Archive for the 'Think' Category

Learning Disease Epidemic: Textbook Dependency

Many students suffer from the academic disease of textbook dependency.  You can help cure your students of this affliction.

Symptoms:
Students
Are always looking in the textbook for answers
Never thinking for themselves
Cannot make connections between two concepts found in different chapters
When told to close the textbook and do an activity on their own,  they  show a wide range of emotions from a dazed look to high anxiety plus physical signs of mild to severe panic.

Sample cases:
1) A Modern Language  teacher asks his students to  find an Internet picture of a street scene in a country such as Ecuador  either on their Smartphone / tablet or print out the picture and bring to class.  When the teacher asks the students to talk about that street picture which is not in their textbook but based on the vocabulary in the chapter which they have reviewed many times, students show visible signs of agitation. Eyes are wide open as their mouths may be.  Visible nervousness. Inability to speak.  Students feel pressured. Pulse becomes higher.

2) When a Social Studies  teacher asks his/her  students to compare the Occupy movement to the American Revolution, students quickly look in the textbook’s  index and are shocked not to find Occupy listed. They  nervously flip through  the textbook pages.  Mild panic sets in. They cry out in emotional trauma, “It’s not in the book. What do we do?” Faces become red or pale, sweat may appear.

One cure:
Have the  students  do at least one activity beyond the textbook on a weekly or even better, on a daily  basis.  Scaffold their transition from the textbook to applying  the critical  information/concept.

The teacher can relate the learning goal to the real world.  He/She can  start small.

Example 1: In Modern Languages, before students talk about a street scene,  the teacher has them find either on their Smartphone/ tablet or print out a street scene picture and bring to class. The students identify the key street vocabulary from the book in the actual picture; they point to the object/person and say the word.  They review any words with which they had difficulty.  Then, without using their textbook or any review sheets, the students use the vocabulary in basic sentences to talk about the picture such as “There are many pedestrians in the street.  The cars stop at the stop light.”

Example 2: In Social Studies the teacher has students use their Smartphone/tablets or their home computers to find out what the Occupy movement is and what the movement’s goals are.  The teacher may start them off with some categories to explore such as purpose, method, etc.  The teacher has them create a similarity-contrast chart for Occupy and the American Revolution. Students use the chart as a basis for their critical thinking.

How do you move  your students from their dependency on the textbook to their  independent thinking?

I have many Spanish spontaneous speaking activities at Teacherspayteachers:  http://bit.ly/tpthtuttle

My formative assessment books:   http://is.gd/tbook

Use any Web 2.0 tool at any Level of Bloom’s Taxonomy, Don’t be Limited by Listings

I have been teaching for many years.  In fact, one of my earliest presentations was on “Using Print Shop at All Levels of Bloom” (the original Print Shop).  Therefore, whenever I see the listings that supposedly say what Web 2.0 tools works at what level of Bloom’s taxonomy, I become very confused. A few of the many such listings are http://www.usi.edu/distance/bloom%20pyramid.jpg, http://tsheko.files.wordpress.com/2009/03/visualblooms1.jpg?w=500&h=359, http://www.bcps.org/offices/lis/Reference/images/web_2_Bloom.jpg, and http://edtech2.boisestate.edu/candacemcenespy/Images/vectormap.gif There is only a very slight overlap among the listing, each usually puts the same Web 2.0 tools at different thinking levels.

Let’s look at Google docs which a few sites place at the lowest level of Bloom, Remember/Knowledge. Google docs can be used to help students recall information. However, it can just as easily be used to paraphrase the information (from the original Shakespeare to modern day texting messages), to apply/use information (How does Pareto’s 20/80 rule apply to this story? ), to analyzing/contrasting (How are these two poems the same? Different?), to evaluating (Which literature that we have read this year best expresses man’s inhumanity to man? Why?), and synthesize/creating (Write a short story in which you mock some modern day thinking or organization.)

Teachers determine how any Web 2.0 tool is used. They determine at what Bloom’s level they will use the Web 2.0 tool. If they want their students to be bigger thinkers, they will use the higher levels of Bloom. If the teachers want their students to remain in small thinking, they will use the lower levels.

