This year I have made a deliberate effort to encourage students to pose more questions, believing that this gives me a better insight into students’ thinking. On Friday, during a Geography lesson, I saw the benefits of this. In planning the lesson I had decided to model reading the climate statistics of Adelaide, so that students could then explore the climate statistics of their chosen country.
I presented the following table and graph:
I had planned to pose questions like:
- What is the highest average maximum temperature? When does this occur?
- What is the lowest average maximum temperature? When does this occur?
- What is the average rainfall for June?
Instead I referred to the data and got students to pose the questions. They asked much higher order questions, such as:
- Who collects the data? – Do they record accurately or can they manipulate the data if they are climate sceptics? (This wasn’t worded in this way, but it was what they were getting at.)
- How accurate is the data?
- What is the area related to the rainfall? How does this affect the data collected?
- Has there been major differences between the climate each year?
- After looking at the average temperatures, and knowing that the temperature can be much higher than these in Adelaide, one student thought that the statistics may be different if the last few years’ data was used, rather than the previous 30 years.
- Is the data reliable?
- When was it recorded?
- Who recorded it?
- Why is January the hottest month and has more rainfall than February? – February is usually hotter isn’t it?
- Why does the minimum temperature follow the maximum? (Recognition of pattern)
- Why does June have the highest rainfall?
I will continue to encourage students to pose and answer their own and others’ questions.
What sort of questions are your students posing?
What does this show you about their thinking?
Differentiation can occur in regard to:
- intervention – role of adults and students
- journey – how
- process – ways of access
Frameworks – useful reference points
- Blooms Taxonomy
- SOLO Taxonomy – Structure of Observed Learning Outcomes
These structures/ quadrants can be used to allow students to choose a suitable pathway forward, depending on their current level of understanding.
||4. Draw your own…
|Double my number using cubes
Solve the word problem on your table.
Do it using a different method.
|Double muddle! Correct my mistakes.
Gold coins are doubling in the pirate chest.
Using scaffolds – (providing floors not ceilings!) – structure thinking to make meaning
- True/False cards
- Card sorts
- Venn diagrams
- Double Bubble
- SOLO Maps
- Hexagons – connect concepts through the use of subject specific vocabulary
|Blooms Taxonomy Cognitive Level
||Type of Activity
|Evaluate and Create
||Cause and Effect
Through listening to the discussion generated by students working in pairs/ groups on these scaffolds teachers can make judgements about misconceptions/ further challenges needed. Questioning students to build on their ideas, and then allowing time, directing them to resources and peers who can help them, without just explaining answers, can empower students more. Also expecting students to respond orally in fully developed sentences, using appropriate vocabulary, will provide practice for more developed written responses.
A space which students can go to to access further resources/ support structures,
- key word lists
- technoloical support, devices – ipads, tablets, computers
- text books/ revision guides
- graphic organisers
- sentence stems
These can be utilised individual or in pairs.
The aim is to enable all learners, including ourselves, to improve.
Danielson: Domain 1
|Domain 1: Planning and Preparation
||Outcome-Driven Instructional Leadership Team Practices
|1a. Demonstrating Knowledge of content and pedagogy
||Providing time for teachers to understand research base of lesson design
|1b. Demonstrating Knowledge of students
||Providing regular collaboration opportunities around automated assessment data and student work with colleagues who share cohort of students and with instructional leaders who are accountable for outcomes
|1c Setting Instructional Outcomes
||Providing alignment documents and pacing guides aligned to other instructional resources, developed in collaboration.
|1d Demonstrating knowledge of resources
||Providing time for macro planning to ensure successful launch, meaningful integration, and continuous improvement of teacher knowledge, skill and practice.
|1e Designing Coherent Instruction
||Providing time for macro-planning to ensure successful curriculum development, meaningful integration of resources, and continuous improvement of teacher knowledge, skill and practice.
|1f Designing Student Assessments
||Providing time to collaborate around larger projects and assessments to benchmark progress.
Marzano Design Questions
- What will I do to establish and communicate learning goals, track student progress and celebrate success?
- What will I do to help students effectively interact with new knowledge?
- What will I do to help students practice and deepen their understanding of new knowledge?
- What will I do to help students generate and test hypotheses about new knowledge?
- What will I do to engage students?
- What will I do to establisher maintain classroom rules and procedures?
- What will I do to recognise and acknowledge adherence and lack of adherence to classroom rules and routines?
- What will I do to establish and maintain effective relationships with students?
- What will I do to communicate high expectations for all students?
- What will I do to develop effective lessons organised into a cohesive unit?
