As a parent, your role may sometimes be to ask open-ended questions to guide the thinking process.
In other cases, it may be more appropriate to allow your child to experiment and refine her theories on what causes things to happen.
In recent years, however, there's been a shift toward teaching critical thinking, a skill that elevates thinking beyond memorization into the realm of analysis and logic.
Put another way, critical thinking is about knowing how to think, not what to think.
These hands-on experiences provide an integral foundation for later abstract critical thinking. Offering your child ample time to think, attempt a task, or generate a response is critical, but not necessarily easy to do.
Try counting (silently) to 60 while your child is thinking, before intervening or speaking.How can I get the block to balance on the top of this tower?By providing indoor and outdoor space for playing, along with time for pretend play, you provide open-ended opportunities for your child to try something and see the reaction; and then to try something else and see if he can create a different reaction.At these times, it is helpful to model your own critical thinking.As you work through a decision making process, verbalize what is happening inside your mind. Taking time to allow your child to navigate problems is integral to developing your child's critical thinking skills in the long run.The program builds academic vocabulary using these important concepts: describe, compare and contrast, and classify colors, geometric shapes, family members, food, jobs, vehicles, buildings, and position.Observation lessons involve concrete examples using detailed photographs to develop observation skills.The student book provides activities that students may use to clarify their thinking and learning by peer and class discussion.• Describing Shapes – naming shapes, finding shapes to match a description, describing characteristics of a shape • Similarities and Differences – matching and combining shapes, producing equal figures, figure completion • Sequences – recognizing and producing the next figure in a sequence • Classification – classifying by shape and/or color, forming classes, depicting overlapping classes • Using positional and directional words • Describing – matching a picture to a description, describing people, animals, or objects shown in pictures, part/whole analysis • Similarities and Differences – selecting similar people, animals, or objects, explaining similarities and differences • Sequences – ranking objects or people by a significant characteristic • Classifications – explaining characteristics of a class, exceptions, sorting into classes • Increased scores on language proficiency and cognitive abilities tests • Increased scores on normed or criterion-referenced achievement tests • Proficient student writing • Increased number of students placed in advanced classes and subsequent successful performance This student book can be used with the free, downloadable answer PDF (available here) or with a detailed, 176-page Teacher's Manual which can be purchased separately.Critical thinking has become a buzzword in education.In the past, the emphasis in classrooms has been on imparting information and content — the times tables or the capitals of the United States, for example.