The choice of what level to use any Web 2.0 is up to the teacher. At what level do you use each Web 2.0 tools? Do you consciously build up Bloom’s taxonomy with each different technology you use during a unit?

Tuttle’s formative assessment books:   http://is.gd/tbook

Using Modern Language (FL) Apps Even When …

I have written a blog about identifying and categorizing Spanish apps. As I’ve been thinking about the present state of modern language /foreign language apps, I’ve realized that the inadequacies of these language apps present great learning opportunities for our students.

Students can look at and do a vocabulary or phrase modern language app /foreign language app such as Learn Spanish ((Droid) or Hola (Droid)

Then

– Students can analyze what important vocabulary is missing from the topic and make a supplementary list. For example, the housing category may have tableware but not bed or chair.

– If the app only presents individual words, the students can create a meaningful target language sentence or question for each word. For example, for the word “lake”, the students may ask “What is your favorite lake?”

– Students can analyze what important phrases or questions are missing and can create those lists. They may see look at a “time”category but they find that the question “When?” is missing. They make up a question using that question word.

– They can analyze what important topics are missing from the app. Perhaps the app has housing and animals but does not have occupations and city places.

– They can see how many meaningful sentences they can create from the present vocabulary list.

– They can answer any questions given in the app. For example, they can answer “How much does this cost?” with the price of a shirt.

– They can rearrange the questions or statements to create a logical conversation about the topic.

– They can think of a typical language task for a topic such as having a dirty spoon on the restaurant table and use the existing sentences and add others to be able to get a clean spoon.

In this way, students go from consumers to producers. They analyze what they are doing to see what is missing. They think about critical vocabulary, phrases, and topics instead of simply doing a drill program. They do not just repeat but they answer or comment on. They build on. The students become language users!

How do your students deal with modern language apps that do not do everything  well?

My book, Formative Assessment: Responding to Your Students, is available through Eye on Education.

Also, my  book,  Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment, is available through Eye on Education.

Ideas Worth Spreading TED

Covey wrote about the need to sharpen our saw. TED certainly sharpens our mental saw.  TED is a nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading.  We learn from the passionate speakers at TED.   TED allows us to enter new worlds of thinking; we can  think bigger, think in new ways and make more connections.   TED speakers cover diverse topics such as  the world’s best whistler, the sound of the universe, the birth of a baby’s word, mesh, saving streams and rivers, using art to turn the world inside out, printing a human kidney, the new feminism, curating humanity’s culture, etc.  TED does reignite wonder!

If you have not visited  the TED website or have not watched a TED video recently, go and watch any of these under 20 minute videos.  Pick a video at random.

I’ve started a sharpening-the-saw regime of watching one random TED video a day. I daily share insights from these videos with family and friends.  From watching TED videos, my little world of thought become bigger!

Will  you enlarge your world of thought through TED?

My book, Formative Assessment: Responding to Your Students, is available through Eye on Education.

Also, my  book,  Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment, is available through Eye on Education.

Why use technology at its lowest level?

A friend recently attended a conference that had many technology sessions for his subject area. He heard phrases  like “the technology motivates them”,  “the students  like being able to make choices about the background”, and “they like to create.”  He did not hear about how students learn  with the technology!  We have to move from the “isn’t this wonderful!” phase of technology  to the  “how does this increase student learning?” phase of technology integration.

His epiphany was made even more obvious when  he  realized that teachers had students use the lowest of learning  for the technology.  Students did Knowledge /memorization activities. They practiced the spelling of words instead of using/applying the words in sentences.  In another case, students used Wallwisher to write a simple phrase or sentence about the topic.  They did not have to justify  their statement.  They did not react to other students” phrases by agreeing or disagreeing. We can  structure the learning experience so have students think at the highest levels (Bloom’s)  through the use of technology!

How do you use technology in your classroom?

My book, Formative Assessment: Responding to Your Students, is available through Eye on Education.

Also, my  book,  Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment, is available through Eye on Education.

