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How to Teach Thinking Skills Within the Common Core: 7 Key Student Proficiencies of the New National Standards, June/2012

How to Teach Thinking Skills Within the Common Core: 7 Key Student Proficiencies of the New National Standards, June/2012

Author(s): James A. Bellanca, Robin J. Fogarty, Brian M. Pete
ISBN13: 9781936764075
ISBN10: 1936764075
Format: Paperback
Pages: 240
Publisher: Solution Tree
Year Publish: 2012 June

Packed with examples and tools, this practical guide prepares teachers across all grade levels and content areas to teach the most critical cognitive skills from the Common Core State Standards. Discover a doable three-phase model of explicit teaching, guided practice in content-based lessons, and authentic application in standards-based performance tasks that will strengthen students' ability to learn across the curriculum.


  1. Discover the desired student proficiencies of the CCSS: critical thinking, creative thinking, complex thinking, comprehensive thinking, collaborative thinking, communicative thinking, and cognitive transfer.
  2. Explore phase I, Talk-Through, during which teachers explicitly teach students a critical thinking skill.
  3. Utilize the content-based lessons included in phase II, Walk-Through, when specific guidance will ensure proper application of the skill.
  4. Learn how to make a direct connection between the selected thinking skill and the new standards with the CCSS performance tasks modeled in phase III.
  5. Take advantage of online and print resources, a glossary, reproducibles, reflection questions, and more.

About The Authors:
James A. Bellanca is nationally recognized as a practical innovator who thinks ahead of the curve and provides teachers and administrators with the “how-to” knowledge to make abstract ideas concrete and ready to go on the next school day. With his extensive experience as a classroom English and language arts teacher, alternative school director, professional developer, intermediate service center director, business owner, and not-for-profit executive, he has developed expertise for transforming new trends and new mandates, such as the Common Core State Standards, into practical classroom tools that enrich instruction and engage students.

A leading voice in 21st century skills, Jim edits and is lead poster for the Partnership for 21st Century Schools (P21) blog Connecting the 21st Century Dots: From Policy to Practice. He is executive director of the Illinois Consortium for 21st Century Schools and lead trainer for Mind Quest: Project-Based Learning in the 21st Century Classroom. In addition, Jim is lead trainer of instructors for the New York State United Teachers Education Learning Trust program, The 21st Century Classroom. In the past year, he has designed three online graduate education courses and the innovative online workshop Projects from a Box.

Jim has worked with educational leaders in Chicago, Los Angeles, Cleveland, New York, Illinois, West Virginia, New Jersey, Michigan, Australia, New Zealand, Norway, and Israel. He has also worked with school districts to design, implement, and assess programs that promote 21st century skills to increase academic performance among all children, including high-risk student populations. Jim has written many books, including several bestsellers and numerous professional articles.

Robin J. Fogarty, PhD, has trained educators throughout the world in curriculum, instruction, and assessment strategies. She has taught at all levels, from kindergarten to college, served as an administrator, and consulted with state departments and ministries of education in the United States, Puerto Rico, Russia, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Great Britain, Singapore, Korea and the Netherlands.

Robin has written articles for Educational Leadership, Phi Delta Kappan, and the Journal of Staff Development. She is author of Brain-Compatible Classrooms, Ten Things New Teachers Need to Succeed, and Literacy Matters. She is coauthor of How to Integrate the Curricula, The Adult Learner, A Look at Transfer, Close the Achievement Gap, Twelve Brain Principles That Make the Difference, Nine Best Practices That Make the Difference, and Informative Assessment. Her work includes a leadership series called From Staff Room to Classroom.

Dr. Fogarty earned a doctorate in curriculum and human resource development from Loyola University Chicago, a master’s in instructional strategies from National-Louis University, and a bachelor’s in early childhood education from the State University of New York at Potsdam.

Brian M. Pete comes from a family of educators—college professors, school superintendents, teachers, and teachers of teachers. He has a rich background in professional development and has worked with adult learners in districts and educational agencies throughout the United States, Europe, Asia, Australia, and New Zealand.

He has an eye for the “teachable moment” and the words to describe what he sees as skillful teaching. He delivers dynamic, humor-filled sessions that energize the audiences with engaging strategies that transfer into immediate and practical on-site applications.

Brian is coauthor of From Staff Room to Classroom, From Staff Room to Classroom II, Twelve Principles That Make the Difference, Nine Best Practices That Make the Difference, The Adult Learner, and A Look at Transfer.

Brian earned a bachelor of science from DePaul University in Chicago and is pursuing a master’s in fiction writing from Columbia College Chicago.