The Inquiry Chart (I-Chart), developed by James Hoffman in 1992, provides students with a scaffold that guides them in using multiple sources to research a topic. As students collect information about a topic, they use the I-Chart to record what they find. The chart helps them think critically about the results of their research, especially when they find discrepancies between two different sources of information. It also supports students in their efforts to synthesize multiple sources of information into a cohesive and meaningful product. Teachers have found that I-Charts are suitable for whole class, small group, or individual inquiry, making them a versatile tool in a variety of subject areas and grade levels.
Today’s students will be tomorrow’s reporters. Allowing them the opportunity to explore a period from the past and piece together key people and events from the time, helps students build essential research skills.
This week’s SOS Story comes to us from Lodi, California. With DEN Star and Ambassador Lead Martha Snider at the helm, this group of nine DEN Ambassadors took the SOS challenge and ran with it! Each member of the Ambassador group not only tried SOS in the classroom, but also agreed to share what they did so that we could celebrate and learn with them. Here are their stories.
A robust vocabulary is key to developing an understanding of any topic. Without language, we have no way to express what we understand, what we know, or how we feel. Many educational studies show that vocabulary development comes from reading a wide and varied range of texts, but there are instances in the classroom where we need to provide further opportunities for students to develop their language on a topic: when they are learning English as an additional language, when they find it difficult to retain information, or just because it is a completely new topic or concept. This strategy has been adapted from the board game Tension. It is a fun way to stretch students to develop their vocabulary and, in turn, boost their comprehension and their ability to express themselves clearly and meaningfully.
The Z Chart is a graphic organizer that helps students summarize information using linguistic and nonlinguistic representations. According to research done by Robert Marzano, “Psychologists believe that information is stored in memory in two ways: in words (linguistic) and in images (nonlinguistic).” Nonlinguistic representations can include visual images and organizers, auditory experiences, kinesthetic activities, videos, computer simulations, etc. Graphic organizers are one tool to help students make connections with and summarize information.
DEN Star Peter Panico uses SOS Shake It Up Baby and Music Video to get his students moving while they learn content.
Francie Snyder, a teacher from Manatee County, Florida, likes to combine several strategies, resulting in a powerful SOS mashup.
In order to effectively summarize information, students must learn to analyze it at a deep level. The 3-2-1 pyramid organizer helps scaffold students in learning how to make decisions about what information is extraneous and can be deleted or substituted, and what information is critical and necessary to understanding the topic.
Elizabeth Merrit used virtual reality and SOS Paper Slide to spice up a science vocabulary lesson. Read about the reaction she got from students and parents!
Listening, reading, and/or watching for key ideas and details is an important comprehension skill for students of all ages to master. Understanding what a media selection explicitly says allows a student to make inferences and take appropriate actions. The Sticky Back strategy encourages students to listen and observe beyond the obvious, reporting key ideas and details they observed -and hope their classmates did not!