Thinking Critically

Today it is more important than ever that students know how to think critically and display traits that provide evidence of strong thinkers. These traits, which Mentoring Minds calls the “9 Traits of Critical Thinking,” appear in students who exhibit skillful thinking and deeper levels of thought. The nine traits, when explicitly taught, modeled, and practiced, can guide students to become more successful in cognitively demanding tasks and social interactions at school and in life beyond the classroom. By developing critical thinking traits in students and integrating the traits into the curriculum, teachers can impact student performance in thinking and learning.

Through a colorful comic-book approach, Team ThinkUp! introduces the critical thinking traits through the lenses of ELA, math, and science. Team ThinkUp! comprises nine units, each focusing on a different trait. For kindergarten, each trait is featured through a story expressed in poetic form. After each poem is read aloud, students participate in conversations that facilitate critical thinking and engage in literacy, math, and science opportunities for trait application. In grades 1–6, the Student Activity Book introduces each unit with the trait embedded into the text. Team ThinkUp! for grades 6–8 integrates the nine critical thinking traits and the study of poetry, each unit focusing on a different trait and type of poetry. Students read and analyze a model of the specified poetic form, consider how the poet applied the focus critical thinking trait, and then compose an original poem in that form.

Team ThinkUp! is available in English and Spanish. The Class Pack includes 20 Student Activity Books, one Teacher Guide, and one 9 Traits of Critical Thinking poster. Visit mentoringminds.com/think-up for additional details and sample units. Special pricing is available for school- or district-wide purchases

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