Helping students become critical thinkers is an important goal for educators.

By providing students with the strategies they need, and asking more than just surface-level questions, teachers can motivate students to dig up background knowledge and make connections to real-world scenarios. This helps to make learning more memorable and meaningful.

To be critical thinkers, students need to be able to identify, analyze, and evaluate information, and present convincing reasons in support of their answers or thinking. This requires a set of essential skills, including communication and information skills, thinking and problem-solving skills, interpersonal and self-directional skills, and collaboration skills. These skills are necessary in any field and at all levels of education.

One way to help students develop critical thinking skills is to ask thoughtful questions that require sound reasoning, and to shape students' thinking through conversations and communication. Educators can also promote critical thinking by beginning lessons or units with probing questions, encouraging creativity, and using real-world scenarios in the classroom.

In addition, educators can encourage critical thinking by providing opportunities for students to work on projects and engage in problem-solving activities. This can involve encouraging students to ask their own questions and explore their own interests, as well as giving them the freedom to make mistakes and learn from them.

By promoting critical thinking in the classroom, educators can help students develop the skills they need to be successful in their academic and professional careers.

VRCORE' approach to Critical Thinking Skills using Activity Bubbles

Immersed tackles these objectives by various means, and today we will discuss our use of "Activity Bubbles".

Activity bubbles are a 10' virtual "Bubble" that 3-5 students enter and tackle a specific problem. This could be rearranging the solar system to it's correct order, or looking into the variables surrounding the water cycle, etc.

These bubbles allow students to work collaboratively with a small group of their peers, encouraging the sharing of ideas and open communication.

In these activity bubbles, students can focus on identifying problems or questions that can be tested, forming hypotheses, manipulating variables, and gathering information. This type of hands-on, investigative learning helps students develop critical thinking skills, as well as the ability to work together and communicate effectively.

Additionally, these activity bubbles provide an opportunity for students to practice skills that are essential for success in the scientific community, such as collaboration, communication, and open-mindedness. By engaging in these activities and working with their peers, students can learn to respect each other's ideas and be open to exploring new concepts and perspectives.

Overall, activity bubbles in the gymnasium can be a valuable tool for teaching students important skills and encouraging hands-on, interactive learning.