Nazarbayev Intellectual School in Shymkent
The way of teaching students think critically,and it was done effectively!
Nazarbayev Intellectual School in Shymkent
(Physics and Mathematics)
Using all strategies and tips for effective teaching language, as well as identifying learning objectives and designing learning activities I’ve had the most interesting and unforgettable lessons ever! I have been able to find out the quality of the lessons through obtaining feedbacks from students. The Cambridge teaching technology has proved the effectiveness of teaching students by critical thinking.
Firstly, I helped my students to learn how to learn (asked to divide into three or four groups in order to work in teams (but not usually), set up classroom rules, do given tasks together in a group). Therefore, I’ve searched that materials are understood easily and used in their real life effectively by teaching themselves (National Training Laboratories, Bethel, Maine).
Secondly, I directed them to use time correctly. Then I came closer to each group and listened to each member’s opinion according to the given tasks very attentively. As a teacher you must check their participation in a team in order to keep classroom rules. Here, I was a witness that students were not ready to think critically. They expressed their opinion as they saw and heard before from different resources.
Thirdly, their homework was to create something new and think critically related to the acquired knowledge in the classroom.
Critical thinking is a disciplined approach to conceptualizing, evaluating, analyzing and synthesizing information from observation, experience, refection or reasoning. It can then become the basis for action. Critical thinking is often associated with a willingness to imagine or remain open to considering alternative perspectives, to integrate new or revised perspectives into our ways of thinking and acting, and with a commitment to participatory democracy and to fostering criticality in others. At a basic level, the process of critical thinking involves:
- gathering relevant information;
- evaluating and questioning evidence;
- drawing warranted conclusions and generalizations;
- Revising assumptions and hypotheses on the basis of wider experience.
With more complex tasks such as thinking critically about teaching and learning, it may also involve recognizing unstated assumptions and values, recognizing problems and finding workable means for dealing with them, understanding the importance of prioritization and precedence in problem solving.(Handbook for the teachers, III edition, 2012).
Now, let me introduce my lesson plan on theme “Sports”. I did all strategies mentioned above and gave them by one unusual picture for each team (like many heads on the shelves in a shop, one person worn in business attire looking at the behind the wall standing on many ladders and so on). If there are four students in each team I asked two of them to ask questions to the picture what they saw and others to make a story how they could explain it. They created such an interesting stories which could make all of us laugh. At the end of their work they and I understood that only 20 percent of them were able to think critically! In order to learn to think critically I made my own story to the picture and asked a few interesting questions to the picture.
1 Step. I illustrated them sport types with four main categories: racing, opponent, achievement and multiple category sports. They got acquainted with not only names of sports, but also the venue and origin of them. They did it by searching in the internet during the lesson. Here I was a time keeper to make finish their work on time.
2 Step. “Play, do, go” verbs and relevant vocabulary.Explanation of grammar, verbs and relevant new words with pictures were illustrated. They learnt all words by guessing and imagination themselves (If there is unknown word you may explain them by giving synonyms, antonyms or definitions).
3 Step. Make up a story using a new vocabulary and grammar.
4 Step. Try to visualize a new sport type which doesn’t exist or you want to see it in the future or combine two or three sports together and create a new one (Our text was “chessboxing” in the book which meant a sport which combined chess and boxing. It originated in a graphic novel by Enki Bilal. Matches consisted of a maximum of 11 rounds. Four-minute chess rounds alternated with three- minute boxing rounds. Opponents could win either with a knockout or checkmate/ World class chess boxers had to be experienced boxers and chess masters. The current world champion was 18-year-old Leo Kraft from Belarus). Many heads – many ideas. They found amazing sport types which could be be existed and seen in arena. Their interest was seen by their active participation.
5 Step. Try to find any picture. They can be nature with beautiful mountains, waterfalls, trees and blue sky. Maybe this picture can be animals in zoo or even adults sitting in a restaurant. The next task is to find any sport elements from these pictures and explain them using revised vocabulary and grammar.
2 Penguins as boxers between them as a referee. Here they mentioned about their mood whether they won or lost.
As for them blue sky was a sea and this house with trees were under the sea. Clouds were swimmers who had to collect four objects in a short time.
People in the restaurant seemed to them football players who celebrated their trophy.
As a home task I asked them to write their favourite sport whenever they participated in or would like to do.
If you like your students work independently show a clear way to them. Don’t forget to ask them evaluate the lesson procedure and write a reflection at the end of the lesson.