College Ready

Sharing strategies for student success, college readiness and academic coaching


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Questions are King of the Classroom

Questions are the sign of a healthy classroom. Encourage students to ask all sorts of questions, especially open-ended questions that require process, experimentation, and research. Let them see that the instructor doesn’t “own” all the knowledge or have all the answers. You will be creating a classroom culture of inquiry & critical thinking.

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How to be a Scholar. 6 Steps to Encourage Critical Thinking

As we get to the end of the semester and school year, we are expecting our students to demonstrate higher order thinking skills, or Critical Thinking. I like this infographic from Learning Commons at the University of British Columbia.

Critical Thinking Toolkit

Thanks to its simple flow chart style, students can use it to clearly reflect on their own thinking. Students need to constantly question their own process, and those of others. They need to ask questions about the text they read, test possibilities, and allow for new discoveries.

Higher order thinking skills (HOTS) push our students beyond simple responses and elevate them to scholars and critics in their own right. Part of what’s vital in education is for students to learn to trust their own voice, while still questioning their thinking. What strategies do you use in your classroom to encourage critical thinking?

 


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Wise Words: Imagination is Power.

As we continue to push our students to become critical thinkers, we allow them to direct their learning, focus on their interests, and use their imaginations. This is more and more what we need to remember:

Imagination is Power. 

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Creativity leads to connection. Social-emotional learning, project-based learning and inquiry learning all come from an authentic, student-centered place. In each of these, for creativity & imagination to blossom, we must allow & encourage students to follow their natural curiosity.


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Books, Bedtime and Beyond: Why Family Reading Rocks

Even MORE reasons to read to a child. Reading aloud “builds a child’s WANT to read.” Think your kiddo is too old for you to read to them at bedtime? Think again. Check out the difference in a child’s interest in reading between Kindergarten and Fourth Grade! What was the key difference? Parents stopped reading to kids.

By 12th grade-only 19% of kids asked said they were interested in reading! When you consider that higher levels of college readiness are linked to reading skills, I have just one word for that statistic: Noooooooo….but what can you do about it?

One thing our family started last summer was family reading time. We picked a classic-The Wind in the Willows-and each of us would read a few pages at a time. We read it together each night and enjoyed the simplicity of the words, the comfort of the timeless message and the beauty of the illustrations. Yes, even my Minecraft lovin’ middle school boy unplugged long enough to take part! He loved doing accents and really cracked up at Toad’s antics. So get silly, have fun, and share the joy of reading at any age!! What types of family reading do you do with your kids?

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This beautiful infographic was produced by usborneusa.com and Nancy Ann Wartman