Web 2.0 Learning Only Works With Critical Learning

Web 2.o  allows students to have more access to information through the social interactions. Collecting information is not creating knowledge.  Some  of my writing students have a ton of information about a topic through Web 2.0 tools but they cannot put the information together in a coherent fashion. The problem is not access to information; the problem is thinking.  As we get more into Web 2.0, we need to get more into Critical Thinking.  Students need to be able to analyze, synthesis, and evaluate information (Bloom) . They need to be able to see information from various perspectives (Chaffee) and to think through various aspects of the issue  such as purpose and  consequences  (Noisch). If we want to “teach” how to use Web 2.o tools, then we need to teach Critical Thinking.  Instead of  Web 2.o courses/”new literacies” courses, we need “Critical Thinking with Web 2.0” courses. The thinking skills will be transferable as new tech tools quickly evolve.

Let’s focus on critical 21st century thinking skills so we can use Web 2.0 tools wisely!

My book, Formative Assessment: Responding to Students, is available through Eye-on-Education.

Reponding to Your Students

Apply the Heat to Learning

Another thought about putting plastic on windows to insulate the window. After putting the tape on the window and putting the plastic over the tape, the last step is to apply heat. The heat forces the plastic to attach itself more firmly and tightly to the tape. It changes the loosely fitting plastic to very tight and firm plastic.

How often do we apply heat to our student’s learning after they have had some basic instruction and practice? Do we present them with a challenging task that causes them to apply their learning to a high degree? Do we have them think at the analysis, synthesis or evaluation levels? Do we have them take their “book” learning and apply it to real life? Do we have them evaluate present conditions based on past ones? Do we apply heat to their learning?

How do you apply the heat to your students’ learning?

For any one who is interested in implementing formative assessment in the classroom, my book,
Formative Assessment: Responding to Students is available through Eye-on-Education.

DeBono’s Thinking Hats and Student Learning

This semester I have introduced and constantly use DeBono’s thinking hats in my class.  I ask students to put on their black critical analysis hat or to put on their green alternatives hat.  When a student asks a question, I identify which hat the student is using.  Ive found that using the 6 hats (white-data/facts; red- emotion; black- critical/negative; yellow -positive’s; green – alternatives; and blue – overview/process/reflection) creates a structured approach to their thinking about something.  I can say  “We think of other ways of doing this” so use your green hat.  Therefore, there can be no negativity, no emotion, no facts, no positive, only alternative thinking.  Students feel uncomfortable at first in compartmentalizing their thinking but they do become better thinkers.

How do you help your students to think more critically?

Mystery Object, Critical Thinking, and Pretest

I’m teaching a course in critical thinking to college students. I showed them a glass case, asked them to think of five questions to determine what was inside and then to write down the questions. Next, I had them get in groups of 5-6 and read aloud their questions. Then, I asked them to think about the answers of others and their own answers. Finally, I asked them to rewrite their questions based on the questions they had heard. I was amazed at how many students did not change their questions. 20 questions became 100 questions. They handed in their original questions,their reflection and their “revised” questions. I realize that pre-assessment revealed much about their critical thinking and the skills that I have to teach them.

Integrating Thinking Through Reading

As teachers we can incorporate many critical thinking through reading activities into our classroom. We can have students:

Annotate the text

Explain the context of the reading

Outline or Summarize

Predict

Ask questions about the text

Compare/ contrast to other readings

Connect to other readings or other things containing the ideas found in the text

Encouraging Student Errors

I believe that we have to encourage students’ to make errors since only when they make errors do they reveal their in depth thinking.  If students get a correct answer, we do not know if they remembered it from class, copied it from their textbook  or if they truly understood the concept. When they answer incorrectly, we can see their thinking- their misconceptions, their faulty logic,  and their lack of comprehension of the learning goal.  Once we see their errors and  diagnose the errors, then we can provide formative feedback to help them.  The feedback will be differentiated based on their unique answers.

Right answers do not reveal students deep thinking while errors do.

How do you engage your students in in depth projects where they can show their thinking and their errors?

