Higher Order Thinking Skills (Part #5 The Workshop Plan)


"It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge." - Albert Einstein

I believe if you want students to use higher order thinking you give them freedom to think for themselves and to express themselves knowing their ideas are valued even when they are wrong. This is how we learn.

It is also the spirit of an effective workshop on engaging students in higher order thinking. 

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The teachers will be organized by discipline; Math, Science, English/Language Arts, Special Education, CTE, Arts, Physical Education and Health, History/Social Studies, and Student Services. Each will have an issue to respond to. There are no wrong answers and their work will be appreciated but not judged. 

We are asking them to spend time online researching their assigned issues using only those resources available to their students. They should retain enough information as needed to can cite their references (see the Online Writing Lab at Purdue). They may want to create a Keynote slide for your references and any quotes they wish to use. 

Once the gather their data they will need to analyze it. 

Examine and break information into parts by identifying motives or causes. Make inferences and find evidence to support generalizations

  • Analysis of elements
  • Analysis of relationships
  • Analysis of organizational principles

Questions like: List four ways of serving foods made with apples and explain which ones have the highest health benefits. Provide references to support your statements. (wikipedia)

Then it is time for synthesis.

Compile information together in a different way by combining elements in a new pattern or proposing alternative solutions

  • Production of a unique communication
  • Production of a plan, or proposed set of operations
  • Derivation of a set of abstract relations

Questions like: Convert an "unhealthy" recipe for apple pie to a "healthy" recipe by replacing your choice of ingredients. Explain the health benefits of using the ingredients you chose vs. the original ones. (wikipedia)

Once the groups have reached consensus on a solution they will need to evaluate it.

Present and defend opinions by making judgments about information, validity of ideas or quality of work based on a set of criteria

  • Judgments in terms of internal evidence
  • Judgments in terms of external criteria

Questions like: Do you feel that serving apple pie for an after school snack for children is healthy? (wikipedia)

Teachers should be very comfortable with the task as described so far. It is like writing a college paper but we are asking participants to give a 3 - 5 minute talk to your peers. One person will record the talk using their iPad and Camera. Once this is done they can upload their podcast to Edmodo. 

Our hope is once participants see how easy and effective they will use podcasting to engage students in high order thinking projects more often.

The actual workshop is a month away. Participants will recieve their topics soon and I'll be posting more information here soon. 

Until then, Happy Holidays!

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Dr. Winegar is available to help your organization wisely use technology. Email him directly at mark.winegar@mac.com or visit www.facebook.com/MobileLearningStudio.