Here’s a pair of worksheets a teacher sent in.

While they certainly look more interesting than a bunch of practice problems, we have to go beyond the surface level and ask, **“How are we asking students to think.”** Where are we on Bloom’s Taxonomy?

**Each box in the pyramid is the sum of the two boxes below it.** For example, 3 is the sum of 2 and a “mystery number.”

Hopefully you can already see the problem. 😝

### This Is Low Level!

This is just a new way of asking “2 plus what equals 3?” **This is low-level thinking.** If I’m being generous, we’re at Apply on Bloom’s.

The teacher who sent these in noticed that his students enjoyed the puzzles at first, but quickly tired of them. “What’s wrong?” he wondered. Aren’t puzzles supposed to be fun?

So, I worked through the puzzles.

I felt exactly like the students. Initially, it was interesting. And then, once I figured it out, the worksheets became pretty boring. Because, at the end of the day, **it’s just practice problems masquerading as something more interesting**.

### So? What To Do?

Now, it’s fine to start at a low-level of thinking, as long as we build a sequence to climb Bloom’s taxonomy. But once a student fills this worksheet in, there’s nowhere to go. The task starts and ends at the same level of Bloom’s.

Now, Rookie Mr. Byrd would have made the mistake of leaping all the way up to ✨Create✨ I’d have asked my class to go from solving worksheets to making worksheets.

But then I’m skipping the all-important thinking skills of Analyze and Evaluate.

At Analyze (my favorite level of Bloom’s), students would look at multiple worksheets. They’d compare and contrast.

Once they’ve Analyzed, then they can Evaluate. They can wonder, “What makes a *good* version of this pyramid puzzle?” We could ask, “Does changing this box make the puzzle better or worse?” At Evaluate, they are learning to be critical of the topic.

Then, after they’ve Analyzed and Evaluated, **students are ready to go forth and make their own!**

I wrote more about why Analyze and Evaluate are critical to Creating.