It’s important for us to create a more rigorous reading curriculum in order to increase a student’s ability to connect to a story. The problem in reading classrooms is that students are not learning how to think critically.
Critical thinking is a higher order thought process that is focused and logical and its polar opposite is creativity, an uninhibited and unpredictable way of thinking.
The Partnership for 21st Century Skills (P21) framework that has been adopted by almost two dozen states promotes the use of its 4Cs – Critical Thinking, Communication, Collaboration, Creativity – in classrooms to support the implementation of the Common Core and other state initiatives.
During my work with students, we leveraged components of a flipped classroom approach, blended learning and project-based learning, and we should continue to do so.
How can we enhance this method and create a reading curriculum around stories that students connect with, and enhance it by incorporating all of the essential literacy skills, improving critical thinking skills, using the most advanced learning theory, and extending the experience by broadening its scope with creativity?
Most importantly, how can we create life-long readers? schools do not perform well in interpreting complex information and analyzing character traits, which highlights the need for increased literacy instruction targeting each.
We then give the students a study guide and assign a chapter to read each day, and may even give them the option to complete a few short answer questions in their reading journal.
In this process, we are trying to help students understand a story that they can already relate to.
In order for critical thought to take place, creativity has to be used as well, and vice versa.
For example, for a student to understand a new piece of information the student has to create a new construct in the mind.