Tuesday, December 11, 2012


With my first artifact I used the HEADLINES lesson.  Students were to assume the roles of newspaper reporters who went back in time and had to report a newly discovered process of photosynthesis.  I assumed the role of an editor and gave my reporters 10 minutes to generate a headline. Students could work alone or with a partner to determine importance and look at the big picture.

This CONNECTED to what I already know because I place importance for students to see the big picture and understand why what we are learning in class makes a connection to their everyday lives.

I was able to EXTEND my thinking by using this as an engaging formative assessment to see if students are getting the big picture. The feedback informed me places that I needed to clarify any misconceptions.

A CHALLENGE for me is how to differentiate for students to complete the task.  Some students finish in just a few minutes, some students took way too long making it look nice rather communicating information.  Some groups wrote paragraphs rather than a headline.  


  1. It seems to me that this particular routine can be challenging because like you stated, children can focus more on presentation and the definition of something as opposed to the significance or "big idea" of a concept. I like how you stated it is a good formative assessment to see whether students are understanding the main idea. Perhaps to differentiate, one would have to have/use differentiated material from which to work.

  2. Jon, I recently reflected on Jeff's use of the Headline routine and realized that both of you used it as an engaging formative assessment. What a great way to listen to discussions and clarify misconceptions! I also enjoyed the way you set up the study for students to go back in time to interview about newly discovered photosynthesis. Clever! In third and fourth grade we are going to go back into Colorado History. :)

  3. I love seeing these headlines out in the hall by your room, Jon! Not only are they catchy, they totally infomed me (or any passerby) as to what you all were learning about! And, I think the kids did a really great job with them! I totally get the differentiation piece- that always seems to be the struggle we face: hard to balance those students most concerned with content vs. those who want it to be visually "perfect"... and then those who just want to get the job done! I would assume after using this a few times, the whole process may speed up. But what a great routine to use for a quick assessment!