Monday, May 6, 2013

I used to I think

Connect: While studying the Native American's of Colorado's past, I wanted to let the kids research and discover information on their own via a great website we found for Colorado history. In doing this, I still wanted the kids to be deeply thinking, asking questions, activating their background knowledge and making inferences as they looked a the photographs and read the captions.

Extend: Before we even got on the website kids organized their notes by sections of Native American history. Then, they went through and wrote what they know today (what I used to know) and what I know now (now I think). By activating their background knowledge they filled in what they already knew. As kids explored the website on the Ipads they jotted down noticings. Finally, students reread their notes, determined what was important, thought about how their thinking changed, and filled out the 'now I know'. Overall, I think students were rather amazed at how much their schema grew from looking at the website and conversing with their partners. It is really powerful to see-especially for some of those kids who were apprehensive to write they didn't know anything or very little about a topic before we began. What a great visual.

This seemed like such a natural way to use this routine because when we're reading to learn new information  our thinking is changing so much. I've struggled with how to help kids realize what they thought before reading, researching, etc. Hence, that is why we wrote what we knew today prior to looking at the website. Hopefully, that will change over time. I also can't help but think about how our study of synthesis ties into this as well. Maybe kids will embrace more of their evolving thinking rather than feel inadequate. Perhaps someone else has been successful with helping kids truly reflect on their evolving thinking after the fact, not during?

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