Classroom Activities to Help Students Think
Teachers are not just trying to get through a set programme of curriculum content or prepare for the next exam; they are also trying to ready students for life after school. While the former is always on everyone’s minds the latter is actually as essential. Whatever a student’s chosen career path may be; doctor, lawyer, veterinarian, or even teacher, one thing is necessary. Communication, the ability to justify opinions, organise thoughts and propose creative ideas will inevitably support any student in whatever his/her chosen profession. This is where thinking skills activities come in, and why they are important.
Thinking skills are all the things we do in our heads to get us through the day; solve problems, make decisions, ask questions, make plans, pass judgements, organise information, create new ideas, and more. And, just like with any other skill, when you think about thinking and exercise those muscles (well brain cells) we become better at using them. By integrating this philosophy into our classroom practices, we can help students learn better today, and for the future.
In a recent webinar, which focussed on 9 classroom activities may help with an understanding of how students learn and access information, as well as how they communicate the knowledge they have gained. Teachers can easily do them with their own pupils. You’ll find they will help with curriculum content, as well as getting learners to think about their own thinking. From simple starters to more complex ideas the webinar (below) investigates ways to get your pupils to justify their answers, communicate with each other, and work as a team.
About the Author: Samantha Clewes is the responsible for business development in Republic of Ireland, and previously worked as a teaching and learning consultant for the region. Samantha’s education career includes a background in secondary geography teaching up to and including A Level, working with newly qualified teachers and initial teacher trainees. Before moving to Ireland, Samantha taught at a Secondary school in Newcastle, UK.