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Critical Thinking Portfolio Shannon Booth 001122745 University of Lethbridge

Table of Contents 1. Curriculum Connections 1. Definitions of Critical Thinking 2. Critical Thinking Teaching Strategies 3. Critical Inquiry Questions for Grade 9 4. SEE-I for Intellectual Standards 5. Current Events Connection 6. Intellectual Standards Rubric 7. Critical Thinking Lesson Plan

Definitions of Critical Thinking

Critical thinking is skillful, responsible thinking that is conducive to good judgment because it is sensitive to context, relies on criteria, and is self-correcting. -Matthew Lipman (Nosich, 2012) Critical thinking is thinking that produces reasoned judgments through the formation of reflective insights from within a differentiated unity of consciousness. -Lance Grigg (1992, 2009, 2013) Critical thinking is a capacity to work with complex ideas whereby a person can make effective provision of evidence to justify a reasonable is a form of learning in that it is a means of generating new knowledge by processing existing knowledge and is a multiple tool for the manipulation of knowledge. -Moon (2008) Critical thinking involves being inquisitive about situations and ideas. It allows us to problematize and gain further sound knowledge and judgments through reflections of our reasoning process. -Shannon Booth (2013)

Teaching Strategies
1. Critical Reading Activity In this activity, the logic of a piece of writing is analyzed using the elements of reasoning. During/after reading the work, students identify the purpose, question at issue, context, information, assumptions, implications and consequences, point of view, concepts, conclusions and interpretations and alternatives described in the writing. For example, if students were analyzing the element of context for a piece of writing, they would determine whether the piece was historical, political, educational etc. Exploring the logic of a piece of writing is like performing a dissection. All things are connected; one part is not complete without the rest and alternatives to each point must be made to see both sides of a cause. This activity could be used in a classroom to explore the logic of an op-ed article on a controversial issue. Two articles could be selected and students would explore the elements of reasoning for both. Following, the large group would discuss their findings and analysis of the article based on the elements. Ensure that when facilitating the large group that you are simply teaching or exploring the controversial issue...not becoming one. 2. SQ3R Activity (Survey, Question, Read, Recite, Review) In this activity, begin by having students read the titles of each section in a piece of writing (survey). Next, students will translate each heading into as many questions as they think will be answered in that section of the writing (question). After formulating questions, read each section one at a time keeping developed questions in mind (read). After each section, recall the groups questions, and try to answer them with direct references from the text (recite). Finally, review the questions created from the headings at the beginning of the activity. See if the group can answer them; if not, review the relevant passages of the text to see if they can be answered (review). This activity could be used in a classroom as a jigsaw type activity if a large piece of text is being examined (eg: a chapter of a textbook). Students would be divided into groups and would perform the SQ3R activity for their topic. After each group has completed the activity, bringing it to the larger group and allowing each group to be the expert, or teacher, of the topic will promote student-student learning and group interaction. 3. Reasoning Map In this activity, students are able to work to resolve controversial issues or a question-atissue. First, students will make a statement defining the purpose. The students will then give 3 reasons that support this statement and provide support for the reasoning (for example: I support ...because...). The students then must give a rebuttal position to the question-at-issue with support, and then provide two replies to the rebuttal statement. This could be used in a music classroom to explore a question-at-issue like: Is rap real music? Students would give a statement and their reasoning behind it (ie: yes, rap is real music because...or contrastingly, no it is not because...). Students would need to do research on the

topic and look at the fundamental components in rap music in order to show both sides of the argument. (This could also be done with a variety of different musical genres). 4. SEE-I For this activity, students provide a statement or definition of a concept (S). Next, they elaborate on their statement (E). After the elaboration, the students will need to provide an example of the concept (E). A counterexample is also desirable.Finally, the concept will be illustrated visually and can be expressed in written form (I). This activity could be used in the math classroom to assess whether or not students truly understand a concept. For example, they might be asked what rational numbers are, and then would perform a SEE-I to demonstrate their knowledge of the concept. 5. Heading Translations This activity is similar to a SQ3R, however there are a few less steps. In this activity you go through a text and design questions based on the heading, that you think the section will answer. After you have asked the questions, read the text and answer as many of your questions as possible. If there are still unanswered questions, you may go back through the text to see if you missed anything or you may look to an alternative source to answer any burning questions that will help you understand the concept in more detail. This activity could be used in the classroom when exposing students to a new text, whether it be a new section of a classroom resource, an article or another form of writing. The headings within the source will allow students to develop questions and hypothesize what they think they will learn.

