Monday, January 16, 2017

Easy Ways to Use Higher Order Thinking in the Classroom

Lately, it seems like everyone in the world of education is talking about higher order thinking. Bloom’s Taxonomy, Revised Blooms Taxonomy, Webb’s Depth of Knowledge, the Hess Matrix, the Cognitive Rigor Matrix, and many others are suggested and required reading. I think we all can agree that thinking deeply is important. 

Here are a few simple examples of how I would like to encourage higher order thinking in my classroom.

Expect the unexpected and use it as an opportunity for higher order thinking.

There are times when it is absolutely necessary to veer off the teaching roadmap. When that happens, the probability that an administrator will pop into the classroom increases exponentially. So, be prepared with HOT stems or questions. For instance, a messy project is over and a full out desk and room cleaning is taking place. In walks your principal. Pause and pose a HOT question for students to discuss.

HOT is also for teachers! Here are a couple of examples to share with your teaching friends.

The above also works for:
•The last period of the last day before Spring Break
•Immediately following a tornado drill, fire drill, lock down 
•while recovering from laryngitis

Imagine you stay up too late:
•watching the Super Bowl
•binge watching a favorite series
•caring for a sick child
•grading and planning

Think about this:

Seriously, I really do understand and agree with the importance of higher order thinking in the classroom. In fact, HOT stems are posted in my classroom for students and me to refer to. This display is also a visual reminder for us to ask HOT questions throughout the day.

HOT question card packs are a class favorite. These are perfect for students working in pairs or small groups. The question stems help students take ownership of asking and answering HOT questions. The cards are color coded:

Knowledge = red
Comprehension = orange
Application = yellow
Analysis = green
Synthesis = blue
Evaluation = purple

Download this file FREE during the week of 1/16/17 – 1/23/17!