Higher order thinking has been the buzz word, um phrase, for a while. Throughout the year my students have been accustomed to explaining the “why” and “how” of things. But today, something special happened. Not only were the students wholly engaged in the lesson, they were determined to make me see their point of view. I was introducing the concept of capacity. Something that was supposed to be a 5 minute “engage” activity ended up taking the entire hour! But that’s another story for another day. By the end of the hour, we were trying to figure out how many cups of rice would fill a pitcher. It was 12. Then we wanted to see how much rice would fill a cup. So, of course, I grabbed my spoon. It was 15. I wrinkled my brow and gazed up to the ceiling. “Hmm. It took 15 to fill the cup and only 12 to fill the pitcher. Oh, that must mean the cup can hold more than the pitcher. The cup has a greater capacity!” Boy, you should have seen their reaction. Heads shaking, fingers wagging, voices protesting. “You used a spoon, Ms. --! That’s wrong. That’s wrong!” That’s when I looked confused. “Okay then. Take out your journals and explain why I’m wrong.” You should have seen their entries. I know this isn't a groundbreaking technique but it sure is effective.