Making a Think-Aloud: A Challenging Task

I’ve spend several hours this morning working on a think-aloud about writing a contrast paper that I will, hopefully, record tomorrow and post to YouTube. I have found that as I went to create charts to represent my thinking about how to write a contrast paper, I had to insert more details. I would have to stop myself and say, “What am I thinking now?” I had to add details one by one to represent how a student would think. What are three main differences? The first is … The second is… Also, as a teacher, I had to think of where the students were likely to make mistakes and to emphasize those points. For example, often writing students write down evidence without thinking of how it provides a contrast to the evidence already existing for a certain category.

It is a challenging exercise to do a think-aloud in which I, as a teacher, have to think through each mental step a student needs to make. I now realize that, in the past, I made some mental leaps in my instruction and I now understand why  numerous students did not leap with me.

Have you created a think-aloud?

Modeling Think Alouds with Emovie

How do we model the thinking for students so that they learn how to think in our subject area? We can do think-alouds in which we think aloud “When I.., I..”  or “What if ….” .However, if we do an in-class think-aloud then our students have nothing to refer to do as they work at home. What if we do an emovie of our think-aloud where they hear and see our thinking? We can show how we complete a graphic organizer or draw a model of something.  We could put the think-aloud up on Youtube, Teachertube, or our district server. Students can view our think-aloud so that they can develop the same thinking process. They will begin to think in a scientific fashion, a language arts fashion, a mathematical fashion, etc.

Quiz- Book’s answers or students’ in-depth thinking

I recently gave a quiz on a textbook chapter; they had done six exercises applying the ideas in the chapter. The ten item quiz had application and evaluation questions; I had taken the questions from the book’s test bank.

As each student came up with the quiz, I corrected it. Next I asked the students to reread the question and tell me their thinking for their answer. However, about 3/4 of the “wrong” answers were not “wrong” if you explored the students’ thinking. In one question, the book had the correct answer as the four steps in the negative message, a student reasoned that it was more important to think about your negative message first and then plan your four steps around it. I agreed with him. In another question, a student said that a certain positive word in one of the answers might go against the negative bad news so she selected another answer. Good thinking.

I was overwhelmed by how thoughtful they were in their thinking. They were “right”!

Some Free Concept Mapping Programs

Gliffy(Gliffy)

Thanks to Freeware resources, you and your students can use concept mapping programs in school and at home for free. You can map out your ideas and structure your higher level thinking activities.

Online

Bubb.us can create a bubble concept map with ease. Each box has several icons: + to move the icon; X to remove it; color icon to change the color; folder for a sibling folder; folder for a new child balloon; and a paper clip to attach a bubble to another bubble. It is quick to use. However, I did not see how to format the text. The maps can be exported. It is primarily text-based.

Gliffy Online allows you to create three private and unlimited public maps in the free version. Its many shapes are drag and drop. You can change the color of the font and the background of any shape. You can eliminate the background grid. To make it public, click on Share and Public. It appears the closest to the Inspiration program that many teachers are familiar with.

Download Program

Compendium uses a node metaphor. There are drag and drop icons for questions, answers (argument, pro, con) notes, and references (actual docs like pdf, PowerPoint, weblink), strategy, activity, etc. You can easily link from one item to another. Has a great tutorial.

Cmap tools permits a map within a map. A primary item usually has a proposition (phrase connecting one item to another). It is primarily text based. This program is supported by several universities.

Additional programs are briefly listed in Wikipedia

Now you can do concept maps at home, your students can do them at home, and you and the students can do concept maps on any school computer even if it does not have have Inspiration.

Map On! Think On!

© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007

——

Podcasts: Let Students Question and Let Listeners Learn

Podcast Questions

Most podcasts do not invite the listener to think about the topic. The listener is passive. The podcast seems more like a lecture than a dialogue.

The students can start off the podcast with an essential question about the topic or a critical problem such as “What impact is global warming having on you?”and then pause for about five seconds for the listener to think about the topic.

Your students can use a Question and Answer format about this higher level thinking topic. “Were you hotter than usual last summer?” “Was it due to a weather pattern or global warming?” Then they can give some possibilities about why it might be global warming. They can ask another question and offer some possible answers. They can frame their answers in the form of questions such as “Could it be….?” or “What does this image show you about the effects of global warming?”

You will have to model this format for the students and have them practice it. A good starting point is for them to identify what questions they have the topic and its impact on their lives.

