Critical thinking isn’t a skill, nor is it content knowledge or even evidence of understanding. While it involves and requires these ideas, critical thinking is also very much a state of mind -- a willingness and tendency to sit with an idea and ‘struggle wonderfully’ with it.
In critical thinking, there is no conclusion; it is constant interaction with changing circumstances and new knowledge that allows for broader vision which allows for new evidence which starts the process over again. Critical thinking has at its core raw emotion and tone. Intent.
The purpose of this product is to help students practice this slippery ‘skill.’ By having dozens of questions written generally enough to be widely applicable, but with an inherent rigor that challenges students to think, the ability to practice thinking critically is always available.
By making them cards, they are not only easier to ‘keep around’--on your desk, on a shelf in a workstation area, or even copied and given to students-- but more importantly, meaningful thinking can become a part of your daily routines. Writing prompts, reading circles, Socratic discussions and more all benefit from critical thinking, and providing students with stems is a way of supporting them as their confidence grows and their habits as thinkers develop.