Tag Archives: critical thinking

Metacognition and Student Reporters

These ideas can be used in any class, or any subject, but arose as a solution to a specialist situation. Specialist teachers have such limited time with students—and so many students—that getting an overview of students’ learning becomes a perpetual … Continue reading

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Children Need to Play

I’m sure that I’m mostly preaching to the choir here, but more and more research is coming out with a clear message about childhood: Children learn through play. This is how human beings are programmed to learn. And yet, more … Continue reading

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Making Mistakes

I recently dedicated some time to closing some of the 86 tabs I had open, and I finally had a chance to read an Edutopia article that I’d opened long ago. As inquiry teachers, and certainly as music teachers as … Continue reading

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Using Music to Develop Critical Thinking

For many teachers, making the change to PYP can be overwhelming, not only with all the jargon, but the complete shift in thinking. It’s not that the concepts are strange—it’s not even that we weren’t already doing these things. The … Continue reading

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Responding to “I don’t know”

“I don’t know.” It’s a common response from students, particularly on those days when I make a point of calling on students who are avoiding eye contact and trying to hide behind someone. And I will start by saying this: … Continue reading

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Earth Day

April brings Earth Day, which is observed by people in countries all over the world. For the most part, our students have some awareness about the environment, and they quite naturally feel the need to take care of it. No … Continue reading

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Instead of “I don’t know”

Okay, the title is a ruse. Children say, “I don’t know.” You can’t stop them. It’s a go-to response, it’s natural, and it’s fine. But what we want is for students to not stop there. “So you don’t know (or … Continue reading

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Encouraging Critical Thinking in Music Class, Part II

In Part I, I connected critical thinking skills to the Learner Profile and the PYP Transdisciplinary Skills. As a follow-up, here are some prompts—through the lens of the PYP Key Concepts—to get you started with your students. I’ve kept these … Continue reading

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Encouraging Critical Thinking in Music Class, Part I

Critical thinking. This skill, highly valued by educators and continuously devalued by policymakers, is core to PYP or any other high quality education. The IB Mission Statement refers to an understanding that different people can be “right” in different ways. … Continue reading

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HOTS for the Elements

I took a new approach to introducing the elements of music this time around. Inspired by oh-so-many PYP workshops where we split up the reading and then taught each other, I split up the students into groups so that each … Continue reading

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