Our purpose in writing this article is to set the stage for a series of activities that you can use personally or with your students to practice the strategies of the skilled thinker. There are many ways to conceptualize the organization of these skills. We have chosen to group them into the categories of gathering, assessing or considering, and applying.
Gathering skills can be thought of as discrete skills that are used to recall or collect bits of data that are thought to be useful in the pursuit of the solution to some sort of problematic situation. As the data begins to accumulate, the skilled thinker considers and assesses what has been gathered and begins to sketch out potential solutions. Often, additional gathering steps are required to fill in gaps. Application skills blend all of the pieces into a strategic attack on the problem at hand. (more…)