Yesterday we had a professional development session on helping students develop critical thinking skills. The session was interesting, but I would have appreciated more time in my department to work on some of the things we learned. The whole day was planned down to the minute. Some down time to ponder and reflect on how to use the strategies and tweak what we already do would have been nice. The focus was to encourage us to create judgement type questions, which is what I tried to do in my class today.
I finished my novel study in my grade 9 Immersion class and decided to wrap things up with a discussion. I wanted to have them talking about the novel, so I did a “Réfléchissez, discutez, partagez” activity, where I had them thinking about the characters and the decisions that the characters made. Were they happy with the decisions? If not, why not? What would they have done differently in that same character’s position? I liked it because I had them defend their positions and by finding holes in their arguments, I forced them to rethink their positions. I’m trying really hard to get them to think more critically and I try to incorporate it into my lessons whenever possible.
Tomorrow I will be starting Zone by Marcel Dubé. It’s very widely read throughout our board, but I find that I need to make it relevant to students by talking about the issues and themes raised in the play in a more modern context. We’ll see how they like this one…