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The Flexible Thinking Program

The Flexible Thinking Program includes activities that  build flexible thinking skills.

 

The activities are separated into five sections: ​

 

 

  • CROSSING THE MIDLINE

  • CHANGING THE RULES

  • ORGANIZING YOUR THOUGHTS

  • DIFFERENT WAYS TO THE SAME ANSWER

  • STOP-A-BILITY

Each section taps a  different aspects of flexible thinking. Practiced, in conjunction, they comprise a well-balanced plan to build flexible thinking skills. 

Crossing the Midline Activities

 

Impacts Reading (left-to-right fluency), Handwriting (fine motor), Body Movements (gross motor).

 

CROSSING THE MIDLINE activities encourage students to use both sides of his/her brain together. They generally involve physically crossing over the “midline,” an invisible line down the center of the body that separates the body into “left side” and “right side.” Crosses can happen with hands, arms, feet, and legs (e.g. “put your right hand on your left shoulder”). Practice in this area helps build the ability to coordinate one side of the brain with the other.

 

INFINITY SIGNS – students cross their mid-line by tracing, writing, then air-writing different sized infinity signs.

 

SIMON SAYS – students do a variety of physical movements that require concentration and mental flexibility. HAND TASKS – students do a variety of movements with their left and right hands doing the same, than different things.

 

 
 
 Changing the Rules Activities

 

Impacts Reading and Math skills.

 

CHANGING THE RULES activities are classic examples of set shifting. The student is asked to do a task then they must shift to doing it a new or different way.Successful learners are able to quickly and seamlessly shift their thoughts in novel ways.

 

COLOR SHIFT – students look at a sheet of words that name colors and follow the leveled directions as to how to “read” the words.

 

 DIRECTION SHIFT – students look at a sheet of colored arrows and follow the leveled directions as to how to “read” the arrows.

 

 SHAPE SHIFT – students look at a sheet of shapes and follow the leveled directions as to how to “read” the shapes.

SORTING – students sort a deck of 6 cards based on a variety of different characteristics.

 

 THE SET GAME – card game where students make “sets” (3 cards that are either all alike or all different in each attribute)

 
Organizing your Thoughts Activities
 

Impacts Writing and Math skills 

 

ORGANIZING YOUR THOUGHTS activities encourage students to stop, think, and organize their thoughts before they execute their plan. For example, they may want to “zoom out” and think about the big picture before they start going into details.

 

DESCRIBE AND DRAW –– leveled activity where students chose a picture to accurately and effectively describe to another person using only their words. The other person draws what the student describes.

 

 TOWER OF HANOI ––puzzle game where the student is challenged to move disksstrategically from one pole to another.

 

 

Different Routes to the Same Answers Activities
 

Impacts Math, Reading, Problem-Solving, and Social Skills.

 

DIFFERENT ROUTES TO THE SAME ANSWERS activities help students see that for many problems, there is not just one way to look at it or do it. These activities help the student open up to the possibility of taking different approaches to problem-solving.

 

OPTICAL ILLUSIONS – students look at and discuss a variety of optical illusions.

 

 MAPPING – students plot out multiple routes between two points on an actual map.

 

 

Stop-ability Activities

 

Impacts classroom transitions, homework, Math, and Social Skills.

 

STOP-ABILITY activities assist the student in the quick shifting of topics. Students will have to quickly “shift” their cognitive thinking in response to changes in the game.

 

TELEPHONE GAME - students have to shift quickly between topics when a different “telephone” rings.

 

 SPOT IT –– card game where you race to find the matching symbol between 2 cards.

 

 

 

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