Monday, October 21, 2013

Hey urban kids: Let's think about thinking!

Unlike suburban kids with high test scores, you urban kids need to do a lot more thinking about thinking!  You see, suburban kids have parents who do things like take them to museums and talk to them about what's in the newspaper.  This is why they have high test scores!  As a result of their high test scores, they can just do regular thinking when they go to school.  But since your test scores are low, you guys need to think more about your thinking!

The first way to think about your thinking is to write down the kind of thinking that you're supposed to be doing.  Some schools call this the "learning objective."  You'll know that you're on the right track when you're writing down words like, "inference," "analyze," "synthesize," and "classify."

The next thing that you need to do is to listen very carefully to your teacher when she is talking to you about the kind of thinking you are supposed to be doing.  A very important man named Dr. Benjamin Bloom wrote a big list of all of the different kinds of thinking, and your teacher will tell you about each kind.  You will know that your teacher is doing a good job if she is young and if she talks about Dr. Bloom a lot.  If your teacher is old and does not talk about Dr. Bloom, then she might not be making you college-ready!

Once you understand the list, then you have to start making sure that you're not just doing plain old regular thinking. You have to do thinking like "evaluating" and "synthesizing" so that you can have high test scores like the suburban kids!  Also, you need to make sure that you know WHEN you're doing the kinds of thinking that Dr. Bloom says are the hard kinds.  It might not seem fair, but remember, the suburban kids have parents who listen to classical music and jazz, which is another reason why they don't have to think about their thinking.

Look at it this way:  it might be okay for the suburban kids just to have regular thoughts when they're doing worksheets and questions at the end of the chapter, but that's not good enough for you because your test scores are low!  But don't worry!  Hopefully you will have a teacher right out of college with really high expectations.  And if she uses lots of rigor (that's a big word for something that's hard), then she will talk to you a lot about Dr. Bloom's list! She will make sure to give you a lot of tests that have the different kinds of thinking. Then, you will be college-ready!

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