Middle School
Cross-Curricular

Higher Order Thinking Skills in the Middle School Classroom

I love Bloom’s Taxonomy. I learned it as a student teacher, and I used it as a teacher and department chair. I even relied on it to evaluate teacher’s lesson plans as an administrator. I would always look past simple terms for the higher-order stuff, convinced that was where true learning was found. That’s why I wasn’t surprised when HOTS became a new trend in middle schools. If we want our middle schoolers to succeed in high school, we need to focus on this
A Collection By William O'Dea
  • 5 Collection Items
  • 5 Collection Items
  • Discussion
Higher Order Thinking Skills in the Middle School Classroom
  • ascd.org
    ascd.org

    How to Assess Higher-Order Thinking Skills in Your Classroom

    9 minute read
    William O'Dea says:
    I was confused when I first found this web page. In parts, it reads like an advertisement for a book on HOTS. Yet the page goes into great detail defining what higher order thinking skills are. I kept this bookmarked for parent-teacher conferences. Before each, I’d give this a quick read so I can answer the inevitable questions about what is HOTS.
  • William O'Dea says:
    Higher order thinking skills are one of those things that can be easy to understand and very difficult to explain. When my district mandated more HOTS in the classroom, I was worried how to show I was doing that. This .PDF of a slideshow was a lifesaver. Because it was a slideshow, terms and sentences had to be short and sweet. It even gave examples with Bloom verbs to make it easier to see in lesson plans and from students.
  • readingrockets.org
    readingrockets.org

    How to Increase Higher Order Thinking

    9 minute read
    William O'Dea says:
    One of the more valuable ideas I received from my teacher training was the use of non-examples to teach. It’s not like I didn’t know about them, but until I saw it explained, it never really clicked. When I read this long web page on HOTS, it finally clicked for me. I especially loved the beginning with different levels of questioning. Seeing how not to encourage HOTS in middle school students helps me see when I’m doing it right.
  • William O'Dea says:
    This is a new video for me but one that I wish I had seen earlier. (It just hadn’t been made yet.) It not only includes a teacher explaining how she brought HOTS into her 6th-grade classroom, but it shows the students actually asking critical questions and showcasing those skills. Research and bullet points are great stuff but give me a living example any day. It references Common Core a lot, but it can easily be used with any curriculum.
  • William O'Dea says:
    Yes, this is it. Sure, I enjoy reading theory and case studies. I want to know why something is good. That way, I understand how to use it with my students. This list is exactly the kind of thing I truly love. It gives concrete examples (with taxonomy) of learning objectives that support HOTS. It even breaks it down for Science, Math, and Social Studies. When you teach multiple subjects in middle school, these can be just what you need.
BloomBoard SparkOther Cross-Curricular
BloomBoard Asks:Why do you think HOTS is so important in today's schools?