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Critical Thinking, Problem-Solving, and Decision Making

Performance Indicator-A
a. Identify and define authentic problems and significant questions for investigation

 Grades K - 2 Grades 3 - 4 Grades 5 - 8 Grades 9 - 12
 With teacher support, students use digital tools and resources to identify a school or local issue and generate questions for investigation. Students use a variety of digital tools and resources to identify a school, local, or state issue, create a problem statement, and generate questions for investigation. Students select appropriate digital tools and resources, including online forums, social media, and information solicited from credible sources, to identify a local, state,national, or global issue, create a problem statement, and generate questions for investigation. Students select appropriate digital tools and resources, including online forums, social media, and information solicited from credible sources, to identify a local, state, national, or global issue, create a problem statement, and generate questions for investigation.
 
Examples


1. As a class, students use a graphic organizer, a word processor, or a spreadsheet to brainstorm and rank a list of playground issues. They then identify questions about playground issues they can explore further.

2. With teacher assistance, students take pictures of the foods that students eat in the lunchroom. They use a graphic organizer or a sorting tool on an interactive whiteboard to organize the pictures into two categories--healthy and unhealthy. They use a word processor to develop questions to research such as "Do students eat more healthy food than unhealthy food?" or "What healthy alternatives could we find for some of the unhealthy foods?"

Examples of digital tools above may include: graphic organizers such as Kidspiration or Mindomo
 
Examples


1. As a class, students use a graphic organizer and an interactive whiteboard to brainstorm issues in their school about bullying. They use a word processor to draft a problem statement related to bullying and to list questions for further investigation.

2. As a class or in small groups, students generate an online survey for other students about local environmental concerns, use a spreadsheet/graphing tool to summarize the data, and use a word processor to draft a problem statement and questions for research.

Examples of digital tools above may include: graphic organizers such as Inspiration or Mindomo, word processors such as Word or Google Docs, online surveys such as Google Forms or Survey Monkey, spreadsheet/graphing tools such as Excel or Google Spreadsheet
 
Examples


1. Small groups of students review recent articles in online news publications. They use an online collaboration tool to identify an issue they are concerned about, create a problem statement, and draft questions for investigation.

2. Students select an appropriate online discussion tool to discuss the use of cell phones in school. They use an online collaborative document to develop a problem statement and questions for investigation.

Examples of digital tools above may include: online news publications such as TweenTribune and local, national, and international newspapers, online collaboration tools such as Google Docs, a Moodle forum, or a wiki
 
Examples


1. In small groups, students research different aspects of stem cell research. They use video and/or audio conferencing to collect information from credible sources on both sides to help them develop a problem statement and questions for further inquiry.

2. Students studying the ethics of war choose the appropriate tools to solicit input from a variety of landmine experts, activists, and military personnel to help them identify a topic of research.

Examples of digital tools above may include: social networking tools such as Facebook, Twitter, or Moodle, communication tools such as video conferencing, audio conferencing, or chats

Performance Indicator - B
b. Plan and manage activities to develop a solution or complete a project.

 Grades K - 2 Grades 3 - 4 Grades 5 - 8 Grades 9 - 12
 With teacher support, students use digital tools to plan and manage individual or group learning projects. Students use a variety of digital tools, selected by the teacher, to plan and manage individual or group learning projects. Students select appropriate digital tools, including online collaborative tools, to plan and manage individual and group learning projects. Students select and justify their choice of appropriate digital tools, including online collaborative tools, to plan and manage individual and group learning projects.
 
Examples


1. As a class, students use a word processor or graphic organizer to outline the key steps they need to do to build their class garden.

2. As a class, students use a table or a spreadsheet to list the steps needed to create their class book on weather. They assign different tasks to different students, set due dates, and monitor completion of tasks as the project progresses.

Examples of digital tools above may include: graphic organizers such as Kidspiration or Mindomo, spreadsheets such as Excel or Google Spreadsheet.
 
Examples


1. Students use a graphic organizer to brainstorm the steps in their individual research projects.

2. Students use a spreadsheet, graphic organizer, or online calendar to plan the steps for their group research project on Explorers, assign those steps to different group members, specify target completion dates, and track and monitor completion of the tasks.

Examples of digital tools above may include: graphic organizers such as Inspiration or Mindomo, spreadsheets such as Excel or Google Spreadsheet, online calendars such as Google Calendar.
 
