Summer Summer Summer time…. don’t just sit back and rewind. This summer take the opportunity to try new strategies, increase your content knowledge and think critically. As teachers across the nation move to adopt 21st century skills into their teaching practice, not only must they think about how the 4C’s: Critical thinking, Creativity, Communication and Collaboration can be incorporated into their practice they must also harness the opportunity to be an active consumer of these practices. We tend to teach the way we were taught so take advantage of experiences that will truly shift the way you teach.
Critical Thinking: ability to think critically about an issue or situation. It involves reflecting rationally about the beliefs or actions that garner the results, as well as using evidence to support a decision. This summer attend a professional development event locally such as MBAMP which will be looking at Common Core, cross-curricular instruction and Cognitively Guided Instruction or Silicon Valley Math Initiative that will focus on developing mathematics leaders across San Jose school districts.
At home with the kids this summer then sign up for an online course (many of which are free) such as Designing for Deeper Learning: How to Develop Performance Tasks offered by Stanford.
Thinking critically will help you throughout the school year in making informed decisions, analyzing data from student assessments, planning lessons based on students prior knowledge and developmental ability, and reflecting on the effectiveness of a lesson plan. Moreover if you don’t think critically then how can you teach it?
Still interested in learning more about the 4C’s and how these strategies can be integrated across subject-matter content? Check out my latest publication Blending Digital Content In Teacher Education Programs which includes practical application of the 4 C’s in your classroom and makes the connection between research and best practices across the k-12 grade span.