Active thinking leads to better grades

(NC)-All students are active thinkers by nature, but not all students know how to think actively when it comes to classroom learning or at-home studying.

According to Oxford Learning's CEO and founder, Dr. Nick Whitehead, this is because, like many other school skills (such as studying, organization, and focus) active thinking is a skill that students need to be shown how to use.

"Active learning is not a skill restricted to the classroom. Children (and adults, too) should always be thinking about the world around them. In fact, the more that children develop this skill outside the classroom, the more they are able to apply it in class."

Dr. Whitehead outlines three simple steps for students to follow to practice their active thinking skills:

Before the activity, whether it's doing a craft or sitting down in class, students should pause to try reflect on what they already know about what they are going to do. This primes the brain to get it ready learn something new.

During the activity students should ask themselves questions to draw connections or highlight details, like "What is this similar to?"

After the activity students can reflect on what they just learned. This can be done by creating summary notes. Students should attempt to draw similarities, no matter how random.

Dr. Whitehead says that parents can encourage active thinking by prompting conversations about learning and by asking the right questions. Instead of asking, "how was school?", more specific questions such as "how was math class?" or "what concepts did you learn today?" are more helpful.

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