"Critical thinking is the intellectually disciplined process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as a guide to belief and action" (Scriven, 1996). The North Carolina Educator Evaluation System requires that teachers cultivate critical thinking skills in students. How effectively are teachers doing this? What does thinking critically really mean? During this section we will write questions that cause students to think critically.

If you prefer to read the script for this Voki, click here.
Step 1 - Video Watch the video to see how one school in California focuses their instruction around the development of critical thinking.

Step 2 - Read, Write, Chart: Read the Common Core text exemplar and write 3-5 questions you would ask students about this text. Use the Revised Bloom's Taxonomy chart to map the location of your questions. Do you have any questions in the analyze and evaluate columns?

Step 3 - Revise: Revise your questions using the Critical Thinking Stems resource to increase the rigor of your questions and move them toward the analyze and evaluate columns of the Revised Bloom's chart.

Step 4 - Share: Share your revised questions in the Google form so that your colleagues can see examples of critical thinking questions.


Click here to watch the video at Apple Valley.
P21 Definition of Critical Thinking and Problem Solving:


  • Use the Revised Bloom's Taxonomy Chart to decide where your questions would belong. Do they address the evaluate and analyze levels? Revise your questions as necessary or write additional questions. You may want to use this Critical Thinking Stems resource to help. You may also want to refer to pages 6-12 of this handout on Teacher Seminar to look for additional ways to boost rigor.

  • Share your revised questions with colleagues in the Google form below.


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“The resources provided during the course of this NCDPI training have been helpful to some educators across the state. However, due to the rapidly changing resources available, NCDPI does not represent nor endorse that these resources are the exclusive resources for the purposes outlined during this training."