Kick Start Your School Year with Critical Thinking

The next idea I would like to share is a new one that I recently learned about over the summer while completing training for a math group I joined in my school district called Math Rocks. The website is called “Which One Doesn’t Belong?” The basic idea is to share a picture with your students and discuss which picture or element of the picture does not belong. Here’s the beauty of it: There is no right or wrong answer. As long as students can justify their response, their answer is correct. Here are some ways you can use this in your classroom: 

  • Display a picture. Have students determine which one doesn’t belong. Designate a corner of the room for each picture. Ask students to go to the corner of the room that represents which picture/ element they believe doesn’t belong. Once students meet-up in their chosen corners, students discuss their reasoning for why their picture doesn’t belong. Then have the groups share-out.
  • Display the picture. Challenge individuals or small groups to determine why each picture could be the one that doesn’t belong. As a class, share your reasoning.
  • Display the picture. Designate a corner of the room for each picture. Randomly select students to go to each corner. Then ask students to go to their assigned corner. Once students meet-up, have them determine a reason why their picture does not belong. 
  • Have students determine a picture to add that would complete the set (depending on their “rule” for the set.).
  • Have students determine an object that would not complete the set (depending on their “rule” for the set.)
  • Have students create their own “Which One Doesn’t Belong?” picture. Use the pictures throughout the year to challenge your students. 
Hint: The best way to display the pictures is to screen shot the page and then using an editing tool, like Paint, to crop the picture. 

Super Cute Idea: Play the Sesame Street song “One of These Things is Not Like the Other” while students are thinking about their response or have them sing the song while moving to their designated corner of the room. Click here for a short YouTube version of the song and/ or a simple example of the “Which One Doesn’t Belong?” activity. 
Picture of Shametria Routt Banks

Shametria Routt Banks

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.