Why Critical Thinking?

Critical thinking isn’t an “extra” to tack on the end of the day, and it’s not just for gifted students. When you teach critical thinking skills alongside the content, you give all students the tools they need to master concepts and strengthen their thinking—on assessments, throughout their academic careers, and wherever their dreams may take them. We wrote the book on critical thinking in the classroom and developed 9 Traits of Critical Thinking™ to help educators encourage a thinking culture at their schools.

Explore Critical Thinking in the Classroom: A Practitioner’s Guide >>

9 Traits of Critical Thinking

What does critical thinking look like? The educators at Mentoring Minds identified 9 traits that are characteristic of skillful critical thinkers: Adapt, Examine, Create, Communicate, Collaborate, Reflect, Strive, Link, and Inquire. By modeling and teaching these 9 traits across the curriculum, educators can build a thinking culture that supports student growth and achievement. These 9 Traits of Critical Thinking™ are embedded throughout ThinkUp!, our new collection of resources designed to build critical thinking skills.

Read about the 9 Traits of Critical Thinking >>

Introducing ThinkUp!

ThinkUp! Foundations guides teachers and principals with ideas for building a school-wide critical thinking culture and introducing 9 Traits of Critical Thinking™. Team ThinkUp! introduces students to the 9 traits through cross-curricular activities based on grade-appropriate concepts so they can learn to apply the 9 traits in context and reflect on their thinking.

Together, ThinkUp! Foundations and Team ThinkUp! help educators nurture the potential in every student and build a schoolwide culture of critical thinking to support student achievement.

Critical thinking is not going to go away. Standards can come and go but this foundation of deeper thinking is not going away. We’ve had Mentoring Minds’ teacher resources for 3 years now and they’re timeless. We’ve been very pleased.

Tara Dunsford
Instructional Coach
South McKeel Academy

The feedback we’re getting is ‘this is difficult,’ which makes me happy because then I know they’re being challenged. Not difficult that they can’t do it. Difficult in that we have to think. Difficult in that we have to look back into the text to answer a question. Difficult in that the math problem is asking for an explanation, not just the solution.

Emil Carafa
Washington Elementary