Critical Inquiry Questions

Grade: 9 Subject: Music 1. Critical Inquiry: Are elements of traditional classical music apparent in pop music? Related: What different forms are used to compose a piece of music? 2. Critical Inquiry: What elements make a good ensemble? Related: Is unity important in an ensemble? 3. Critical Inquiry: Is music an appropriate form of communication? Related: How is a musical phrase like a sentence?

SEE-I: Intellectual Standards Clarity:

S: Your thinking is clear when it is easily understood, and when you can state your meaning

E: The two aspects of clarity involve being clear in your own mind about what you mean and
expressing yourself clearly so the other person knows what you mean. Your ideas should be clarifying, plain and understandable. What is clear in one context is not necessarily clear in another; you may need to adjust your standard of clearness based on audience, discipline and stage of thinking. It is sometimes difficult to anticipate what others will not understand when it is clear in your mind.

E: For example, someone is being clear when others are able to understand the point they are
trying to make without confusion. Completing a SEE-I about your idea is a good way to ensure that it is clear to you and will become clear to others. A non-example may look like this: Parent: Where did you go? Child: Out. Parent: What did you do? Child: Nothing. The child knows what they were doing and where they went, they are just not telling.

I: Being clear is like an empty glass. Completely transparent and nothing in the way to make
your ideas misunderstood. Accuracy

S: Accuracy allows us to ensure our statements correspond with their referents and are truly
supported and valid.

E: When being accurate it is important to ensure that your statement is true. Questions
promoting accuracy include: Is that really true? How could we check that? How could we find out if that is true?

E: For example, if someones information is accurate they would have included a source or done
background research for justification. A non-example of accuracy is when we treat hear-say information as a fact without checking the reliability.

I: Accuracy is like a ruler. When making a measurement you dont simply guess that the length
is 3.5 cm; you use the ruler to ensure that you legitimately do have a specific length, and it is backed up by evidence (ie: using the ruler). It ensures you have evidence and truth to arrive at your conclusive idea.


S: Depth is thinking enough about your question that it goes beyond the surface. E: Having enough depth to your question means that you have considered the complexities that
underlie it and take account into those complexities when addressing the question. You need to be able to look at the theories behind your question and be able to look from multiple perspectives in order to arrive at a sound conclusion.

E: For example, if a student is not satisfied with the grades they have been receiving, a good
way to broaden their thinking would be to consider what some other effective study methods are available, who can be consulted about the methods and whether there are other outlining skills that will help to take better notes. A counterexample of depth would be to conclude that you are not getting sufficient grades because you think your teacher doesnt think in put in enough effort.

I: Depth is like looking at the ocean. From the surface it may appear one way, but without going
beyond the surface and looking at what is underneath and what it is composed of, you do not truly see the value within it and whats lurking in the water. Precision

S: Being precise means that you have been as specific and detailed as possible in order to reason
through a question, idea or issue.

E: When being precise, your ideas are focused and relevant to

the concept, question or idea being analyzed. Precision means that you do not settle for generalities or ignore detail. To help become more precise, you may consider anticipating where others may need more detail from your thoughts, look up details and get feedback on where you need to be more specific.

E: For example, if someone asked what I carry my lunch in, if I were being precise I would say
a lunch kit. A counterexample, or if I were not being precise, I might just say a bag; this could lead to the idea that my lunch is being carried in a duffle bag.

I: Being precise is like binoculars. It narrows your big picture view and is able to focus on
specifics. However, you are still able to see the big picture.

