wow critical thinking is in literacy too?!?!?!?


after all the talking in class about the critical thinking competency i thought i’d share this video that highlights some great strategies and ideas for how critical thinking supports and can be integrated into literacy activities:

and hey! here’s a link to this lesson plan, as well as even more free resources (based out of ontario)

so this is modelled off of the “balanced literacy diet” format. it’s basically “a framework that presents literacy concepts using the familiar terminology of a healthy diet”. this is really cool resource that has different “food groups” that, when combined, build a pyramid for both reading and writing skills. it does a great job of breaking down all the components and skills that make up the foundation for literacy.

Reading Pyramid extra small







Writing Pyramid extra small







the great thing about this visual is it very easily shows where to start for both skills, you can’t build a pyramid starting in the middle or the top or even favour one side over the other, it needs a strong foundation in order to be accurate and withstand the tests of time. obviously, this is a metaphor. the visuals also nicely illustrate where the skills overlap. you can notice that in order to be successful in writing, half the battle is foundational reading skills. it’s a natural progression one skill to the next, and it really helps guide our practice by giving us a starting point.

all in all? as i said in my last post, critical thinking is in everything. in the same way historical ways of thinking apply to a specific context, as do these. the only difference being that critical literacy skills are foundational in all subjects. i guess you could argue critical thinking skills ARE literacy skills…and honestly? ur probably right. i’m not gonna argue, it’s 1:30am and i can’t think about thinking anymore today.

thanks for ur time, goodnight and good luck, etc. etc. etc.


historical thinking is ALSO critical thinking? nice!

hallo fellow studes (students)!

so after theresa’s class(es) on historical ways of thinking, i started thinking (haha) about how the combination of all of these different perspectives is, essentially, a tailored critical thinking framework. in review, here are the six historical ways of thinking:

  • historical significance
  • evidence and interpretation
  • continuity and changes
  • cause and consequence
  • historical and cultural perspective
  • ethical judgement

and, to refresh your memory, here are the seven core critical thinking concepts:

  1. analyzing
  2. applying standards
  3. discriminating
  4.  information seeking
  5. logical reasoning
  6.  predicting
  7. transforming knowledge

now, because we were all in class and we definitely took very thorough notes (pssst, theresa has a powerpoint about all the historical ways of thinking on d2l) i’m not going to re-explain the specificities of each historical way of thinking. instead, i’m going to copy and paste the notes from the last post and clearly insert where these thinking concepts fit in!

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critical thinking 101 aka 7 core critical thinking skills


so to start with this undoubtedly interesting string of blog posts, i thought i’d begin by sharing what general academia tells me are the 7 core critical thinking skills. broadly defined and put into my own words, *daniel cook voice* here they are!:

  1. analyzing
    – breaking down ideas, events, or concepts to discover their significance, function and relationships.
  2. applying standards
    – judging according to established or agreed upon personal, professional, or social rules and criteria. 
  3. discriminating
    – comparing and contrasting ideas, events, and concepts, and distinguishing significance or purpose 
  4.  information seeking
    – finding evidence, facts, or knowledge by seeking out relevant and appropriate sources and gathering various types of information (objective, subjective, historical, and current) from multiple reliable sources. 
  5. logical reasoning
    – inferencing or drawing conclusions that are supported and justified by relevant and appropriate evidence 
  6.  predicting
    – considering an event, concept, or idea and its potential impact and consequences 
  7. transforming knowledge
    – altering or reinventing the circumstance, significance, details, or function of specific concepts, events, and knowledge and applying these alterations in various contexts to assess the changed outcome

with all of these in mind, i think they reinforce my idea of using critical thinking as an integral part of metacognitive function in students.

Continue reading “critical thinking 101 aka 7 core critical thinking skills”