Thinking Tools

image from: Thinking Tools

This large set of fillable forms from The Learning Curve is a treasure chest of interactive graphic organizers that encourage creative and critical thinking skills.  According to the site, “This collection of thinking strategies and tools have been created and inspired from Mick Walsh’s experiences using the Thinking Curriculum, CoRT Thinking, Tribes Program and Visible Thinking from Harvard University.”  Included on this list are pages for Six Thinking Hats and P.M.I.  However, there are many other intriguing ones that I have never seen anywhere else, such as Time Machine and Truth Traffic Lights.  For some new ideas on how to engage your students in deep thinking, I highly recommend Thinking Tools.

Fall Fun for Fast Finishers

Fall Fun for Fast Finishers” is a free packet of  20 open-ended task cards from Rachel Lynette at Minds in Bloom.  Her packet is available for free download from Teachers Pay Teachers.  You do have to be a member in order to receive the download, but it is free to register.

I love one of the sample cards that Rachel displays in her blog post, which asks you to pretend you are Autumn (the season) and you are running for president against the other three seasons.  What a creative idea!

On a side note, Teachers Pay Teachers can be a goldmine for lesson ideas.  There are many, many free activities available.  It is well worth registering.

7 Hat Challenge (Reblog)

With U.S. election day quickly approaching, I thought I would reblog this post I did for Presidents’ Day.  If you are looking for some more election resources, check out KB Konnected’s post on The Democracy Project and other great links here.

7 Hat Challenge is a game hosted by Scholastic News that allows the player to choose the difficulty level, and then try to earn 7 different presidential “hats” of responsibility.  This is a good interactive that allows the player to learn more about some of the Presidents of the United States and their many roles.  For a plethora of Presidents’ Day activities, check out the post where I found this one on “Technology Rocks.  Seriously.”

Draw a Stickman Epic

The makers of “Draw a Stickman” have just released a new version, “Draw a Stickman Epic“.  At this time, it is available for iPhone, iPad, and Windows 8.  The Android app is coming soon, according to the developer’s website.  “Epic” comes in the free, trial version, or the paid version ($1.99).  The main difference is the number of levels.  With the free version, you get 3 levels, and the paid version offers 14.  The other difference, I would assume (since I have not purchased the paid version), would be the presence of ads.

Epic” is much more interactive than its predecessors, and demands the use of some problem-solving skills in order for your stickman character, which you will draw, to rescue its stickman friend (which you will also draw).  In order to do this, you must strategically draw fire to destroy obstacles, as well as rain clouds.

Draw a Stickman Epic” would be a good app to use as a reward or in a center for students.  With a projector, it could even be a whole class activity; after a level is completed, the students could write about what happened, and even use it as a story starter for further adventures.

Vancouver’s Science World Ads

image from: http://technabob.com/blog/

This week’s Fun Friday post is a link to the “Technabob Blog“, where Hazel Chua posted an image gallery of the many unique billboards Science World is using in its new advertising campaign.  How can this be used in an educational setting?  Well, you could have students research and expound upon the facts cited in each ad.  After showing the kids a few examples, I bet some of them would be more than happy to develop their own delightfully shocking ads – based on research, of course.  Or, if you live in the United States, you could just have them convert the metric measurement of snot into customary units – so it will make a bigger impact…

SuperThinkers

Peter Reynolds, author and illustrator of The Dot, as well as many other books, is the mind behind SuperThinkers.  This website, designed for students in upper elementary and middle school, includes, games and activities that encourage: reading for meaning, logic, and reasoning skills.  According to the site, it “offers activities that require that students THINK before they click. Do not be surprised if some students find this site “too hard.” An important lesson in authentic learning is that it IS a challenge to think.”

The featured game on SuperThinkers is The Peetnik Mysteries, and I think students will enjoy making deductions based on the clues that are given.  The site also includes:  a creativity workshop, posters, and parent and educator pages.  In addition, there is a section on getting involved by helping others with your SuperThinker powers.

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