STRAND 4- CRITICAL THINKING, PROBLEM SOLVING AND DECISION MAKING
Definition: Students use critical thinking skills to plan and conduct research, manage projects, solve problems, and make informed decisions using appropriate digital tools and resources.
  • identify and define authentic problems and significant questions for investigation.
  • plan and manage activities to develop a solution or complete a project.
  • collect and analyze data to identify solutions and/or make informed decisions.
  • use multiple processes and diverse perspectives to explore alternative solutions
(Borrowed from http://nets-implementation.iste.wikispaces.net/ )

Concept 1: Investigation
Identify and define authentic problems and significant questions for investigation.
Grade (6-8): PO 1. Write essential questions to investigate a topic or issue using digital tools and resources.
Example: Students could investigate (brainstorm) solutions to the use of cell phones in middle school. Essential questions might include: What is responsible use? or What are logical consequences for misuse? How does the use of cell phones enhance my educational experience? etc.

Overview: Provides a visual display with strategies towards approaching complex problems.

http://www.idiagram.com/CP/cpprocess.html


Overview: This lesson can be used to expand upon students' basic persuasive speaking and research skills. They will use multiple online news resources to research information, then us that to form and communicate their opinions about the issue. Students will also practice working with podcasting tools; and create and share a podcast of their own creation.
http://www.readwritethink.org/classroom-resources/lesson-plans/creating-persuasive-podcast-1173.html

Overview: This lesson plan helps students explore a class inquiry project. They will be collecting Web-based resources that can be used for study during the course of the lesson. They will begin by brainstorming a list of different kinds of information they will need to know for their investigation.

http://www.readwritethink.org/classroom-resources/lesson-plans/inquiry-internet-evaluating-pages-328.html

Concept 2: Exploring Solutions
Plan and manage activities to develop solutions to answer a question or complete a project.
Grade 6:
PO 1. Plan and manage research using credible digital resources to develop solutions to answer a question.
PO 2. Generate solutions from different perspectives using collected resources and data.

Overview: Students will utilize the strategy of scaffolding to research and organize information for writing a research paper. Scaffolding includes a question (problem), literature review, analysis, methodology for original research, results, conclusion, and references.

http://www.readwritethink.org/classroom-resources/lesson-plans/scaffolding-methods-research-paper-1155.html



Grade (7-8):
· PO 1. Plan, conduct and manage research using appropriate digital resources to develop solutions for a question.
· PO 2. Present defendable solutions and make decisions from multiple perspectives using collected resources and data.

Overview:"Six Thinking Hats" is a technique that helps you look at important decisions from a number of different perspectives. It helps make better decisions by pushing you to move outside your habitual ways of thinking. As such, it helps you understand the full complexity of a decision, and spot issues and opportunities which you might otherwise not notice.
http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newTED_07.htm


Examples of presentation resources might include Powerpoint, podcasts, video, posters, etc.
See other resources (including sounds, music, templates, pictures, free powerpoints, and ideas here: http://www.uen.org/general_learner/multimedia_resources.shtml )


Overview: Provides 4 scenarios of how to conduct problem solving in the classroom
http://nets-implementation.iste.wikispaces.net/Critical+Thinking%2C+Problem+Solving%2C+and+Decision+Making


Additional resources:
Thinkfinity
-A great search engine for lesson guides and subect searches. All activities are aligned with national and state standards.
(WebQuest.org, Alice Christy's ASU West Directory, Tom March Best WebQuests, Eduscapes K-3 WebQuests, Eduscapes 3-6 Webquests, Eduscapes Middle through High School WebQuests and Literature based WebQuests)
-Search Engines that focus on Educational Materials. Much more focused than Google searches.
PBS Teachers
-Web search that can be used to find lesson plans, video, audio, and slide shows for multiple subject areas.
Intel Free Teaching Tools and Resources
-Good tools for problem solving and decision making
Intel Designing Effective Projects
-Includes a collection of Unit Plans that integrate technology into classroom projects.
Intel assessing project
-Rubrics and checklist for problem solving, processes and products
Intel Technology Literacy
-Middle school curriculum for using technology to solve problems
ISTE Critical Thinking, Problem Solving and Decision Making
-Students use critical thinking skills to plan and conduct research, manage projects, solve problems, and make informed decisions using appropriate digital tools and resources.
Lesson Planet Problem Solving Lesson Plans
-Lesson plans specific to Problem Solving in Math and Science.
WISE
-Web Based Inquiry for Science
The Critical Thinking Community
-Instructional Stategies and Samples.
Math Playground
-Great site with loads of Probelms Solving games and activities.
LifeMind
-Einsteins amazing approach to problem solving.