I welcome the healthy discussion. Then, I tell the story of the time I walked into my daughter's room as she was holding her pen in one hand and her phone in the other. I watched as she literally typed in the exact question from the worksheet and it spit out the answer, which she copied. When she saw me, she thought she was in trouble...I assured her she wasn't as I snapped a picture to put up on twitter.
What usually is concluded after they have all discussed, is this: Students have access to facts at their fingertips. Those things that we had to memorize, that was a bulk of our schooling, are easily found in seconds. I then interject that I played the game of school really well. I could memorize things for the tests and then it left my brain right after. Here is the sad reality, BOTH of my kids said the exact same thing to me this year. It's still happening! I received fantastic grades, but very little learning. Our students deserve better...MY kids deserve better. WE need to find a way to get things to stick to students. How do we create stickiness? Dave Burgess (Teach Like a Pirate) talks about creating experiences for our students. We need to be creating experiences for our students to DO SOMETHING with that googled information.
Here are some of my ideas (well they obviously aren't MY ideas, but these are what I use as I plan):
I show my session participants these three things. These are what I have in mind, whenever I am lesson designing. Notice I did not say "lesson planning". There is a difference. To me, a lesson plan seems very finite and rigid. Lesson design seems more fluid, adaptable and long term.
4 Cs: I am surprised at how many educators are unfamiliar with the 4 Cs. Maybe I was just lucky to have had a principal who worked hard with our staff to understand and implement the 4 Cs. If you don't know they are: Critical Thinking, Communicating, Collaborating and Creating. I have those as a running checklist in my head any time I am lesson designing AND working with either students or adults. *I like to run my professional development as a model to what a student centered classroom should look like. This is not to say that the 4 Cs are happening ALL the time, but it is important to be cognizant of what they are and how to foster that in the classroom.
Why are these skills important? These are the skills that transcend beyond the four walls of the classroom. These are the skills that students will need to survive "out there". Regardless of the subject, people need to be able to think things through critically, communicate their ideas, collaborate with others and create something with the information. It's that simple. We can do these things with our youngest learners.
DOK: Most educators are familiar with Webb's Depth of Knowledge, but it is sometimes misunderstood. I love a quote, that I have heard 3rd hand that originated from Shelley Burgess (Lead Like A Pirate) "We should live in DOK 2 & 3 and visit DOK 1 & 4. I read another version on Twitter: "DOK 2 & 3 are like your nuclear family, DOK 1 & 4 are like your in laws, you visit every once in awhile." I like these quotes because it does not say, "don't do", or "you have to do". They are talking about priority.
By having students spend a majority of their time in DOK 2 & 3, we are asking them to do something with knowledge. We are asking them to understand the skills and concepts and extend that thinking.
DOK 1, "recall and reproduction" is what I did in school. Memorize it and spit it out. These are your multiple choice, fill in the blank...worksheets. There is still a place for DOK 1 (a participant was quick to tell me that the CA Social Studies Standards 5.9 is "Students know the location of the current 50 states and the names of their capitals."). So until our standards catch up with our students' needs, we need to still teach these. BUT we do not need to spend a bulk of our time on these.
DOK 4, "strategic thinking" is tough. We WANT students to be working on this, but not ALL the time. Just like we wouldn't want to eat chocolate cake for every meal for a week. We don't want to burn these kids out.
There is plenty of research and opinions on DOK levels, but I think as long as we have an understanding as we plan students' experiences, they will be better for it.
Bloom's Taxonomy: Bloom's has been around for a long time. When I show participants the graphic for Bloom's I ask them: "What is the base of Bloom's? The biggest part?": Recognize. "Ok, and what is the smallest part?": Create. I then give them a "Call to action" to look at Bloom's upside down. I like to use Erik Francis's "Upside Down Blooms" graphic because it has sentence starters. We discuss what what students need to do if we start by asking them to create? In order to create something (meaningful and valuable), students will work through all of the other levels. And when I am talking about creating, I am not talking about an art project to hang up at open house. I am talking about creating an authentic artifact of learning. This could be a graphic, a video, an essay, a poster, a conversation...there are endless possibilities! I first heard of this idea of "Flipped Bloom's" from my pal, Jon Corippo and have been using it ever since!
I then like to end my soap box with Alice Keeler's quote: "We need to teach as if Google and Youtube exist!". Because they do! What are we going to do with it? NOW WHAT?
AND then...we get into the ideas, strategies and protocols to make this happen.
Mother, teacher, TOSA, GCE Level 1 & 2, Encourager of others.
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