Building critical thinking in Texas classrooms

June 13, 2019 | Mentoring Minds

At the Texas Elementary Principals and Supervisors Association (TEPSA) Summer Conference, K-12 publisher Mentoring Minds, unveiled ThinkUp! for Texas educators. Aligned 100 percent with the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS), this dynamic supplemental resource is embedded with proven strategies to prepare students for success throughout their academic careers.

Available for math, science, writing, English/language arts and reading (ELAR) in both print and digital formats, ThinkUp! provides educators the tools needed to deepen student engagement and help establish a culture of critical thinking in the classroom.

The new, highly interactive digital platform features web-based curriculum to make it easier for teachers to prepare and deliver instructional content while engaging their students in new ways. Focused, rigorous, interactive questions and individual and small-group activities help students master the standards and bring learning to life. The print and digital bundle for ThinkUp! provides instructional flexibility, offering educators the opportunity to plan curriculum anytime, anywhere.

Core to Mentoring Minds and the ThinkUp! product line are the 9 Traits of Critical Thinking. By incorporating these research-based nine traits – adapt, examine, create, communicate, collaborate, reflect, strive, link and inquire – into the classroom, educators can guide students towards more successful thinking and learning outcomes.

“Critical thinking is more important than ever in today’s classrooms, campuses, and communities,” said Shad Madsen, CEO of Mentoring Minds. “We are excited to offer these dynamic resources to students and educators in order to help them lay a powerful foundation for increased academic performance and success beyond the classroom.”

ThinkUp! ELAR, available for grades 1 to 8, and 1 to 5 for Spanish speakers, integrates activities designed to help teachers accommodate a wide range of learners and engages students through meaningful and authentic reading experiences. The teacher edition offers essential vocabulary and instructional strategies, while the student edition features full-length and grade-appropriate single and paired texts that meet TEKS genre requirements, including reading, inquiry, writing, speaking, listening, viewing and thinking.

ThinkUp! Writing, available for grades 4 and 7 (English only), has been designed to enhance writing proficiency, with an emphasis on focused practice and mastery of revision, editing and composition standards. The analysis and evaluation of model compositions teaches students practical and authentic applications of writing concepts and the scoring rubrics coach them to evaluate their own writing.

ThinkUp! Math, available for grades 1 to 8, and 1 to 5 for Spanish speakers, offers consistent opportunities for mathematical reasoning and problem-solving. The hands-on activities use manipulatives and images designed to link math to students’ everyday lives and vocabulary activities help develop math literacy while strengthening communication skills. The rigorous, standards-aligned content embeds problem-solving skills into lessons, placing an emphasis on not just the final answers but on the mathematical processes as well.

ThinkUp! Science, available for grades 3 to 8, and 3 to 5 for Spanish speakers, allows students to explore the wonders of science by connecting scientific concepts to the real world through hands-on activities and investigation. Each unit is organized by focus standard and includes engaging activities and interventions to support instruction, intervention and extension, with particular emphasis on scientific processes and concepts.

To see ThinkUp! during TEPSA, visit Mentoring Minds at Booth #200. For more information about ThinkUp! for Texas educators, visit Mentoring Minds.

About Mentoring Minds, the Critical Thinking for Life company

Mentoring Minds is a national K-12 publisher with a mission to put critical thinking at the center of the classroom in order to support student achievement and empower educators to teach to higher standards. Mentoring Minds’ award-winning, research-based resources are designed to be flexible for classroom needs, supporting technology integration and standards mastery for Math, ELA, and Science. Mentoring Minds’ commitment to education extends beyond the classroom, as well; the company proudly sponsors groundbreaking administrators across the nation and supports community-based education initiatives. For more information, call 800-585-5258 or visit mentoringminds.com.

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