Category Archives: Critical Thinking

The Centered School Library

If you are a librarian, or know a librarian who needs a Christmas gift, you should definitely “check this out!” This book, written by our very own school librarian at Fox Run, Cari Young, is a great resource for anyone who is interested in creating a library that is truly an inviting place to learn.  The Centered School Library includes ideas for twelve learning centers that incorporate library skills and are guaranteed to engage your K-5 students!

Mrs. Sunda’s Literature Links

If you are trying to allow some of your students who are reading at a higher level to work independently, you might find these literature units helpful.  There are only 6, but they include discussion guides written with Bloom’s Taxonomy in mind.  Another great thing about these materials is that they were created by students.  Not only could some of your students work through the units, but they could use them as examples for developing some of their own.  While you are visiting Mrs. Sunda’s site, check out some of her other links.  Many resources are given for teachers, including a link to a detailed article explaining the process behind the literature units.

Word Cloud Alphabet Book

I found this example on KB Connected.  You can see more examples and find the link to Mr. Zetterberg’s site on her blog post.  This idea could easily be modified for higher grades or more advanced students by using more challenging words or asking them to create their own books.

Mini Motivation

I’m not sure to whom I should attribute this site, but Mini Motivation is a handy tool for posting inspiring quotes during down times on your projector screen.  Every time you hit refresh, a new quote comes up.  It might be a good activity for high level students to research the quote’s author, explain the quote in his or her own words, find a way to relate it to the current curriculum, explain his or her own opinion, or even illustrate the quote.

Word Sort

Word Sort is one of the many “brain games” offered by Lumosity.  In this particular one, cards are revealed one at a time.  Each card has a word on it, and the player must determine whether or not the card “follows the rule”.  At first, the player has to randomly guess, but should soon see a pattern in the words that fall into the rule-following pile.  Once the player is able to correctly classify 6 words in a row, he or she is eligible for the next level.  This is a good game for practicing vocabulary and logical reasoning.  It would also be  a neat idea to extend it further for higher level students by asking them to create their own games with words from the curriculum.

Solitaire Chess Free

Solitaire Chess Free is a challenging app for iOS.  I also mentioned the boardgame that can be purchased at Mindware in my last post.  In both versions, the object of the one-player game is to capture all of the pieces on the board until there is only one left.  Every move has to result in a capture.  This is a nice way for kids to learn the appropriate moves for each of the chess pieces, and to practice thinking ahead.  There are increasing levels of difficulty, which means that students can quickly move to the level that best fits their needs.