Examples


1. Students use a graphic organizer to brainstorm the steps in their class project to develop an online field guide to the woods behind the school.

2. Students use an online, collaborative tool to list the steps in their group research project about renewable energy, assign those steps to different group members, specify target completion dates, and track and monitor completion of the tasks.

Examples of digital tools above may include: graphic organizers such as Inspiration, Mindomo, or Freemind, online collaborative tools such as Google Spreadsheet, Google Calendar, or Manymoon, video conferencing tools such as Skype or LNV.
 
Examples


1. Students discuss which online, collaborative tool they should use to manage their group research project about terrorism. After justifying their choice to their teacher, they use that toolto list the steps in their project, assign those steps to different group members, specify target completion dates, and track and monitor completion of the tasks.

2. Students use a video conferencing tool to meet periodically to discuss the progress in their group project to develop an online "text book" for world geography.

Examples of digital tools above may include: online collaborative tools such as Google Spreadsheet, Google Calendar, or Manymoon, video conferencing tools such as Skype or LNV.

Performance Indicator - C
c. Collect and analyze data to identify solutions and/or make informed decisions.

 Grades K - 2 Grades 3 - 4 Grades 5 - 8 Grades 9 - 12
 With teacher support, students use digital tools and resources to gather, organize, and discuss information to draw a conclusion or solve a problem. Students use a variety of digital tools and resources to gather, organize, and analyze data to draw a conclusion or solve a problem. Students select appropriate digital tools and onlineresources to gather, organize, and analyze data to draw a conclusion, solve a problem, make an informed decision, and/or propose a solution to an authentic audience. Students select and justify their choice of digital tools and online resources to gather, organize, and analyze data to draw a conclusion, solve a problem, make an informed decision, and/or propose a solution to an authentic audience.
 
Examples


1. Students use a drag-and-drop sorting program on an interactive whiteboard to determine the number and type of pets they have. As a class they discuss the results and draw conclusions.

2. As a class, students develop a survey about personal recycling habits and use an online survey tool to poll school staff and students. As a class they discuss the results and draw conclusions.

Examples of digital tools above may include: online survey tools such as Google Forms or Survey Monkey.
 
Examples


1. As a class, students create an online survey to poll the school and local community about their consumption of bottled water and soda. They use spreadsheets and graphs to organize and analyze the data they collect. In small groups students discuss the results and draw conclusions.

2. Students draft a series of hypotheses comparing temperatures at different locations. They use digital probes to collect temperature data three times each day from each location, load the data into a spreadsheet, and use graphs and formulas to test their hypotheses.

Examples of digital tools above may include: online survey tools such as Google Forms or Survey Monkey, spreadsheet/graphing tools such as Excel or Google Spreadsheet.
 
Examples


1. In a study of energy, students choose to use online surveys, online databases, and/or credible websites to collect data on energy production and use in Vermont. They compile and analyze their data using spreadsheets and graphs. They report their findings and propose ideas for reducing the use of non-renewable energy on a class wiki or web site that is shared with town officials and state legislators.

2. Students choose from a variety of tools to collect data on the motion of objects. Some use force and/or distance sensors. Others use digital video cameras to record moving objects and then review the videos frame by frame and calculate distance, velocity, and acceleration. They analyze their data with spreadsheets and graphs and summarize their findings.

Examples of digital tools above may include: online survey tools such as Google Forms or Survey Monkey, spreadsheets such as Excel or Google Spreadsheet, video editing tools such as Windows Movie Maker or iMovie.
 
Examples


1. Groups of students each study a national teen problem (e.g., underage drinking, texting while driving, teen-age pregnancy, etc.). Each group selects digital tools to collect their data (e.g., online surveys, online databases, credible web sites, and/or audio or video conferences with experts) and justifies their choice to their teacher. Groups compile and analyze their data with a spreadsheet. They create PSAs, videos, and/or pages on social networking sites to report their findings and propose a solution to the problem they studied.

2. Students choose from a variety of digital probes to collect data on the polluted stream that runs behind the school. They conduct online research and video conferences with town officials and scientists at UNH to gather more data and information about the sources and nature of the pollution in the stream. They use spreadsheets to analyze the data they've collected and develop a proposal they will make to local town officials for cleaning up the stream. They choose an appropriate presentation tool to report their findings and justify their choice of tool to their teacher.