Let’s change podcasts from boring mini-lectures to engaging thought provoking learning.This way not only do the students producing it learn the content to a high level of thinking but the listener also does. Share some examples of how your students cause others to think and question.

© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007

——————–


RSS Education with Technology

  • Tech Integration Teacher, What time is it? August 23, 2016
    When someone asks what time it is, that person wants to know the time, not the history of the clock, not how a clock works, and not what other types of clocks there are. Classroom teachers want to help their students improve their academic learning through technology. Sometimes they need help with technology so they go […]
    hgtuttle
  • Curriculum Focus, Not Technology Focus July 28, 2016
    In my public school career I have been a classroom teacher, a technology integration specialist and a technology administrator. In my technology role, I served under the Assistant Superintendent for Instruction. She had a simple mission: Improve students’ academic learning. My mission was equally simple: Improve students’ academic learning through technology […]
    hgtuttle
  • Students React to Digital Badges: Pros, Cons and Interesting June 22, 2016
      ISTE 2016 By Harry Grover Tuttle, Ed. D. College World Language Students’ Preferences Digital Badges – 52%        Paper Certificates – 48% World Language: Can-Do Digital Badges Digital Badges Pro- – Breaks down proficiency more – Shows all badges at once – Is more attractive – Is more appropriate since we use […]
    hgtuttle
  • Digital Badges: Naming the Badge October 29, 2015
    Once teachers have selected what learning and what digital badges (individual or category badges; see previous blog), the teachers encounter another decision. What will they name each badge? Will they use the full name of the Common Core Standard or the national proficiency? For English, under “Speaking and Listening,”will they write out SL.2 “Integrate and […]
    hgtuttle
  • Digital Badges: Better Than Grades? October 19, 2015
    Teachers understand that the grade in a course consists of many different factors such as homework, participation , projects, tests, etc. Blodget observes that sometimes grades reflect attitude, effort, ability and behavior (http://www.academia.edu/9074119/Grading_and_Whether_or_not_Grades_Accurately_Reflect_Student_Achievement). Equally important, a letter […]
    hgtuttle
  • World Language Students Use of Mobile Devices in the Classroom October 5, 2015
    Do world language students use technology n the classroom? Do their  teachers go beyond having their students use technology simply for the drill and practice in vocabulary and grammar? Students can use laptops and mobile devices to hear authentic language, read authentic texts, read tweets about famous performers, see up-to-the-moment culture,  watch video […]
    hgtuttle
  • Digital Badges: Individual or Categorized Learning Badges? September 12, 2015
    The idea of digital badges sounds appealing for the digital children in classes. As teachers start thinking about digital badges, they have to figure out what badges will be awarded. The teachers can award social or academic badges. If teachers decide to use academic badges, then the teachers may base their badges on the Common […]
    hgtuttle
  • English +Common Core +Mobile = Success (ISTE2014 Poster -details) June 30, 2014
    Here are the ten examples I showed at my English + Common Core  + Mobile ISTE 2014 Poster Session: Based on CCSS Anchor Statements: L.2 Take a Conventions Mobile Online Quiz  to pick the  incorrect sentence from four choices (capitalization) SL.2  Evaluate audio recording of a  book chapter on mobile and predict for next chapter. […]
    hgtuttle
  • Global Cultural Learning Using Mobile Devices (ISTE Mobile MegaShare Presentation) June 28, 2014
    Based on my presentation at ISTE 2014 Mobile Megashare Why teach about other countries? Location: Large view to small on maps. Culture or culture. Find six similarities in a  mobile picture from another culture (“Wars are caused by differences, not similarities.”-Tuttle.) Tell one piece of information from each different Internet visual from a place in that […]
    hgtuttle
  • English + Common Core + Mobile = Success in Learning Poster Session at ISTE 2014 June 25, 2014
    In my ISTE Sunday 8-10 am poster session, I demonstrate many diverse mobile activities to help students achieve the English Language Arts Common Core Anchor Statements through mobile devices. The mobile activities focus on free common tool apps that are available on both the Android and the iPad. The students use the apps as a seamless […]
    hgtuttle

Blog Stats

  • 794,746 hits