Tag Archives: thinking skills

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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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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10 Fun Formative Assessments

Here are some creative formative assessments for this beautiful Friday! Get children using their critical thinking skills to synthesize their knowledge and apply what they have learned. These ideas can be used in any subject. Students design an ad (for a … 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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Questions and Student Inquiry

Today I just want to share an article I read. I’m not a huge fan of Alfie Kohn in general, but I think what he has written about getting down to truly essential questions, and encouraging thoughtful questioning from students, … Continue reading

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