This strategy is based on the “I used to think…. Now I think…” Visible Thinking Routine, developed by Harvard’s Project Zero. It challenges students to reflect on their own thinking as it relates to the content being addressed in a topic or unit of study. This type of thinking requires students to carefully consider their preconceptions and how their thinking changes over time.
The Spotlight on Strategies Series (SOS) on the Discovery Education site includes a wealth of pedagogical and practical strategies for the use of the digital resources from Discovery Education in the classroom. Each weekly strategy is different– some are for introducing a topic, others target collaboration, and still others provide a path to an assessment project or
tephen Toulmin identified six specific elements of a persuasive argument. You can teach students to identify and create an effective argument using Toulmin’s elements. This model begins with a claim, the grounds or data to support the claim, and a warrant that links the grounds to the claim. Other elements include the backing, which provides additional support for the warrant; qualifiers, which may be included to strengthen the data through words like always, most, sometimes; and rebuttals, which include counter-arguments.
Robert Marzano’s research supports the use of non-linguistic representations to bolster student comprehension of material. An example of this is time-sequence patterns, which give students a chance to organize events in a speci?c order. Putting events in a sequence is also an important skill that students will use throughout their lives. Get in Line helps students understand the order in which events happen, which will assist in long-term retention of the information.
This cooperative learning technique allows students to review information with their peers by asking and answering questions. Working with peers in a collaborative manner builds confidence, encourages greater participation, and leads to thoughtful discussions (The Teacher Tool Kit). Student engagement increases, and information is better retained, when students discuss and assess each other.
According to research by Eric Jensen, author of Teaching With the Brain in Mind, most neuroscientists believe that movement and cognition are powerfully connected. Students remember new material on a more long-term basis when movement is combined with the content. In this strategy, students will create physical movements to match information being taught, increasing the likelihood that students will retain the material for a longer period of time.
“We all know exercise is good for the body. But it’s incredibly good for the brain, too. Exercise zaps harmful stress chemicals. It boosts problem-solving, planning, and attention” (Brain Rules). The Conga Line is a fun strategy that incorporates physical movement into lessons allowing students to move out of their seats and communicate with other members of the class.
Kwanzaa, an African-American celebration of harvest and community, is celebrated from December 26 to January 1 each year. Many students are not familiar with Kwanzaa. Use a Collage created with digital images to help your students build background knowledge about this celebration.
For those in the Northern Hemisphere, Tuesday, December 22 marks both the shortest day and the longest night of the year. At this point in our calendar we officially shift from Fall into Winter. It is also when we look ahead to the days becoming progressively longer, meaning that the warmth and light of Spring is ahead.
Are your students exploring different holidays this season? Hanukkah is one that they will most likely encounter. Help frame their exploration of the Jewish Festival of Lights by using the Think, Puzzle, Explore (TPE) SOS strategy.