Higher Order Thinking unchanged

Turning Up the H.E.A.T.

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Elements of Critical Thinking

From The Partnership for 21st Century Skills


Reason Effectively
Use various types of reasoning (inductive, deductive, etc.) as appropriate to the situation


Use Systems Thinking
Analyze how parts of a whole interact with each other to produce overall outcomes in complex systems


Make Judgments and Decisions
Effectively analyze and evaluate evidence, arguments, claims and beliefs
Analyze and evaluate major alternative points of view
Synthesize and make connections between information and arguments
Interpret information and draw conclusions based on the best analysis
Reflect critically on learning experiences and processes


Solve Problems
Solve different kinds of non-familiar problems in both conventional and innovative ways
Identify and ask significant questions that clarify various points of view and lead to better solutions

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Strategies for Building Thinking Skills

The Basics

Ask Great Questions

Question Stems

More Stems


Use the Vocabulary of Critical Thinking

Sample List of Words about Thinking


Use Visible Thinking Routines
Visible Thinking Routines


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Using Technology to Build Thinking Skills

Quick Technology-Rich Ways to Stretch Thinking


Thinking Routines with a Digital Twist from Cliff Mims

Examples of ways to infuse technology into the Thinking Routines:

-Compass Points

-Connect Extend Challenge