Critical Thinker’s Project

April 15, 2014 § Leave a comment


If you have not submitted what you are working on for Critical Thinkers Project, do it now.

Showcase Flyer: Download the showcase flyer and distribute! Invite your friends!

Tuesday, 4/15: Work on your critical thinkers project.
Thursday, 4/17: Independent workday – class will not meet
Monday, 4/21: Learning Adventure Project recommended due 11:59 pm

Tuesday, 4/22: Problem Solving project presentation/Problem solving and learning adventure project due 11:59pm/ Notes and info for 20% project
Thursday, 4/24: Last day of class, due, 20% project showcase – Post your product to EDIT2000 Exhibition.
Friday, 4/25: 20% project due (All you should have left to do after the showcase is your final reflection blog post for your 20% project.)

Tuesday, 4/29: Final reflection for the entire class. That’s it.


Let’s view the remaining stop animation videos on EDIT2000 Exhibition.


Let’s look at the NETS again.

Students use critical thinking skills to plan and conduct research, manage projects, solve problems, and make informed decisions using appropriate digital tools and resources. Students:

  1. identify and define authentic problems and significant questions for investigation.
  2. plan and manage activities to develop a solution or complete a project.
  3. collect and analyze data to identify solutions and/or make informed decisions.
  4. use multiple processes and diverse perspectives to explore alternative solutions.

Critical Thinking: Which website is telling the truth? How do you judge its accuracy and credibility?
Dihydrogen monoxide

The Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus



Learning Adventure for Today

PART Four: Backwards design: Student Product

Sometimes the best way to figure out what you want to teach is to first figure out what you want students to be able to do. When you’re cooking, most of the time you decide what you want to eat BEFORE you get together your ingredients. At least, in the more successful times that you are cooking. So, let’s figure out what kinds of projects your students might complete – then we’ll working on organizing resources to help them create their projects. Just as we choose a recipe by looking at pictures, a lot of kids will choose your adventure based on the project they will complete.

Now it’s time to brainstorm project ideas. What kinds of projects might your student do? Will they create a glogster poster to show how they define a hero? Or will they create a video to talk about recycling? Maybe you’ll encourage your student to start a blog to help other middle schooler’s learn how to keep their personal hygiene. Here’s a long list of project ideas. Read about Twenty Ideas for Engaging Projects for more ideas.

Once you have a question and a project in mind, it’s time to figure out how you’re going to help students come up with an answer to your question and show you what they know (i.e. what they believe the answer is) with some type of project.


Part Five: Hook

By now you’ve come up with a topic, decided on a project for your students to complete, and have possibly come up with some engaging wording for your “Driving” or “Essential” or “Interesting” Question.  The next step is to collect resources that students can use to increase interest in the topic, to begin thinking about the question, and to begin gathering information to accomplish the task/create the project. This is the “Hook” section of the rubric for this assignment. You can review the rubric.

The hook or anticipatory set should be designed to focus the attention of your learners. It’s the part that hooks them into your topic. You’ll do some of this in your introductory video, too – but this “Hook” section should get them really into your topic.

Let’s look at some “hooks” from previous adventures and  Third Grade Health Adventure.


Part Six: Explore

Where can you go to find interactive games and resources to use in this section and the “Explore” section?  Thinkfinity  is an appropriate resource regardless of grade or subject area.

Author Information

***Make sure to put you and your partner’s name on the main page of your website. Also, include a picture of each of you – especially if you’re not all going to be on the introductory video.


PART Seven. Introduction video

As you know you need to create a video introducing yourself (and your partners) and your learning adventure. You can use Photo Booth if you are using Mac or you can use Flipgrid to record your introduction video. A movie trailer might be fun, too. Be creative.

You don’t want to be on the video? Here is a way to create an avatar to speak for you using GoAnimate.



Today we are continuing on solving one of the persistent yet urgent problems faced by UGA and Athens.


Your problem solving project will be graded according to this rubric.

Evidence Exploration

Once your group has identified and defined the problem, you would move onto thinking about how to solve the problem and learning about what you need to know.

You are working on a variety of problems so it is hard for me to give specific resources. Instead, I can give you some guidance on finding the resources that you may need.

  • What kind of resources would be most useful?
  • Where should we look at to find resources on the topic?
  • What are some search keywords?
  • What does statistics say about the frequency or the serious of the problem?

Some places to look for information about universities and lives in America

US Census Bureau

Athens Clarke County Office

Red & Black

Once you locate some resources, examine it carefully.

  • How do you know if this information is correct and current?
  • Who is the author of this site and what credentials support his or her authority on the topic?
  • Are there other Web sites or resources that contain the same information?
  • What does a non-Web source say about the information found from the Web?
  • When was the site last updated?
  • How much of the site is primary source material?

It is helpful to use mind maps (concept maps) to organize evidence in relation to solutions. There are many Web 2.o collaborative mind tools. I like to use Mindomo. If you would like to use this tool, it is better to choose the “mind mapping and project collaboration” option. Sign up and start using with your group members.

Solution Assembly


The first step for finding a solution to your problem is brainstorming. Your group members may have different ideas. Discuss and fill out this template. The key here is not to judge the solutions. List them as they are brought in without any prejudice.

Weighing alternatives

Once you have different ideas for solution, The Developing and Weighing alternatives page can guide weigh different options for your final solution. This page suggest you to make a grid of alternative solutions.  Draw grid on the back of the brainstorming page.

Solution justification

Once you have come up with a possible solution, be prepared to explain the following questions in your presentation.

  • Can you explain why you selected this solution?
  • What evidence have you found to support your solution?
  • How does your evidence support your solution?


For Thursday:

Although we are not meeting on Thursday, I will post an update to the blog with information about completing the remaining sections of the Learning Adventure and Problem Solving Project.

You are expected to complete your learning adventure and problem solving projects by Tuesday.  At the same time, work on your 20% project product. If you have not started on it, you would want to do it before next Tuesday.


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