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Magazine Issue 30: High Order Thinking
December 2012

This month ideas about and techniques for High Order Thinking

Article: High Order Thinking
New Resources
**** New Story about Alfred the Snow Angel ****
Mike's Books
Additional Resources

This Month's Article:

High Order Thinking

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High Order Thinking An Article that explores the debate over knowledge vs creativity and recommends a 'middle way' for educators.

If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking. 
George S. Patton 

This is a Free Sample Resource

Categories: Article, Thinking Skills, Any Subject, All Ages

Tags: High Order Thinking Thinking Skills Creativity Self Knowledge
High Order Thinking. Sounds grand doesn’t it? HOT Thinking is a little more user-friendly if repetitive. But what is it and why is it important in the classroom?

In a nutshell, there are two types of thinking: low and high order. We can debate the terms, the definitions and the range of each type but there exists a clear distinction. Low order thinking is concerned with facts and knowledge; high order thinking does something with that knowledge – analyses, evaluates, creates.

‘Low’ and ‘High’ imply a hierarchy and this is an understandable view. In 1956, when the terms were first mooted by Benjamin Bloom, they were presented as a taxonomy, high skills resting on a firm foundation of low. Since then we’ve worked out that the different skills have a more organic, symbiotic relationship with each other (NRC, 1987). You need low order to give high order something to do, yet high order creates new low order material. The two are forever held in tension, shifting emphasis with need and context. That’s the more challenging route of the educator, accepting that these skills are equal and co-dependant. Others often take the easier, more fundamental route, giving one set of skills preference over the other. Their intentions are sound, believing they are redressing a balance that has tipped too far one way: 

What specifically concerns me is an approach that denies children access to knowledge because time, and effort, is spent on cultivating abstract thinking skills rather than deepening the knowledge base which is the best foundation for reasoning. (low over high)
Michael Gove, 2009

Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution. It is, strictly speaking, a real factor in scientific research. (high over low)
Albert Einstein, 1919

In the classroom we do children a disservice if we follow either route exclusively. Our job is to discover how our learners think and to design for their preferences - not for each individual - but for the full range of thought processes present in class.

For example, children whose current thinking is more attuned to facts and knowledge will want to know, at the start of a lesson, what they are going to learn, possibly why, and maybe how it links to what they’ve done before. Others, more accustomed to analysis and creativity, will expect to dig deep into the subject matter and then make something new from their findings. Both can easily be offered by straightforward task differentiation. And no pupil should be denied either opportunity. The hope is that all children will develop a full repertoire of thinking skills.

A rationale for developing both types of thinking simultaneously rests on 3 points:

1. Successful day to day life requires a full range of thinking skills: we need to know when the bus arrives but also how to improvise if it breaks down whilst taking us to an interview.

2. Learning tasks that require both low and high order thinking stand more chance of engaging more minds at the same time.

3. Emphasising knowledge over analysis and creativity risks narrow-minded fundamental thought; valuing analysis and creativity over knowledge jeopardises cultural heritage, memory skills and reduces the pool of raw material from which new ideas can emerge.

Where are you on this spectrum? How do your lessons reflect different types of thinking? What range of thought-chances do you provide for your pupils? Try out the materials in this issue and elsewhere on the site to explore and enrich your use of low and high order thinking in class.

New Resources:

Christmas Tree Thinking

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Christmas Tree Thinking A Thinking Skills Tool that provides a Christmas Tree graphic to support analytical and creative thinking about a chosen topic. Also makes an effective display!

Categories: Thinking Tool, Creative Thinking, Thinking Skills, Other Subject, Infant, Junior, Secondary

Tags: Christmas Visual Thinking Hierarchy
Free Standard Member Resource: Login or Join for Free to access this resource and others.

Christmas Tree Thinking Powerpoint

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Christmas Tree Thinking Powerpoint A Thinking Tool Template in Powerpoint, that shows an example of Christmas Tree Thinking together with the Christmas Tree graphic in its component parts. Edit, resize etc. - create your own thinking structures.

Categories: Thinking Tool, Creative Thinking, Thinking Skills, Other Subject, Infant, Junior, Secondary

Tags: Christmas Visual Thinking Hierarchy
Teacher Premium Resource: Login or Upgrade to Teacher Premium to access this resource.

Science Think Sheet - Space & Planets

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Science Think Sheet - Space & Planets A Think Sheet of Thinking Classroom ideas for thinking creatively about Astronomy.

Categories: Think Sheet, Thinking Skills, Science, Junior

Tags: Creativity Astronomy Space Planets
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Christmas Patchwork Thinking

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Christmas Patchwork Thinking A Thinking Skills Tool, a seasonal adaptation of the ever popular Patchwork Thinking. This example is in the original file but I've added extra activities and suggestions.

