Wow! What a wonderful Friday. I was so impressed by our STEAM Day and our students’ work and interactions with one another. Across grade levels, our students delivered excellent presentations, asked good questions and treated one another with respect. Our Fall Carnival was also a huge success! Thank you to all of the parents who worked to make Fall Carnival a fun-filled night for our school community, and I want to give a special thanks to Dawn Vaughan and Katrina Lightbourn, who organized the evening and the silent auction.
4 Cs: This week’s focus is Critical Thinking. Wake County tells us that our students are critical thinkers if they can identify inquiry questions related to their tasks; analyze and evaluate information, evidence, arguments, claims and beliefs; synthesize information; and make connections between information and arguments. You can help our students, K-8, strengthen their critical thinking abilities at home by doing the following:
Ask them to clearly identify problems and the tools they need to address the problems. Push them to identify the true source of a problem rather than the surface-level signs.
- Start by asking our students to identify problems in the books they are reading and what characters might do to solve the problems.
Challenge them to assess the quality of information they see or hear. You can have these conversations with respect to usefulness, accuracy and credibility.
- These are great conversations to have with students about everything from news a peer shared with them to commercials and the news sources you read or view at home.
Talk to them about fact versus opinion.
Help them recognize bias.
- Point out yours and theirs when the opportunities arise, help them recognize it in news sources, and ask them, “What would be an alternative view of this situation?”
Challenge them to support their opinions and conclusions with fact-based evidence.
- Simply asking, “How do you know?” goes a long way here.
- Pushing them beyond feeling to thinking is the next step.
Ask them to explain their understandings of situations and to consider how those understandings might transfer to other situations.
Carpool: We are seeing more parents on cell phones again. Please do not use your cell phone in the carpool line and stay close to the person in front of you. When a driver is not paying attention and creates a gap, it makes a big difference in our efficiency.
Let’s make it a great week at Hilburn!