Current Events: ms/8673229/story.html The article from the Calgary Herald discusses the conflict that has arose at a Calgary school following the floods in late June. The Elbow Park School in South Calgary has been closed and is not safe for students to re-enter at this time; school boards are working to decide whether to repair the school for future use, or to replace it. The topic regarding whether or not the Elbow Park School should be repaired or replaced could be used in the classroom for students to look at the cause and effect of each option. In reading the article, students could explore the logic of the elements of reasoning for either choosing to repair or rebuild the school; this would require further research on their part. As the school board is still considering which route to follow, after exploring the elements of reasoning for either decision and the consequences of each, students may be able to present these to the school board to demonstrate their critical thinking on the topic. While exploring the issue, students must consider the elements of reasoning, and how the school boards who will be making the decision should use the elements of reasoning. For example, they must explore the purpose of the community school, clearly state the question-atissue from the article (what will be the outcome of the school due to the impacts of the flood), look at the multiple points of view that would be explored (students, parents, teachers, contractors etc.), assumptions, consequences of the alternate positions etc. Using this article with a reasoning map would help students to see through the costs and benefits of the two options being considered for the school. It would enable them to develop their critical thinking skills on an issue that is extremely current and has had a devastating impact on our own provincial community which may intrigue them more. What if this had been their school? It is absolutely possible that if they were in one of the communities affected by the flood that these issues would be arising as well; it is important for the students to be up to date with the events surrounding us not only internationally but also within our own province.


Intellectual Standards Rubric

Students will be asked to write a reflection on their individual performance at a concert. 4 Excellent
The thinking and writing is focused, detailed and specific. Student is able to move from general ideas to more specific ideas fluently and exceptionally.

3 Good
The thinking and writing is generally focused but lacks some specificity. Student moves from general ideas to more specific ideas in a somewhat sequential manner. The content and examples in the writing generally relate to the topic at hand. Student generally keeps to the purpose of their writing but somewhat deviates from the general idea.

2 Satisfactory
The thinking and writing displays some focus and little specificity. Student struggles to move from general ideas to specific ideas and does so in a scattered manner.

1 Needs Work
The thinking and writing is extremely vague and too general. Student is unable to draw relationships and move from general ideas to specific ideas.



The content and examples given in the writing focuses on the topic at hand exceptionally. Student never loses sight of purpose in their writing.

The content and examples in the writing have a weak relationship to the topic at hand. Students rarely keep to the purpose of their writing and tend to deviate from the general idea. Students give a rather narrow minded approach with little consideration to alternatives to why they arrived at their reasoning. Students give an ok exploration of their experience but do not look beyond the surface.

The content and examples have little to no relationship to the topic at hand. Student is unable to keep sight of the purpose of their writing and many scattered ideas are evident.

Depth and Breadth

Students take adequate account of other related issues that may have accounted for their experience/reasoning. Students give an excellent exploration of their experience beyond what was on the surface.

Students look to several accounts of other related issues that may have accounted for their experience/reasoning. Students give a good exploration of their experience and sometimes look beyond what was on the surface, but not as much as they would for a 4. The writing is generally easy to follow and main concepts are easy to understand. The meaning of the ideas are stated fairly well with a few good examples and illustrations included.

Students do not take other related issues into account for their reasoning. Students are unable to go beyond the surface of their reasoning and give a shallow interpretation and explanation of their experience.


The writing is easy to follow and main concepts are easily understood. The meaning of the ideas are stated exactly and excellent illustrations and examples are included.

The writing is fairly difficult to follow and main concepts are difficult to understand. The meaning of the ideas are stated on an average level with little relevant examples or illustrations included.

The writing is difficult to follow and main concepts are not easily understood. The meaning of the ideas are stated loosely with no examples or illustrations included.


