This sections details the importance of critical thiking and provides strategies that foster the development of these skills in students.
Asking students to think critically about a topic requires them to consider all possibilities and make connections between ideas. Deeper understanding of the content material developed and student become more literate in their content.
The strategy below utilizes discussion webs. These webs encourage discussion among students and allows them to consider all the possible reasoning surrounding a topic. For math, this strategy can be adapted to explain what process but by followed in order to arrive at a correct solution. Because students must write out reasoning, students are using multiple avenues for expressing mathematics.
The sample adaptation of the discussion web involves solving word problems and recognizing relevant information. Students must provide reasoning for their answers. This requires students to think critically about problems by answering "why" and "how."
Discussion Web
Determining Relevant Information
Adapted from:
Education World ®  Lesson Planning: Webs (The Discussion Kind!) in the Classroom. (n.d.). Retrieved April 15, 2009, from http://www.educationworld.com/a_lesson/lesson/lesson032.shtml
Alvermann, D.E. (1991). The discussion web: A graphic aid for learning across the curriculum. The Reading Teacher, 45(2), 9299.
Connection to GPS:
M7P1. Students will solve problems (using appropriate technology).
a. Build new mathematical knowledge through problem solving.
b. Solve problems that arise in mathematics and in other contexts.
c. Apply and adapt a variety of appropriate strategies to solve problems.
d. Monitor and reflect on the process of mathematical problem solving.
