Friday, March 27, 2015

Creative Thinking

I just finished a district staff development class to renew my six hours of gifted training. It was a class centered around the different types of thinking -- creative, conceptual, critical, etc. What was great about the class is though it was geared toward "gifted" students, the concepts can be applied to ALL students.

Our teacher, Russ Weeks, is a lover of picture books and a man after my own heart. (He works with the fabulous Amianne [co-author of this blog] when teaching ABYDOS during the summers.) He used several books during our 2-day class and gave us some other titles to ponder. I can't wait to get copies of these and use them in the classroom!

From Patrick McDonnell:

Each of these titles offer a way to get students thinking differently. They open questions for deeper discussion and new perspectives. We need to help our kids move from facts to concepts and to realize that in life there is rarely ONE right answer. Every student has the capacity to think creatively and critically, we just have to show them the way.Read on!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Winston of Churchill and Global Warming

I love thrift shops! I only say this because that's where I found my latest lesson book.

My husband actually picked it up and wondered if I could use it. I brought it home and showed it to my biology teacher friend who immediately asked it I could read it to her class. Well, of course!

This is a simple story about global warming and what we can do to make a difference. The main character, Winston, is modeled after Winston Churchill and uses some of the lines from the prime minister's best known speeches to inspire the other polar bears. The last page gives some scientific information as well as info on Sir Winston Churchill.

We used this as a review for some critical thinking questions the students were going to answer. After I read the story, I asked students to tell me who the bear was named after, we elaborated on the setting of the story, and we discussed author's purpose. It was an easy, quick lesson.