Thinking Maps/16 in Beers/Planning for All of our Students

This is a good site to investigate the thinking maps Jackson and Cooper discuss in ch. 16. Do check it out. How might you use a thinking map(s) in a lesson you are planning? Or to assess any of the six facets of understanding?

I wanted us to read 16 as we plan our unit lessons for obvious reasons. One is that Jackson and Cooper’s focus on a “pedagogy of confidence” reminds us that we need to be considering ALL students’ learning in our planning and two we need many many tools to teach and to assess the six facets of understanding (UbD).

Not too long ago I received an email from a student teacher who said:

“I am having somewhat of a difficult time because I really take to heart when students do not complete the work. I was commenting on their drafts this weekend, and I suddenly felt very pressured. How am I going to teach these students how to write perfect stories in a week and a half? Well, I know that’s not realistic, but I’m honestly starting to feel worried because they still need a lot of work. I was shocked…some of my students don’t even know how to write a sentence. I had a student that wrote a half a page before she used any type of punctuation. How do I really help these students? I am finding that the gap between my students is LARGE. How do I teach my more advanced students how to polish their papers while I have a group that can’t write a complete sentence?”

Keeping all of your students in mind as you plan does NOT, however, mean your expectations for student achievement should be any less challenging. Note what ch. 16 says about dumbing it down! Death to student engagement. KES


1 Comment

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One response to “Thinking Maps/16 in Beers/Planning for All of our Students

  1. jmdegan

    I’m going to respond to the ST by way of making a point about the problem of teaching all students.

    You don’t teach them to write perfect stories. You take baby steps. Get students to improve on one or two major problems, then you work from there. Offer workshop time for individual conferences to identify with the student what their strengths and weaknesses are. Teach multiple mini-lessons, covering the grammatical errors that you commonly find as well as editing techniques. This gives you the ability to address major problems while also giving instruction to students who have advanced beyond those issues. I think it’s okay to have different expectations for different students (and this is my problem with standardizing learning outcomes)- not lower expectations, but developmentally appropriate goals for student improvement.

    J. Degan

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