When differentiating, it’s helpful to note where on the “spectrum of abstraction” your content lies. Then, see what happens when you move that content to be more abstract or more specific. It often unlocks lots of new opportunities for thinking.
All AboutBlooms Taxonomy
90 years ago, Alfred North Whitehead used the term “the inert knowledge problem” to describe an issue he faced while teaching. I’ll bet you’ve seen the same thing…
A deeper dive into the question: “How often are students really thinking compared to just remembering?”
A simple test for any task: does this make my students really think or merely remember? It sounds silly, but the more I consider it, the more interesting this distinction gets.
I’ve been revisiting this lovely excerpt from Carol Ann Tomlinson’s article “Meeting Needs in Regular Classroom” and a few words really stood out to me…
You can use the prompts of depth and complexity yet still ask very shallow questions. Here’s how to avoid this common pitfall…
The bracketed tournament isn’t just for college basketball. Set up a tournament to determine best president, state, element, or literary character and challenge your students to make interesting judgements.
It’s easy for science instruction to linger in the bowels of Bloom’s Taxonomy as we try to cram everything into the tiny time allotted. However, isolated facts don’t inspire our students. Let’s set up units that invoke creativity but demand knowledge.
Science should be more than memorizing facts. Let’s spice it up and push our students from the doldrums of remembering to the soaring heights of evaluation. While it’s true that this will take longer than just following a textbook, we’re not just teaching facts, we’re equipping students with the ability to make well-informed judgements.
Some little genius might suggest the environmental impact of creating bricks versus using the easily renewable sticks and straw. Perhaps there is a negative economic effect of using bricks for a house. Now students can evaluate the choice in a whole new light. And all we did was add a couple words to the question.