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Encouraging "Deeper-Level" Thinking in Young Children

Asking and answering questions has been a staple of teacher and student interaction for centuries. A big shift in today’s classrooms is for teachers to challenge students with “deeper-level questioning.”

This means getting away from short one- or two-word answer that come only from recall. Examples of short-answer questions are “What color is the snow?”  or “Can you point to the car in the picture?” To answer these low-level questions, students only have to have the ability to accurately recall facts.

While recall of facts is a good place to start with young students, parents can help take this process to the “next level."

Here are four easy steps parents can use when asking about reading, writing, or math to develop deeper-level thinking in the minds of young students.

Comprehension/understanding:
Have your child paraphrase, or put things in his own words. For example, “Why do you think Jack wanted to climb the beanstalk?”

Drawing conclusions:
If you know that 1+1 = 2, what does 10+10 equal?

Connecting information or recognizing patterns:
If the sky is usually blue, why does it sometimes look gray?

Creative thinking:
If you were Jack, how would you have taken the goose and golden egg?

By helping your child become a deeper-level thinker, you teach her to understand in ways that result in multiple correct answers. This greatly enhances her problem-solving skills. These are attributes that will benefit your child for life.

 

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