Sunday, August 12, 2012

Coach B's Facebook Course One lesson one

Are you connected to Whole Brain Teaching Yet? Definitely check it out. It's changed how I plan on teaching.

I'm dedicating a few posts a week (well, as a goal) to my study and eventual research into WBT. Today, Coach B (Chris Biffle) has begun posting a few questions on the Whole Brain teaching Facebook page.

Please come join me and others in this ongoing free course, just comment on these images on the Facebook page. Can't wait to see you!


I've so far enjoyed reading the questions and trying to think of my own answers before Coach B posts his.

Want to check them out?

Give it a try! (Images from the WBT Facebook page).

LESSON ONE:

Photo: Lesson 1:  We'll begin by defining Critical Thinking.  When there is a large number of short, but enthusiastic comments below,, we'll present the definition.

After awhile we were given a hint as to what the answer was,
At minimum, a definition of critical thinking should include the words, "opinion" and "evidence." With this in mind, fill in the following blank, "Critical thinking is ____________________." (15 words or less).

My reply was
Critical thinking is learning to use evidence to form your own opinions on subject matter.

I knew it wasn't what Coach B was looking for, but I know I have to try because that's one way to use MY critical thinking skills.

After many hours of waiting the answer was finally posted:
Photo: Lesson 1 Answer:
Students have three problems when they try to think critically.  First, they have opinions without evidence.  “The answer to problem 19 is 25 square feet.”  “Why?”  “Because.”  Second, they have opinions with weak evidence.  “James and the Giant Peach is great story.”  “Why?”  “Because I like it.”  Third, they have opinions with too little evidence.  “Oil and water don’t mix.”  “Why?”  “I don’t know.”

Our definition addresses each of these problems.  “Critical thinking is supporting your opinion with lots of strong evidence.”  To think critically you need three components: an opinion, strong evidence and lots of it!  

Picture this:  the principal comes into your room and asks students questions about math, reading, core concepts, writing, social studies, science, playground behavior.  Every kid has an answer ... backed up with lots of strong evidence.  Yes, that’s Teaching Heaven and that’s where we’re going! (Don’t worry for now about a definition of opinion or evidence ... we’ll solve that problem later.)   

Who’s ready, eagerly ready, for the next lesson?
Lesson 1 Answer:
Students have three problems when they try to think critically. First, they have opinions without evidence. “The answer to problem 19 is 25 square feet.” “Why?” “Because.” Second, they have opinions with weak evidence. “James and the Giant Peach is great story.” “Why?” “Because I like it.” Third, they have opinions with too little evidence. “Oil and water don’t mix.” “Why?” “I don’t know.”

Our definition addresses each of these problems. “Critic
al thinking is supporting your opinion with lots of strong evidence.” To think critically you need three components: an opinion, strong evidence and lots of it!

Picture this: the principal comes into your room and asks students questions about math, reading, core concepts, writing, social studies, science, playground behavior. Every kid has an answer ... backed up with lots of strong evidence. Yes, that’s Teaching Heaven and that’s where we’re going! (Don’t worry for now about a definition of opinion or evidence ... we’ll solve that problem later.)


I wasn't close enough, but I think I was on the right track. What do you think?

As for the answer, I know too well how often you teach a concept to your class and are sure they really understand it, only to have a principal come in and ask the kids what they're learning, and they have no idea! Hopefully if I can learn how to teach my students to think critically, and how to give them opportunities to have lots of evidence in their back pockets, I'll end up with a classroom full of critical thinkers!

I think we need to teach our kids to ask questions and we need to make sure our teaching helps them see for themselves WHY oil and water don't mix. We can't just TELL them the answers so we can get through to the next lesson, we have to give them time to find answers before moving onto the next question. And more importantly, they need to be helped to find the answers in more than one way.

School isn't a race, it's a lifelong experience.

2 comments:

  1. Hi Mrs. D,
    I think of the the WBT sounds great! I'd like to go a workshop on it sometime.

    I’m having a big 100 follower giveaway. I’d love it if you wanted to come on over for a visit sometime. Thanks!
    Corinna :)
    Teaching Fabulous Firsties!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you for stopping by my blog! I'm your newest follower now too. =) Our district recently hosted a WBT conference. It was amazing but I am still wrapping my brain around all of the info...baby steps for me this year!
    Bobbie
    The Daily Cupcake…A Kindergarten Blog

    ReplyDelete

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