Categories: Thinking Tool, Creative Thinking, Thinking Skills, RE & Philosophy, Infant, Junior, Secondary

Tags: Christmas Story Patchwork Thinking
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A new story about Alfred the Snow Angel - see the Additonal Resources below for the 2 previous stories.

The Return of Alfred the Snow Angel

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The Return of Alfred the Snow Angel A Thinking Story inspired by Alfred in Mike's "Thinking Stories" and "Surprising Stories". Alfred the Snow Angel is still banished to Earth but learns an important message about leadership. Addresses leadership, bullying and success.

This is a Free Sample Resource

Find out more or Download now:
Categories: Story, Leadership, PSHE, Infant, Junior

Tags: Snow Angels Christmas Leadership Bullying Story


Mike's Books:

Each of these stories come with High & Low Order thinking prompts.
 

Surprising Stories to Stimulate Creativity
by Mike Fleetham

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Surprising Stories to Stimulate Creativity<br> by Mike Fleetham The follow-on Book to Thinking Stories. 28 original tales with currciulum-linked activities for Primary and Lower Secondary. Literacy, Thinking Skills and Creativity are combined within engaging stories and tasks saving you planning time and ensuring rich curriculum coverage. Ideal for supporting a creative curriculum. Photocopiable worksheets included.  

Available in our shop

Find out more
Categories: Book & EBook, Creativity, English, Junior, Secondary

Tags: Assemblies Thinking Skills Creativity Creative Curriculum Thinking Stories

Thinking Stories to Wake Up Your Mind
by Mike Fleetham

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Thinking Stories to Wake Up Your Mind <br>by Mike Fleetham A Book containing 27 original tales with follow-on currciulum-linked activities for Primary and Lower Secondary. Literacy infused with the full range of Thinking Skills inspired by Bloom's Taxonomy. Classroom tasks with photocopiable worksheets that will save you planning time and embed Thinking firmly into everyday lessons. 

Available in our shop

Find out more
Categories: Book & EBook, Thinking Skills, English, Junior, Secondary

Tags: Assemblies Bloom's Taxonomy Thinking Stories

Additional Resources:

Thinking Classroom Archive:

Here is another High Order Thinking Tool from Dec 2007

Hotter Thinking

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Hotter Thinking Thinking Skills Tool that helps you to reflect on the type of questions that you use most in class and then to develop a broader range of higher order prompts.

Categories: Thinking Tool, Questioning, Any Subject, Educators, Thinking Skills

Tags: Bloom's Taxonomy Questioning
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And some more Christmas Related Resources, including 2 stories about Alfred the Snow Angel

Christmas Think Sheet

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Christmas Think Sheet A Think Sheet of Thinking Classroom ideas for looking at Christmas & Celebration in interesting and new ways.

Categories: Think Sheet, Thinking Skills, Other Subject, RE & Philosophy, Infant, Junior

Tags: Christmas
Free Standard Member Resource: Login or Join for Free to access this resource and others.

Snow Angels

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Snow Angels A Story with activities from "Thinking Stories to Wake Up Your Mind" in which Alfred the Snow Angel finds his style of doing things at odds with the other angels. Addresses bullying and learning styles. 

This is a Free Sample Resource

Find out more or Download now:
Categories: Story, Learning Styles, DT, Infant, Junior

Tags: Bullying Independent Learning Christmas Story

Snow Angels Artwork

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Snow Angels Artwork Original Illustration roughs from the stories Snow Angels and Alfred's Gift, published in Thinking Stories to Wake Up Your Mind and Surprising Stories. Use to build activities and displays around the stories.

Categories: Story, Learning Styles, DT, Infant, Junior

Tags: Bullying Independent Learning Christmas Story
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Alfred's Gift

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Alfreds Gift A Thinking Story with activities from "Surprising Stories to Stimulate Creativity" in which Alfred the Snow Angel finds himself banished to Earth and trying to find a place to stay. Addresses creativity and problem solving.

This is a Free Sample Resource

Find out more or Download now:
Categories: Story, Creativity, Other Subject, Infant, Junior

Tags: Snow Angels Christmas Story


Cards:

Storyworld: Christmas Tales Cards
by John & Caitlin Matthews

Storyworld: Christmas Tales Cards <br>by John & Caitlin Matthews The perfect Christmas thinking skills resource.

Available from Amazon

Opens in a New Window
Categories: Suggested Products, Creativity, Thinking Skills, English

Tags: Activity Christmas Story


Websites:

More About High Order Thinking

More About High Order Thinking What to say to help activate pupils' high order thinking.

www.med.wright.edu QuestionTemplates.pdf

Opens in a New Window
Categories: Websites, Thinking Skills

Tags: Questions


Next month we think about...Hard Work