How to Obtain Critical Thinking Skills

Cardstock Ruler Permanent marker Use permanent marker and a ruler to draw two lines lengthwise on a sturdy piece of cardstock, creating three equal spaces. Turn the cardstock and do the same width-wise, so you have a piece of cardstock with nine squares on it, much like a tic-tac-toe game grid. Label the square one through nine with the permanent marker. If you intend to use the graph often, laminate it so you can keep it in better shape. Create a grid legend with a separate piece of paper. Write the numbers one through nine down the page, and then write different questions for each number that would help you to look at the problem and solution from every possible angle. Write "Define what the problem is" on square one. Then, move to square two and write "Explain why it is a problem." Number three could read, "State an example of the problem." Label number four with, "Decide on a possible solution" and five should read "What are the pros and cons of such a solution?" Six, seven and eight could be labeled "Other solution ideas" and nine would be "What is the best solution." Gain critical thinking skills by using a pack of sticky notes each time you have a problem. Use the legend to answer the questions, and write your answers on sticky notes and place them on the grid. In this way, you can see all of the possible problems and solutions laid out in a visual way so you can make a good decision. Try critical thinking without the grid once you become more confident in your critical thinking skills. You'll find that with practice, you'll automatically begin thinking of problems and solutions when presented with a situation, without the help of seeing the questions and suggestions written out.

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