Teaching for Thinking Today: Strategies, and Activities for the K-8 Classroom

Teaching for Thinking Today: Strategies, and Activities for the K-8 Classroom

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Teachers College Press


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Teaching for Thinking Today: Strategies, and Activities for the K-8 Classroom

These are turbulent times. We live in a climate of vigorous testing and memorization, so how can we both engage and challenge our children to learn and become thinking citizens in our society? In her invaluable new book, Selma Wassermann takes a step forward from Louis Rath's seminal work and gives us some truly helpful answers to this modern dilemma. Using new data from her extensive field work, Wassermann (a co-author of Teaching for Thinking, Second Edition) provides a wealth of innovative classroom strategies that will enable and empower students to grasp the "big ideas" across virtually all curriculum areas and apply this knowledge to problem solving.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780807750124
Publisher: Teachers College Press
Publication date: 09/30/2009
Series: 0
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 224
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.60(d)

Table of Contents

Preface ix

Part I A Case for Theory

1 What Do We Want for Our Children? 1

Educational Goals for the 21st Century 3

What Does It Take to Achieve Our Goals? 4

To Know, to Understand, and to Know How 5

Making a &;ldquo;Case” for Theory 7

2 Teaching for Thinking: A Curriculum Framework for Classroom Practice 9

A Thinking Theory 9

Classroom Questions and Thinking Theory 12

New Developments in Applying Thinking Theory 12

Part II Teaching Strategies: Conducting Effective Classroom Discussions

3 Keys to Productive Classroom Discussions 17

Conditions That Promote Student Thinking 19

Conditions That Limit and Actually Crush Student Thinking 23

Caveats 23

4 Asking the Right Questions 25

Unproductive Questions 26

Less-Than-Productive Questions 29

The Art of Discussion Teaching 31

The Well-Orchestrated Discussion 37

Part III Classroom Applications: Thinking Activities in the Curriculum Areas

5 Guide to the Thinking Activities 43

Starting Point: What's the Big Idea? 43

Planning for Teaching for Thinking 45

About the Activities 46

Children Working in Groups? Can It Work? 48

Art, Music, and Computer Studies 48

Brain-Mind Research and Curriculum Activities 50

The Teacher Chooses 52

6 Building Habits of Thinking in Mathematics: Measuring, Graphing, Estimating, Studying Fractions, Calculating, and Puddle Jumping 53

Activity 1 Seeing Geometry in Building Structures 53

Activity 2 Measuring Liquids 55

Activity 3 Taking Measurements 57

Activity 4 Measuring and Graphing 60

Activity 5 Estimating, Collecting Data, and Graphing 62

Activity 6 Measuring Time 64

Activity 7 Measuring Temperature 67

Activity 8 Gathering Information from a Graph 69

Activity 9 More Measuring and Graphing 72

Activity 10 Measuring Area 74

Activity 11 Understanding Fractions 77

Activity 12 Conductinginvestigations—Using Computers to Calculate 79

7 Building Habits of Thinking in Science: Investigating Gravity, Weather, Seeds, Machines, and Germs…and What About Pluto? 81

Activity 1 Studying Air Pressure and Weight 81

Activity 2 Studying Gravity as a Force 83

Activity 3 Growing Thing 86

Activity 4 Studying Sounds 88

Activity 5 Studying Simple Machines 91

Activity 6 Studying Air and Weather 95

Activity 7 Studying Rocks 98

Activity 8 Studying How Foods Spoil 101

Activity 9 Studying Blood Circulation 103

Activity 10 Studying the Preservation of Wildlife 106

Activity 11 What Is Science? 109

Activity 12 Germs Make You Sick! 113

8 Building Habits of Thinking in Language Arts: Reading, Writing Down, Listening, Talking 116

Activity 1 Studying Punctuation 116

Activity 2 Studying Word Analysis Skills—Short Vowel Sounds 119

Activity 3 Studying Word Analysis Skills—Long Vowel Sounds 122

Activity 4 Writing Out—Learning to Write Captions 125

Activity 5 Studying Words That Have Power 127

Activity 6 Communicating Clearly 130

Activity 7 Listening—A Key to Interpersonal Communication 133

Activity 8 The Art of Storytelling 136

Activity 9 Asking Good Questions 140

Activity 10 Creating Drama 143

Activity 11 Giving Evaluative Feedback: Is It Good? 145

Activity 12 The Language of Persuasion 148

9 Building Habits of Thinking in Social Studies: History, Government, Politics, Economics, Geography, and Socially Responsible Behavior 152

Activity 1 Studying Communities 152

Activity 2 Getting Around—Studying Transportation 155

Activity 3 Jobs and Work 157

Activity 4 Social Responsibilities 160

Activity 5 Studying Ancient Civilizations: Ancient Egypt 164

Activity 6 Studying the Bill of Rights 167

Activity 7 The Trial of Socrates—Justice and Law in Ancient Greece 169

Activity 8 Searching for History in Art 172

Activity 9 Studying Racism 175

Activity 10 Studying Communication 178

Activity 11 Studying Geography—Reading and Making Maps 181

Activity 12 Studying Early Human Beings—We Are All Related 184

Part Iv Reflections on Practice

10 Growing Teachers of Thinkers 189

Relinquishing Control 189

Teachers and Students as Partners in Learning 1191

Learning to Watch and Listen to Yourself Teach 192

11 Evaluating Student Progress 196

Standards of Performance in Thinking 196

Profiles of Thinking-Related Behavior 198

Evaluating Thinking-Related Behavior 198

Last Words 202

References 203

Index 205

About the Author 210

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