Classroom: Differentiation and Coverage
What are we as instructional leaders doing to create the conditions for success for learning?
||As a team, have you determined the underlying skills and concepts and the smaller chunks?
||Have you designed the appropriate active learning strategy to match the learning task?
||Have you created spaces for active learning, self-pacing, additional help?
||Do you have products that support this work?
||As a team, are we providing enough time to go deep and differentiate appropriately?
Danielson: Domain 2
|Domain 2: Classroom Environment
|2a. Creating and Environment of Respect and Rapport
|2b Establishing a Culture for Learning
|2c Managing Classroom Procedures
|2d Managing Student Behaviour
|2e Organising Physical Space
Empathy Zones – opportunities for students to work in different spaces depending on their emotional state
“I think I understand”
“I don’t understand”
“I feel great and social”
“I feel ok but not great”
“I want to be left alone”
Planning: Operationalising Teams for Learning
What are we as instructional leaders doing to create the conditions for success for learning?
||As a team, how are you determining what students should know and be able to do and helping each other to create it?
||As a team, have you determined a good way to help students capture data and establish a good routine for using it?
||As a team, are you celebrating success?
||As a team, do you have a common resource that can support this work?
||As a team, are you allocating the necessary time to the looking at student work samples as one of the keys to monitoring progress?
Danielson Domain 3
|Domain 3: Instruction
|3a Communicating with Students
|3b Using questioning and discussion techniques
|3c Engaging students in Learning
|3d Using Assessment in Instruction
|3e Demonstrating Flexibility and Responsiveness
Danielson Domain 4
|Domain 4: Professional Responsibility
|4a Reflecting on Teaching
|4b Maintaining Accurate Records
|4c Communicating with families
|4d Participating in the Professional Community
|4e Growing and Developing Professionally
|4f Showing Professionalism
Differentiation can be in terms of:
Task: How we allow appropriate access to the learning for the students.
Outcome: How students communicate their learning.
Intervention: The roles undertaken by the teacher and others doing the learning.
Route: Allowing students different journeys through the learning.
In a study by Steven Boyle and others, the following were identified as potential ‘good learning behaviours’ of students:
- Tells teacher when they don’t understand
- Asks teacher why they went wrong
- Tells teacher what they don’t understand
- Checks work against instruction, correcting errors and omissions
- When stuck, refers to earlier work before asking teacher
- Checks personal comprehension of instruction and material. Requests further information if needed
- Seeks reasons for aspects of the work at hand
- Anticipates and predicts possible outcomes
- Plans a general strategy before starting
- Explains purposes and results
- Checks teacher’s work for errors; offers corrections
- Seeks links between adjacent activities and ideas
- Seeks links between non-adjacent activities, ideas and between different topics
- Independently seeks further information, following up ideas raised in class
- Seeks links between different subjects
- Asks inquisitive but general questions
- Offers personal examples which are generally relevant
- Seeks specific links between schoolwork and personal life
- Searches for weaknesses in their own understanding; checks the consistency of their explanations across different situations
- Suggests new activities and alternative procedures
- Expresses disagreement
- Offers ideas, new insights and alternative explanations
- Justified opinions
- Reacts and refers to comments of other students
- Challenges the text or an answer the teacher sanctions as correct
Points to explore further:
- encouraging/ structuring opportunities for students to pose more questions
- I see, I think, I wonder
- hinge point questions
- fingers, thumbs, mini whiteboards – visible thinking
- Can you – identify, explain, use a diagram, draw/ write your own…
- Concept cartoons – could I develop these from student reflections and common misconceptions?
Identify how to calculate volume of different rectangular prisms – Here are a variety of rectangular prisms. Calculate the volume of each. Check your answer. How accurate are you?
Explain to someone else how to calculate volume of different rectangular prisms – Write or orally record how you calculate the volume of rectangular prisms.
Use a diagram to explain how to calculate volume of different rectangular prisms – Draw a diagram to your ideal piece of fudge, how many pieces would fit in the package and a diagram to show the dimensions that the package would need to be. Calculate the volume of the single serve and the total package.
Write your own problem involving the calculation of volume of rectangular prisms. Record it for others to challenge themselves with.
Could students do the proposed assessment(s) well but not really have mastered or understood the content in question?
Could students do poorly on the specific assessment(s) but really have mastery of the content in question?
Could students do all the designer-proposed activities in Stage 3 but not really be ready to explain/ justify/ infer meaning or transfer their learning as demanded by assessments in Stage 2?
Could students do all the proposed activities in Stage 3 but still be ready to handle tasks in Stage 2 that require higher-order inference and other kinds of meaning-making?