Help students with language disorders develop strong thinking skills and the ability to express their ideas clearly. They'll manage better in the classroom too!
- Use language to express reasoning
- Identify problems, determine causes, infer, and justify opinions
The content of these activities are based on research for the Test of Problem Solving 3 Elementary (TOPS 3). The units are arranged in order of complexity. Each unit has instructor's guidelines and uses a metacognitive approach. Individual lessons guide students through a logical progression of learning. Students learn to problem-solve and use the vocabulary and language to support it. A glossary of metacognitive terms is included. The units are:
General Information—Identify the salient information in a statement to answer questions.
Identifying Problems—Observe surroundings and identify/express what is or is not a problem.
Determining Causes—Think through situations and figure out how or why something happened.
Sequencing—Organize objects and ideas quickly and logically.
Negative Questions—Students notice and consider the negative marker in questions.
Predicting—Make a logical guess about what will happen next in predictable and diverse situations.
Making Inferences—Students think about what they know from past experiences and personal knowledge to form an inference.
Problem Solving—Students work their way through logical steps to solving problems. Specific skills include sequencing the problem, determining the cause of the problem, brainstorming solutions, choosing the best solution, and evaluation the outcome.
Justifying Opinions—Express opinions and explain or justify them to others.
Generalizing Skills—Answer a variety of thinking questions about photographs.
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- Reasoning skills encourage critical thinking and meta-awareness of internal thought processes. Reasoning skills support students' logical judgments based on conscious reflection and sensitivity to multiple viewpoints (Little, 2002).
- Reasoning and critical thinking are necessary skills for competence across the curriculum. They require students to examine, relate, and analyze all aspects of a problem or situation. Students engaged in critical thinking must make associations that connect problems with their prior knowledge (Pellegrini, 1995).
- Questioning is the core of critical reflection. It prompts students to engage in a research process that fosters higher-order thinking skills and social-moral attitudes (Daniel et al., 2005). Using specific, metacognitive vocabulary while questioning and prompting students to solve problems encourages them to examine their thinking skills and strategies (Costa & Kallick, 2008).
- Asking wh- questions is a common method of teaching. Difficulty answering wh- questions affects a child academically, linguistically, and socially (Parnell, Amerman, & Hartin, 1986).
Tasks Of Problem Solving Elementary incorporates these principles and is also based on expert professional practice.
Costa, L., & Kallick, B. (Eds.). (2008). Learning and leading with habits of mind: 16 essential characteristics for success. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.
Daniel, M.F., Lafortune, L., Pallascio, R., Splitter, L., Slade, C., & de la Garza, T. (2005). Modeling the development process of dialogical critical thinking in pupils aged 10 to 12 years. Communication Education, 54(4), 334-354.
Little, C. (2002). Reasoning as a key component of language arts curricula. The Journal of Secondary Gifted Education, 13(2), 52-59.
Parnell, M.M., Amerman, J.D., & Hartin, R.D. (1986). Responses of language-disordered children to wh- questions. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 17, 95-106.
Pellegrini, J. (1995). Developing thinking and reasoning skills in primary learners using detective fiction. Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute (Vol. 1). Retrieved May 1, 2009, from www.yale.edu/ynhti/curriculum/units/1995/1/95.01.05.x.html