Developing critical thinking and problem solving (now known as high order) skills and techniques represents the cornerstone of modern education. Having our students engage in designed educational experiences that force them to rely on their higher order thinking skills drives deeper understanding and better prepares them for College and Career. Some of the action verbs associated with higher order task/skills are: revising, appraising, assessing, comparing, drawing conclusions, formulating, citing evidence, designing, synthesizing, critiquing, creating, and proving. When students are called upon to complete tasks requiring them to use one of these action verbs broader/deeper understanding occurs, which leads to personal and academic growth.
Parents can play a key role in helping to develop their children's critical thinking be remembering a few key points.
- First, SLOW DOWN. Don't rush through every conversation with your child. Instead, take time to really discuss various topics, from upcoming academic events to the weather. The more you explore things in depth, the more opportunities you'll be giving your child to think.
- Second, DON'T SWOOP IN. When your middle schooler is struggling with a question/task, don't be quick to answer or do it for them. Instead, give them a chance to mull it over on their own. If they ask you a question, prompt them to think it over carefully, and avoid just providing the answer.
- Third, ASK THEM TO EXPLAIN THIER THOUGHTS. When your middle schooler reaches a decision about something, have them put their thought process into words. Have them tell you why they choose what they did. By explaining why they made the decision they did, they will be clarifying in in their own head.
- Lastly, WITHHOLD JUDGEMENT. You may not agree with your middle schooler's way of thinking on every topic, but you should still respect it.
Thank you for your continued support in allowing us to aid your children in recognizing their full potential.