50 Activities For Developing Critical Thinking Skills

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If students have not yet reached the formal operations stage, their ability to use critical thinking skills may be limited by an inability to handle abstract ideas.

It is important to remember that Piaget's stages of cognitive development are also linked to intellectual potential and environmental experiences.

Critical thinking is also regarded as intellectually engaged, skillful, and responsible thinking that facilitates good judgment because it requires the application of assumptions, knowledge, competence, and the ability to challenge one's own thinking.

Critical thinking requires the use of self-correction and monitoring to judge the rationality of thinking as well as reflexivity.

The fun, hands-on physical science lessons/experiments in this 312-page book teach science principles found in state and national science standards.

Students also learn and practice critical thinking through the application of the scientific method of investigation.The lessons/experiments teach science following these four important educational themes: Book 2 Units: • Process Skills—Activities 1–5 • Force, Movement, Work, Systems, and Weight—Activities 6–9 • States Of Matter—Activities 10–13 • Mass, Volume, Density—Activities 14–19 • Air Pressure, Pressure of the Atmosphere—Activities 20–26 • Heat, Expansion, and the Movement of Molecules—Activities 27–30 • Transfer of Heat—Activities 31–35 • Flight and Aerodynamics—Activities 36–42 • The Speed of Falling Bodies—Activities 43–47 • Variables—Activities 48–49 • The Flight of Rockets—Activities 50–52 • Inertia and the Flight of Satellites—Activities 53–58 • Surface Tension and Bubbles—Activities 59–65 • Sound—Activities 66–68 • Reflection and Refraction of Light—Activities 69–73 • Magnetism and Electricity—Activities 74–80 "A thorough, hands-on approach to the true scientific method. Even after our first lesson students were saying, 'That's not an observation. That's an inference and not a fact.' I'm happy to recommend these books." - Kennedy, Hyde Park, NY "The critical thinking questions in each activity are excellent.I need help guiding my students through science projects, and they have scripted out thought-provoking questions that will help my students learn.When using critical thinking, individuals step back and reflect on the quality of that thinking.Simpson and Courtneay point out that critical thinking processes require active argumentation, initiative, reasoning, envisioning and analyzing complex alternatives, and making contingency-related value judgment.Preparation time is short, and most materials can be found around the classroom.Step-by-step procedures, questions, answer guidelines, and clear illustrations are provided.He claims that CT involves students' total intellectual functioning, not a narrowly defined set of skills.He postulates that there are three mental processes fostering critical thinking: meta-components, performance components, and knowledge-acquisition strategies.Meta-components refer to higher-order mental processes that individuals use to plan, monitor, and evaluate what they do.Performance components refer to the actual steps taken or strategies used, while knowledge-acquisition strategies refer to the ways in which individuals relate old to new material and apply new material.

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