Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Free Resource: Teach Students How to Think Critically

Critical thinking is an area that so many students can strengthen.  The Bull’s Eye strategy is a tool that I use with students to help them narrow down test questions and figure out which answer choice is best.  The purpose of the bull’s eye is to make my thinking visible to students and scaffold until they actually use and develop strategies on their own. 

Although ruling out incorrect answers may seem like a simple process to us, so many students struggle with this process when it comes to multiple-choice questions on class work or assessment tests.

How to Prepare
Print the bull’s eye and targets onto regular paper and laminate.  Place Velcro using a similar pattern that I am using.  Place Velcro on the back of the targets.  (Click Here For The Free Template)

What to Say:

Hello students, we are going to learn the Bull’s Eye strategy today.  This is the strategy that I use to answer multiple-choice questions.

Step 1.  Let us look at the bull’s eye I am holding.  Whenever we read a question, our goal is to make sure that our answer matches what is asked in the question and match what is said in the text.  For instance, if someone asked you to tell them where you went after school yesterday, you would not tell them what you ate for breakfast.  I know this is a silly example but when you begin reading and answering questions, it can be tricky to remember what the question asked and text said.  That is why we have to remind ourselves to make sure that our answer actually matches what the question and text say.

Step 2.  Some answers won’t be close to being correct.  Those are the target’s that we will place far away from touching the bull’s eye o the board.

Step 3:  The answers that match will be placed touching the bull’s eye.  Those are the answers that we can actually find details
to support our thinking in the text and actually match what the question is asking us to tell.

Step 4:  We will use the multiple-choice question from our text to practice.  (Use any text)  A is not close to matching so we will attach this way on the edge of the board.

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