Greetings, Thomas Families!
Happy February! Will Punxsutawney Phil see his shadow? Are we going to have six more weeks of winter? Or will Buckeye Chuck predict spring’s early arrival? These are some of the many questions February brings. I hope you hear numerous questions like these from your children, as we urge our critical thinkers to ask questions. Staff is also encouraging students to collaborate with others, create and innovate, persevere, think flexibly, and communicate with confidence. These are the six critical thinking practices we emphasize to support math, literacy, and content area lessons daily.
In the process of fostering these practices, which support deeper learning and strengthen problem-solving, we strive to make our learning visible. We want our culture of enrichment to be seen and heard by our parents and community.
Teachers are designing additional ways to communicate classroom learning to families beyond the typical weekly newsletter and website postings. Teachers have been asked to capture the learning process through pictures and samples of work in progress. As we utilize the language of critical thinking skills with greater intention and frequency, we do notice children identifying examples of themselves and their classmates demonstrating practices such as perseverance through difficult problems and flexible thinking when seeking a solution.
This journey through intentional messaging and purposeful planning of critical thinking within each lesson is similar to our Leader in Me journey, as we utilized the common language of the 7 Habits and identified ways we incorporated the Habits in our life. After a year of consistent implementation, we have heard a difference and have seen its transfer into the actions of children. We are certain this will be the case with our critical thinking practices.
Families, we encourage you to listen for the language of the six critical thinking practices as your child returns home from school with news of the day. You may even ask, “What critical thinking practices did you use today?” and “What did that look like?”
Making our culture of enrichment visible to the community may be seen in the form of class weekly newsletters, the sharing of Leadership Binders, Thomas monthly messages, tweets, daily picture posts on the Thomas website, Instagram, and/or Facebook page. We continue to challenge ourselves to capture and share this information more often. New each week we will feature a staff member’s reflection of critical thinking practices on the Thomas website.
We appreciate your support and questions as together “We Grow Thinkers!”