Critical Thinking/Standards

Invite Rob to Your Agency!


Rob and Staci have been promoting Critical Thinking and Standards for 15 years.  What we are afraid is not getting across to as many as we would like is that the two are often inseparably connected.  Especially when talking about CCRs (College and Career Readiness) and Common Core, critical thinking is the key to unlocking these standards.  In both Orange County California at the all-day chapter event where Rob spoke on the topic for a good portion of the day and in Florida at the ELITE conference where Rob spoke in an afternoon session to a large crowd on February 17, 2016, he presented his case for equating good teaching incorporating critical thinking skills to teaching the standards.   Below is the critical thinking portion of his workshop. To access the full workshop entitled Effective Strategies with a purpose, click Effective Strategies with a Purpose to go to the page.


Critical Thinking ELITE 2016 PPT

Critical Thinking Florida Handout 2016

See also: Employability, Standards and Stand Out 3e

CCR Booklet 

ELP Booklet

Stand Out Curriculum3

Also, I met with Chicago Teachers on June 2, 2018.  It was fun!  Here is the workshop on critical thinking and employability:  Chicago 2018




One comment

  1. Here is a comment about using critical thinking in low levels from one our teachers at Santa Ana College School of Continuing Education:

    After attending your Critical Thinking Workshop during flex week, I have been trying to be more mindful of incorporating these strategies into my lesson planning. Since Presidents’ Day is approaching, I thought that a Venn Diagram comparing Washington and Lincoln would be perfect. I was talking about it in the resource room as I was preparing the materials and some of the other instructors said that it would be too difficult for my Beginning 1 students. Boy, were they wrong!

    I started out by reading bios of Washington and Lincoln that I put on the overhead. The vocabulary on them was a bit too advanced for them to do on their own, so I paraphrased the info, highlighting the most important words and info I wanted them to remember, and defining vocabulary as we went along.. Then we did a group reading of a Beg. 1 level book called Presidents’ Day which had a couple of pages about Washington and Lincoln that they could now better understand. And finally they completed a level appropriate handout with more info about the two presidents. Then it was time for the Venn. I modeled a Venn comparing a spoon and a bread knife from my kitchen. When I felt they were ready, they divided into groups of four and went to work. I provided large poster-size post-it paper that we stuck to the walls. They did such a great job! They worked together beautifully, helping each other with ideas and spelling. I saw them using the books we read and the handouts and their notes. It was a teacher’s paradise. They were focused and involved. And they said that Beg. 1 students couldn’t do it. Huh!

    The next day we did a Gallery Walk. It was good because there were students that had not been there the day before and so they learned some new info. The task was to look at and read each groups work and using some pre-determined criteria (was it legible? understandable? good ideas? accurate?, etc.) vote for the Venn that they thought was the most successful by drawing a red star on that paper. When we all got back to our seats and announced the results, the whole classroom of students clapped for each entry–not only the winners! It was great! One of my students commented, “Teacher! You’re so happy!” And she was right. I was. We finished off that evening’s class with a short quiz about Washington and Lincoln on which 83% of the students were successful.

    Don’t tell me that Beginning 1 students can’t do things. Try something. Maybe it will work, maybe it won’t. But either way you will all learn something. Let’s see, what’s next—–Johari Squares?
    Thanks for all that you do to inspire the teachers.
    Jeanne Sheehan

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