Critical Thinking and Problem Solving– Day 1

10 Apr


We are going to wrap up the discussion for the second topic this week.  Originally, we plan to finish the discussion today.  However, your Taiwanese partners had spring break last week.  So…the discussion will be extended for another 3 days.  Please check the comments in your group and give feedback to your partners by Friday.  Then we are going to do the evaluation next Tuesday.

Gift Exchange: They didn’t meet last week, so Arthur will check with them this Wednesday to see how everything goes.  You and your American partner can decide how you are going to buy or make the gifts.


You guys are fantastic last Thursday.  We have two more presentation to go.


These two concepts are usually bonded together.  There are always multiple ways to solve one single problem.  Now, let’s try to solve one problem.

Task: using the 3 bamboo skewers and clay – create a structure that balances by the point of one skewer on your fingertip.

Here are some questions related to the task.  Choose to answer.

  • There are 2 types of problems: open-ended and close-ended. Which was the balancing activity?
  • How is the balance activity an inquiry activity?
  • Could the balance activity be considered problem-based learning?
  • When have you experienced the problem-based learning approach in your classes? (What is problem-based learning?)
  • How is this connected to critical thinking? For that matter, what IS critical thinking?

Here is the NETS standard for problem solving.

Students use critical thinking skills to plan and conduct research, manage projects, solve problems, and make informed decisions using appropriate digital tools and resources. Students:

  1. identify and define authentic problems and significant questions for investigation.
  2. plan and manage activities to develop a solution or complete a project.
  3. collect and analyze data to identify solutions and/or make informed decisions.
  4. use multiple processes and diverse perspectives to explore alternative solutions.


We are going to start a new project, the Learning Adventure.  This is our final project in which yo will demonstrate what you have learned this semester.  Think about what we have done this semester.  Personal website, infomercial, image editing and film making, social network discussion, interactive whiteboard…so now it’s time to integrate everything into one project.

I gave four example links last week.  Which one is the most impressive one?

Five Senses
Animals on the Farm

If these are not enough or clear to you, here are two more examples.

Health Adventure: You Are What You Eat
Adventure in the Wilderness

Please take some time to browse these examples to help you understand more about this project.


After looking at the student examples, what questions do you have? How do you think the adventure could have been improved? Do you notice any missing elements of the adventure that could have made it better? Think on this – maybe as we work through the project, you will want to go about it differently. That’s okay! Just be sure to talk with me to let me know your ideas.

Partners and Groups

I would prefer you worked with a partner for this project. It’s okay if you find yourself planning an adventure in a subject or grade level that is different than the one you identified at the beginning of the semester. I am open to people working alone, but you need to be forewarned that this can be a lot of work – being able to share the work load will help you stay on target. You do not have to decide today who you’d like to work with, but be prepared to share this in class on Tuesday.

Project Rubric

Open this UGA EDIT 2000 Learning Adventure Rubric.  Talking through the rubric will help you understand what is expected of you throughout the project. It also contains a time line so you can keep on target. You will notice that the criteria for receiving full credit is part of the rubric. Let’s look at this together. If we have enough time, we will also be creating our own criteria for the project as a class.


1.  If you haven’t finished four reading guides, you need to do the last two, Chapter 4 Reading Guide: Critical Thinking and Chapter 6 Reading Guide: Problem Solving.  If you need to do chapter 6 reading guide, skip question number 5, 9, and 12 (questions about webquest). I’ve enjoyed a lot reading your thoughts this semester. Keep it up!  🙂

Remember, both reading guides are due this Thursday.  This Thursday is also the last day you can use late pass.  That is, the Learning Adventure project CANNOT be late. 

2. Think about who you would like to work with and some possible topics for your project.


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