Lesson Plan
Subject: Grade 6 Physical Education Unit: Tone it up Tuesday Lesson Duration: 30 mins

GLOs: General Outcome A Students will acquire skills through a variety of developmentally appropriate movement activities General Outcome B Students will understand, experience and appreciate the health benefits that result from physical activity General Outcome C Students will interact positively with others General Outcome D Students will assume responsibility to lead an active way of life SLOs: Students will: B43 experience movement, involving components of fitness B52 demonstrate and select ways to achieve a personal functional level of physical fitness through participation in physical activity C45 participate cooperatively in group activities C4/56 identify and demonstrate positive behaviours that show respect for self and others D41 demonstrate a willingness to participate regularly in physical education class D43 follow rules, routines and procedures for safety in a variety of activities D44 participate in, and identify the benefits of, safe warm-up and cool-down activities

Students will participate in warm up, cool down and strength building activities participate cooperatively in group and individual strength building activities demonstrate positive behaviours that show respect for self and others demonstrate accurate technique of warm up/cool down activities demonstrate accurate technique of push-ups, triceps dips, core twists, invisible core cycling, lunges and exploding squats

ASSESSMENTS Observations: clearly follow instructions, and willingness to challenge oneself Written/Performance Assessments: Ability to perform warm up, cool down, stretching and strength building activities with accurate form. LEARNING RESOURCES CONSULTED
Alberta Program of Studies (Physical Education)


MATERIALS AND EQUIPMENT Gym shoes iPod Speakers Index cards Pencils PROCEDURE Introduction (5 min): Have students get into their squads (each lined up along a different line), have students space themselves out an arms-length away (on both sides) from their squad members To students: While we are doing our tone it up Tuesday today, I want you to think about this question: Is it important to be active every day? You will be answering this question in your exit slip today, so I want you to think about what the purpose of being active is, and how it might change from different points of view. Warm up: Marching (30 seconds) High Knees or butt kicks (1 min) Marching (30 seconds) Jumping Jacks (1 min) Marching (30 seconds) Toe touches (30 seconds) High Knees or butt kicks (1 min) Body (20 min): Part I - Arms/chest Tricep Dips: Ask students to sit on the floor all turned to the right hand side of the gym (facing wall opposite the door) Have students sitting with their back straight and knees bent with feet flat on the floor Have students put their hands out behind their back and tell them to lower themselves using only their arms (slowly) and then to slowly push themselves back up using their arms Tell students that I will be timing them and they will do this for 30 seconds--tell students to pace themselves and focus more on the form and doing it slowly than rushing through it and doing it wrong After 30 seconds, students can rest for 20 seconds. We will repeat this again Push Ups: Have students get into proper push up position (demonstrate). Students can either do full push ups, or do a modified push up from their knees (If doing full, no rear end in the air; must be lowering from the chest) Students will do 10 push ups altogether (counting out loud) Take 30 second break Students will do 10 push ups altogether (counting out loud) Take 10 second break


Have students do as many push up as they can for 30 seconds--tell students to pace themselves and that is not about how many your partner can do, it is about your own personal best Part II - Core To students: In your squad, I would like you to think critically about 2 exercises that will work your core muscles. We have discussed some alternatives in previous lessons, so once you come up with the best 2 choices from your brainstorming and reasoning, I want you to sit down in your squads, and each squad will teach the rest of the class their exercises and we will do them together. Go through 5 squads core exercises Part III - Legs/lower body Exploding Squats / Stationary Lunges Ask students to spread themselves apart from their peers Student will crouch down and jump up with their hands and arms in the air for exploding squats Do a quick demonstration. Then the students will do a stationary lunges 5 times. Ask a volunteer to do a demonstration for the class (5 exploding squats, 5 stationary lunges) Challenge students to do the exploding squat/lunge circuit for 30 seconds. Rest and repeat 2-3 times (time permitting) Closure (5 min): Have students begin cool down Marching (30 seconds) Deep breath in, reach for the sky (3 times) Stretching: To students: in your squads I want you to think of an ABC stretch that will stretch out your leg muscles, one for your arm muscles and one for your back muscles. Once you have thought critically about the different stretches you could perform, choose the best ones and you will lead the rest of the class in these stretches. Chest--open arms up to let in the love, give yourself a big hug (2x) Right arm cross over stretch, left arm cross over stretch (hold for 30 seconds each) Quadriceps stretch-demonstrate for students; pick up one leg behind your back and hold at the shin; focus on a spot on the floor to keep your balance (hold for 30 seconds each leg) Give each student an index card and have them answer in 3 sentences the following question: Is it important to be active every day? Answer this from two different points of view and determine what the purpose of being active is in your response.