that’s a major consideration you’ll need to factor in.

However, if you’re certain that the story or narrative will engage them thoroughly in no time that they’ll forget they’re reading Old English, then see how well the stories work for them. 

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4. Organize Information

The ability to think critically depends on a crucial understanding of how details are arranged. Knowing how to organize information supports and enables critical thinking. This doesn’t come naturally, though, at least not for most kids. It is important to train and help them develop this skill. Only then can they learn how to dig through knowledge and find details that are the most useful and helpful in solving a problem. That also entails knowing what information to reject.

Teach your students the duality that resides in every choice. That to say yes to an idea is to say no others. If they can’t tell which ideas to reject, they’ll have a hard time intuitively interpreting information in all forms and formats to extract the knowledge they need to make sense of a situation. Before they can authenticate and perceive the meaning or significance of the data, they’ll need to know how to come up with it first. What follows data collection is then the application of the knowledge to resolve real-world problems.

You can make this happen by providing guidelines that your students can follow when they search for information. That will guide them into finding out and remembering what they need to look out for to ensure the viability and credibility of the data, for one, or what will improve their chances in finding information that will be useful for them.

5. Use Peer Groups

Encourage brainstorming in your sessions. One way to do so is to request your class to form into groups. Assign a project that they’ll need to take on as a team. That not only teaches collaboration and teamwork, the two activities also provide wonderful opportunities for the kids to exchange ideas and share problem-solving techniques. 

It shows them how other kids tackle questions and work their way to answers through research and data interpretation. That will help the other kids in class realize what they’ve been missing out on when they research or delve into a topic.

6. Go with One Sentence

Form groups of about 8 to 10 students and ask them to write one sentence describing a topic. The student should send that one sentence to the next person on their team, who will then add another sentence that encapsulates what they understand about the topic or the next step in the process.

Only, the student must only send their sentence to the next student, holding back the sentence from the student before them. When the sentence reaches the last student, you can ask the groups to collate all the sentences.

This will help improve the way they explain and organize data and to do it in the shortest amount of time possible. Time sensitive exercises help them think on their feet. It’s also fun for the students to see what they've come up with when they finally read all the sentences together.

7. Solve Problems

Assign a specific problem that your class will solve. That’s one of the best ways to teach critical thinking skills. Encourage an open-ended approach, to get them to ask questions and brainstorm. With the correct process to guide them, your students will grow up knowing critical thinking and problem-solving skills. They’ll know how to apply both to situations, so they can tackle any topic or subject with ease.

Make it easier for your students to gain creativity in the way they think and solve problems. Use these suggestions to incorporate critical thinking into your lessons.


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