Tools, Strategies, and Resources Used in the Critical Thinking Session

Tools and Strategies Used in the Creativity Session

  • Poll Everywhere: A free online polling service. Ask students questions and get answers back via text or online. Instantaneous formative assessment. Create open-ended or multiple choice polls.

  • Tagul: Tagul is a web service that enables you to create gorgeous tag clouds.

  • Modified Jigsaw: Students break into groups, and each person has a number. Then, like a jigsaw puzzle, each team member breaks away from their group to join all of the like numbers from another group. For example, Jackson is a #3 in a group of five students. When the teacher gives the signal, Jackson joins the four other #3s in the classroom to form an “expert” group. In the expert groups, each student learns about information that they will take back to their jigsaw group to share. The success of the jigsaw group is contingent upon each member’s expert knowledge that is brought back into the jigsaw. This is a great method of differentiation and a way to help students see each other as imparters of knowledge.

  • Graffiti Write: In graffiti write, students are provided a concept or topic and asked to write everything they know about a specific topic on chart paper, a white board, or other large sheet of paper. Their responses should look “graffiti-like.” Students should not write in straight lines or be forced to write in complete sentences. This is a brainstorming activity that can be used as a pre-assessment or a review. Teachers may opt to have students rotate through several stations and either add to or review the work of their peers. (See Gallery Walk.)

  • GIST: Students read a passage and highlight or determine the 7 most important words or concepts in the passage. (The teacher will provide a specific number of words from 5-10, but it is important NOT to go over 10. Students then pair to share their lists and come to consensus on the top 7 number of words. During this time, students will have to justify, explain, and evaluate the text in order to come to consensus. Once consensus is reached, the students then write a 1-2 sentence summary of their reading, incorporating as many of their important words as possible.

  • Tricider: Collect ideas and then vote on your favorite. Tricider makes it easy to share ideas as well as pros and cons that accompany each..

  • Google Docs: Create and share online documents, presentations, charts, etc. Also create online surveys that allow for easy data collection.

  • Animoto: Creating a music video from images couldn’t be any easier! With Animoto,, users upload images/video clips and choose music. The program does the rest by importing transitions, creating a visual slideshow that will remind you of a music video. Free registration allows you to create 30 second videos, but teachers can register to create full-length (3 minute) videos at no cost. Animoto can also be used by students to allow them an opportunity to express their knowledge/understanding.

  • Smore: Design beautiful online flyers and publish instantly.

  • Piktochart: Have graphics tell a story from your information. Infographics are an awesome way to tell stories out of data. With a lite set of professional design tools, Piktochart helps you create wow presentations to engage your web audience. Combine themes, shapes, icons, vectors, text, uploaded images, chart exporter (8 types of visualizations) to create the story you want.

Additional Resources Related to Creativity and Innovation

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“The resources provided during the course of this NCDPI training have been helpful to some educators across the state. However, due to the rapidly changing resources available, NCDPI does not represent nor endorse that these resources are the exclusive resources for the purposes outlined during this training."