Examples of digital tools above may include: online survey tools such as Google Forms or Survey Monkey, spreadsheets such as Excel or Google Spreadsheet, social networking sites such as Facebook, video conferencing tools such as Skype or LNV, presentation tools such as slideshows, digital stories, and videos.

Performance Indicator - D
d. Use multiple processes and diverse perspectives to explore alternative solutions.

 Grades K - 2 Grades 3 - 4 Grades 5 - 8 Grades 9 - 12
 With teacher support, students use digital tools and resources to explore problems with multiple solutions by collecting information from peers. Students use a variety of digital tools and resources, selected by the teacher, to explore problems by collecting information from sources with diverse perspectives, summarizing the results, and proposing multiple solutions. Students select appropriate digital tools and resources to explore problems by collecting information from local and global communities with diverse perspectives, summarizing the results, and identifying and comparing possible solutions that could satisfy different perspectives. Students select and justify their choice of digital tools and resources to explore problems by collecting information from local and global communities with diverse perspectives, creating models and simulations to explore different scenarios, summarizing the results, and identifying, comparing, and soliciting feedback on possible solutions that could satisfy different perspectives.
 
Examples


1. Eating food outside of the classroom has been a problem at school. As a class, students develop a survey in a word processor about when and where students should be allowed to eat food in school. The students print the survey on paper, administer it to their peers, and compile the data in a simple spreadsheet developed by their teacher. As a class the students summarize their data with graphs and discuss ways to prevent problems with eating food at school.

Examples of digital tools above may include: spreadsheets such as Excel or Google Spreadsheet.
 
Examples


1. Students use a class email account to collect ideas for reducing litter at the town beach from students, teachers, administrators, parents, and other community members. They use a spreadsheet to summarize their findings, and they add a page to their class wiki to share their data and list different possible solutions.

2. Students develop an online survey about whether students should be required to walk, bicycle, carpool, or ride the bus to school to save energy. They survey students K-12 and their parents, use a spreadsheet to summarize their findings, and create a web page where they list possible ways to satisfy the greatest number of people.

Examples of digital tools above may include: online survey tools such as Google Forms or Survey Monkey, spreadsheets such as Excel or Google Spreadsheet.
 
Examples


1. Students meet with the cafeteria manager to find out how much food the school consumes and where it comes from. They email local farms, grocery stores, trucking companies, restaurants, etc. to collect information about how much local food is available to supply the school lunch program. They summarize their findings with a spreadsheet and create a set of proposals to increase the use of local food. They share their proposals and the pros and cons of each on their class web page.

2. Students decide whether to use email, an online discussion forum, or an online survey to collect information about whether students should be allowed to participate in sports if they have an F or D in a course. They collect data from students, teachers, administrators, and parents and use a spreadsheet to summarize their findings. They develop three different proposals and create a short video that presents the pros and cons of each. They air their video on the regional educational TV channel.

Examples of digital tools above may include: spreadsheets such as Excel or Google Spreadsheet, online discussion forums such as Moodle or Facebook, online survey tools such as Google Forms or Survey Monkey, video editing tools such as Windows Movie Maker or iMovie.
 
Examples


1. Students conduct Internet research to explore the problem of oil spills around the world, especially at offshore oil drilling rigs, and they defend their choice of sources to their teacher. They use a spreadsheet to summarize their findings. They develop a wiki that lists several proposals on how to prevent oil spills and the pros and cons of each. They contact students at other schools around the world and ask them to enter their feedback on the proposals on the wiki.

2. Students divide into groups and decide which tools to use to collect information about how much energy their town uses for transportation. They use the data they collect to build a spreadsheet that simulates how a variety of possible changes could reduce the town's transportation energy use. Based on their simulation, they develop a series of proposals. They post both their simulation and proposals on their class web site and solicit feedback from community members and town officials. As part of their reflection on the project, the students justify their choice of tool to their teacher.

Examples of digital tools above may include: data collection tools such as email, online discussion forums, or online surveys, spreadsheets such as Excel or Google Spreadsheet, online discussion forums such as Moodle or Facebook, online survey tools such as Google Forms or Survey Monkey.

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As the tides of the ocean and the strength of the mountain shape our community, the York Schools' commitment to educational excellence and individual achievement shapes the future of each student. 
Mission
The mission of York Schools is to educate, inspire and challenge all learners to be ethical citizens who will make a difference in a changing and complex world.