Critical Thinking

Unfortunately there will be daily problems for you to solve, Fortunately….

Hi everyone. Our daily stories are built upon a torrent of conflicts.

  • How to get rid of those ants.
  • How to motivate the unmotivated.
  • How to share something new.
  • How to stay healthy.
  • How to spend more time becoming a better teacher, while spending enough time with friends and family.

I started #slowchatED last year because I wanted to create a deep pocket of learning in the sometimes shallow pool of Twitter chats. As of now #slowchatED is one of the few regular slow chats on Twitter. A chat that runs an entire week instead of an entire hour. Where other chats are a waterpark ride, #slowchatED is a lap pool. Well, for some people that’s not enough. Some people want to practice scuba diving in our lap pool and go deep. I’m going to blow out the bottom of the pool and allow each of you to explore the story of your problems using a children’s book. This book:

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Go to this blog post to read more about using Remy Charlip’s book in your class. 

So here’s the technique:

Each day I will pose an “Unfortunately” problem for you to solve. You can solve the problem with words, links, blog posts, songs, videos, photos, drawings… whatever. Once you tweet your “Fortunately” answer then the fun begins. Either myself or someone else will throw an “Unfortunately” at your solution and take the discussion deeper. All stories are a series of conflict, resolution, new conflict, attempt at resolution, resolution that makes things worse, conflicts that make things unexpectedly better and so on.

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Who knows where our story will lead?

We will continue this for the entire day. Solutions being provided and new challenges getting in the way of easy solutions. We will add depth to the width of our exploration. Once I throw down the initial “Unfortunately” feel free to play antagonist or protagonist. You can even come to the aid of one of your fellow teachers and save the day… for now.

Then the next day a new “Unfortunately” problem will raise it’s ugly head.

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Hey relax…. you’ve got more than an hour to answer these questions. That’s why they call it #SLOWchatED

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Can’t wait to see what rises to the surface. Enjoy the moment and get ready for #slowchatED starting Monday Jan. 12th.

The Topic: A chat about how “Unfortunately” the problems in your life are neither simple nor finite.

PS if you have any particular “Unfortunately” dilemmas you would like me to propose for a day please DM or Google DM me your ideas. Thanks…. your faithful skipper and the old man of the #slowchatED sea,  David Theriault 

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Monday 1/12/15: Q1 “Unfortunately” Your boss put you in charge of the new [terrible idea] “task force” Your first meeting is this Friday. #slowchatED

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Tuesday 1/13/15: Q2: You wanted to create an awesome classroom environment but UNFORTUNATELY you are the traveling teacher this year. #threerooms #slowchatED

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Wednesday 1/14/15: Q3: 

Q3bThursday Jan 15th, 2015: Q4

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Q5: Friday 1/16/15 Use the #slowchatED to participate

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Here is the archive of the entire #slowchatED chat: there was no question six on Saturday because I attended edcampLA. Hope you enjoyed the topic and discussion. See you soon.

Is Teaching Critical Thinking The Most Important (And Most Under-Taught) Skill At School? #SlowChatEd

I sometimes think that my school indulges my madness too easily. A few years ago, I suggested that we offer Chess as an Option subject for our Grade 8s and 9s. I firmly believe that the lessons chess has to teach about structured, consequential thinking, pattern recognition and even creativity make it a crucial subject at any school. This year, I wangled a couple of periods for a Thinking Skills class for the Grade 8s. The intention was to teach critical thinking, creativity, problem-solving and metacognition.

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