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Monday, January 24, 2011

New Research - What does it mean?  

To Really Learn, Quit Studying and Take a Test

"Taking a test is not just a passive mechanism for assessing how much people know, according to new research. It actually helps people learn, and it works better than a number of other studying techniques."

This article is based on several research studies.  Take a look and see if you can identify some of the strategies might be using to take a test!



Sunday, January 9, 2011

Engagement = Rigor?

Engagement is the current buzzword.
What many teachers do not understand is the relationship between engagement and rigor.
Depth of Knowledge is about intended outcome,  not difficulty of content.
Depth of Knowledge is a reference to the complexity of mental processing that must occur to answer a question, perform a task, or generate a product.

Dr. Valerie Dickerson created the following graphic to explain the relationship.

As you scan the pyramid pay careful attention to the activities that increase rigor and engagement.  They are easy to implement in any classroom - provided the teacher has established protocols for the students' interactions - including a time frame.
Note that the student's ability to explain his/her reasoning and logical thinking places the processing in the advanced stage.  Metacognition raises the processing significantly.

Engagement leads the way to comprehension and so rigor.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Teaching Meta-cognition Through Students' Mistakes!

Rigor is defined by higher level thinking - what strategies students use to answer a question.  Engaging in strategic thinking involves developing meta-cognition - the ability to think about (trace) one's own thinking.

Following is a link to a article to dealing with a process one math teacher used to develop meta-cognitve strategies with students by having them analyze their own mistakes.  I believe the same process is effective for all content areas.

She (Dulac) says, “We encourage the kids to be reflective about what they know and don’t know. We’re trying to get them to a level of meta-cognition so they’re thinking about how math works. If we tell them what’s wrong, it’s not as powerful as if they have to recognize their own mistakes and articulate the problem.”

Access the complete article at this link: Teaching kids to learn from their mistakes.