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TED Talk Tuesday: Tim Brown urges designers to think big

Today’s #edchat discussion on Twitter was all about training kids as critical thinkers.  I believe that we are losing students as critical thinkers because in our current model of education, where we are standardizing education with tests, we teach kids that there is one correct answer to every question.  We limit their thinking to what we have already determined is an acceptable answer to the question.  This is extremely limiting.  Critical thinking means that we aren’t satisfied with the easy answer, we think about multiple solutions to the problem and even think of additional questions.  We approach a problem differently, more creatively. In today’s TED Talk, Tim Brown talks about his journey in design and his tendency to think about problems on a small scale, limiting himself to the obvious answers and a single solution.  Design wasn’t always this way, design used to be big. Design thinking solves problems and works to create world changing innovations. It seems to me that there is a strong correlation with what Tim refers to as Design Thinking and what we call critical thinking.  Roger Martin calls this integrative thinking, the ability to exploit opposing ideas and opposing constraints to create new solutions. Isn’t this what we are asking our students to do when we are looking for critical thinking?  What we really want students to do is think as designers.   When I watch children who haven’t yet entered the classroom, I notice a strong correlation between the way a child thinks and the way a designer thinks.  They are questioners, tinkerers, and are never satisfied with one solution. Design thinking could be our model for critical thinking in the classroom, but beyond that design thinking could be our solution to reform in education.  Exploiting opposing ideas and opposing constraints to create new solutions. Design is human centered, it starts with what humans need or might need. It means understanding culture and context.   From destination to active participation that is meaningful and productive. Value is added through collaborative experiences and not through monetary gains alone (think Twitter). In times of change we need new thinking and new ideas.  We are in the midst of massive change and we need to rethink what we accept as basic fundamentals. We need new choices because our current options are becoming obsolete.  We need to take a divergent approach and come up with something that hasn’t been done before.  What is the question we are trying to answer? What is the design brief for education. The first step is to start asking the right questions. (I think #edchat does an honorable job of this!)  What are the right questions?

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I have/Who has Free Language Game Downloads

Posted by admin | Posted in Apply, Download, Knowledge (remember), Language Arts, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources | Posted on 14-09-2010

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What it is: Lakeshore is an educational store here in the states.  Today they posted links to some free language game downloads for 1st-6th grade.  The downloads are for an I have/Who has card game. For grades 1-2 you will find a beginning sounds game, for 3-4 a fact and opinion game, and for 5-6 a parts of speech game.

How to integrate I have/ Who has into your curriculum: The I have/Who has card games are a fun way for students to practice a skill as a whole class.  Students sit or stand in a circle.  One student begins by reading the statement on their card.  For example, one student might read “I have: Candy tastes sweet.  Who has an opinion about birds.”  The student whose card has an opinion statement about birds answers “I have: Flamingos are the prettiest bird. Who has a fact about exercise?”  Play continues until all the cards have been matched.  I like the I have/Who has games because they require every student to be actively listening and involved in game play.  The game also gives opportunity for the class to discuss why an answer is correct or incorrect.

Tips: If you are looking for another I have/Who has card game, check out my Contractions game here.

Please leave a comment and share how you are using the I have/Who has Free Language Games in your classroom!

Comments (2)

http://primarygamesarena.com has some great German, Spanish and French games that you can play online :)

A very useful resource as some languages do not have past tenses so they can be a difficult concept for some language learners.

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