Discuss and Defend

Conversation leads to better comprehension.  This age old adage is at the heart of what makes Cranium CoRE so successful and so different.  We live in an insane day of never ending testing and assessment while we all chase the holy grail of test score improvement in order to obtain more funding dollars from the government.  Unfortunately as a result, our students are not, typically today, given enough time to read aloud to each other much less have thematic discussions about what they read or how they think when defending a position they have taken related to the text.

This Cranium CoRE process of meta-cognition springs naturally and easily from the highly engaging activity of interacting with other players on your team while you compete against other teams in an academic, TV style game show.  One of the challenges we all face as educators is how to lure the students in our charge into this higher order thinking world as we compete with really enticing things that take them away from the same.  Anyone alive and over fifty years of age today can look back and clearly see the effect television has had on our society, both good and bad.  It is no stretch to connect the advent of videos, video or computer games, game-boys. etc. to the mental lethargy we now witness in our students.  More specifically, our students have a difficult time converting text into images.  Their ability to imagine has been compromised.

It is time for change, don’t you think?  Education should be FUN.  It shouldn’t be easy though.  Cranium CoRE takes these two, seemingly at odds, concepts and mixes them in an elegantly simple recipe for life long success.  When given a chance, our students really like to read and talk about what they think and feel after reading part or all of a good book, fiction or non-fiction.  Cranium CoRE enticingly moves even the most disengaged students across a threshold into what for many of them is a whole new world of thinking about how they think (meta-cognition).

Granted, Cranium CoRE can be effective at increasing comprehension if you just let the students play the game and compete as teammates against other teams.  The well-written H.O.T. (higher order thinking) questions are that good.  If you stop there, however, and do not engage these students in a discussion to defend their answers, you are missing a huge opportunity to take them to another stratospheric level of thinking. 

Let the games begin!!