Lifelong learning West Middle School Rapid City Area Schools Critical Thinking Course--- 1 semester Instructor: Mrs. Ann Hast Phone: (605) 394-4033 Email: [email protected] GOALS AND OBJECTIVES *To analyze and understand your own learning style, to utilize this style to your greatest advantage and to appreciate skills that support other styles of learning. *To learn to write and develop goals and monitor their progress. *To explore other countries and cultures to gain a sense of global community. *To learn work independently to create and present projects to be proud of. Emphasis will be placed on research, writing and presentation skills. *To understand the advantages and pitfalls of being gifted. *To examine qualities of successful people and assess our role models, developing strategies for researching, writing, and public speaking. *To prepare for opportunities in high school and beyond. SYLLABUS - Semester long class i. Quarter one projects: 1. Successful Role Model Biographies – Students do activities that help them look at definitions of success. Students research their successful role model with the help and guidance of our Librarian who emphasizes online resources and credibility. They then write a biography in the first person with an emphasis on organization and analyzing the reasons for their success. Finally, they tell their story to the class in first person style emphasis on speech delivery. 2. Independent Study I. – Students learn about time management by laying out project to do lists and putting together a calendar plan. They also learn about levels of critical thinking and Bloom’s taxonomy. They develop four projects around their topic of choice and finally present these projects to the class. 3. School Newspaper – quarterly. Students choose roles/assignments, research, write and edit the school paper. ii. Quarter Two projects: 1. Novel Study – “The Last Lecture” by Randy Pausch Students read and share the life lessons in the book through literature circle discussions and written assignments. 2. Independent Study II. – Students learn about time management by laying out project to do lists and putting together a calendar plan. They also learn about levels of critical thinking and Bloom’s taxonomy. They develop four projects around their topic of choice and finally present these projects to the class. 3. Showcase – Students will display and share both of their independent study projects (8 products) in an open house SHOWCASE for parents, friends and educators. 4. School Newspaper – quarterly. Students choose roles/assignments, research, write and edit the school paper Iii. Semester long activities: 1. Metacognition InventoriesStudents will take a variety of inventories to analyze their learning style, interests, talents, and leadership style. A presentation of the strengths and challenges for each style will be addressed with an emphasis on successful team dynamics. 2. “Around the Globe” Fridays – Students will team up to research, create and present a food or foods from a unique foreign country and culture. This can be from the student’s heritage but that is not required. The teacher will develop an activity about that country/culture for the class to go with the food. Students must bring a list of ingredients and class allergies will be addressed. 3. Goal Development activities – Students will have lessons on the advantage of goal setting, goal setting worksheets and projects such as motivational locker posters to remind them of their goals. Goals completions will be reported and celebrated. 4. Future planning. – Students will be given extra information for high school planning by high school gifted education coordinator, Kathryn Sosa, and through panel discussion with high school students. Future career choices are often part of the independent study projects. 5. Critical Thinking Puzzles and Brainteasers – in groups and as individuals. 6. Debates – Introduction of debating skills and protocol using current topics.