Tuesday, April 3, 2012

How do students show they UNDERSTAND?

My principal has been leading us through a wonderful professional development on Differentiated Instruction by Carol Tomlinson and Jay McTighe.  One of the key points from today was how do you know your kids are understanding?

Carol Tomlinson says "Understanding comes as a result of actively thinking and processing information..."

"When we ask students to use their knowledge and skills in service of an understanding, then they can apply ideas, extend ideas, defend ideas.."

We just completed a project based lesson in which the kids became researchers about our three abolitionists - John Brown, Harriett Tubman and Nat Turner.  When they were finished with their research, they were asked to work with a group to show what they learned.  They were given these choices:
  • Create a game show or game format
  • Write and Act out a skit
  • Create a puppet show 
  • Design a poster
This go around, I had skits, a puppet show and many game shows.  One of my groups learned how to input questions on the smart board as part of their product while another made up a game where they rang a bell when they knew the answer.  Were the students engaged?  100%

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