Sunday, February 26, 2017

On Critical Thinking

Inside active, student-engaged classroom communities, processes of noticing and wondering, are found leading to the development of unique thoughts and authentic voice. Teachers, as thoughtful guides, lead students forward on journeys of the mind where paths of inquiry are fostered. Choices are provided. Critical thinking and accountable talk occur leading to the amplification of student voice.

Both DigiLitSunday led by Margaret Simon and #10FoundWords Project (Day 25) created by Laura Shovan invited writers to synthesize their thoughts on prompts provided. I created one poem based on Margaret's topic, Critical Thinking, and Laura's 10 found phrases from Teaching Resistance in Unjust Times,” by NCTE Historian Jonna Perillo, NCTE Blog, 2/15/17.

  • tool of resistance
  • those loyal aliens
  • under suspicion
  • asked their teachers why
  • complex and riskier
  • our thoughts are foolish
  • going off the rails
  • bad hombres
  • recycled phrases
  • writer as a rebel
  • Bonus: democratic life

Tagul Word Cloud created by Carol Varsalona, 2017

In the turmoil of recycled phrases,
students question teachers, Why?
In turn, teachers respond with care
while safely guiding all voices into
a culture of trust. No thought is
regarded as foolish in these
communities of respect where
pathways of safe engagement
are established.

Using norms and protocols,
accountable talk flows.
Brainstorming with tools
to unpack confusion, follows.
Terms, like bad hombres,
loyal aliens are examined.
Students ponder. Who are
these dudes? Discussion
digs deep. There are neighbors
under suspicion. What should
we do? Learners write to
grasp the bigger picture.

In a time of complexities and
risks, the pen is taken up to
soothe the soul. Authentic
voice rises in the silence,
turning negativity into positivity.
Writers write with words of hope,
combating negativity posed. Trying
to comprehend the enormity of
the world's reality, their pens
are their tools of resistance.

Seeking understanding in a
world grappling with truth,
learners are encouraged to
resist hearsay and provide
evidence for their beliefs.
It is through the critical
thinking process, not
going off the rails, that
students finds their place
in the democracy of
classroom life as voices
rise in fellowship.
©CVarsalona, 2017


If today’s students want to compete in this global society, they must be proficient communicators, creators, critical thinkers, and collaborators. ~National Education Association

DigiLit Sunday

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