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President, NJ Association for Middle Level Education

Using a process or strategy

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I use a strategy that involved both critical and analytical thinking. It is based on the research done by Kepner and Tregoe for the Rand Corp. The strategy acronym, SCAN, has students take apart a complex situation and develop solutions by asking the right questions. See the issues (what are the issues and perspectives?), Clarify the issues (what do you mean by....) Assess what is most important and Now, name your next steps (what should be done?). They have a very cool collaborative tool at that supplies complex situations and guides students through the steps in a collaborative discussion format. There are current issues like Video Games and Gun Control, Cell phones in School, and historical issues like discussing the Boston Tea Party. We teach kids how to organize their notebooks, we should also teach them how to organize their thinking!

Wowzers offers online Game-based Math curriculum for Grades 3-8

Deeper Dive for CCSS Assessments

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Ben makes some great points in this piece. This 'deeper dive' of knowledge required by the Common Core Standards will also be tested on the CCSS assessments, PARCC and Smarter Balanced, according to a study done by UCLA.

To learn more about this study and what schools must do to prepare, check out this blog post -

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