Wednesday, October 5, 2016

My new venture

Do you know about the Teachers pay Teachers (TPT) website?
Visit me here
Thinking Challenges

Team Jigsaw part1

Want something different for the new term  to encourage and show student learning in your classroom?  A team jigsaw approach supports classroom differentiation in action and is simple to set up. It can be used in a wide range of curriculum areas. Divide students into groups of 4 or 5 with each group having one comparatively advanced learner and one learner who needs to work at a basic level. The rest of the group is made up from mid-range ability learners. The goal is for each group member to become an expert on one of the specific tasks that you have set. The tasks need to provide challenge within the ability level of the students, with several activities for each level to choose from. Levels are based on Bloom’s taxonomy.

BASIC level challenges are mostly fact finding and application but they should also include some analysis to challenge the student’s thinking. Useful verbs to develop activities: apply, choose, collect, discover, draw, explain, predict,
Compare, name, identify, list, classify.
Provide a selection (or a single item, depending on ability) of articles/readings/  stories/ website links/ for the students to study. Have a selection of statements based on the facts.  Students decide whether statements are true or false based on the article/reading/  story/ 
1.       website links/ that they have found out about the topic and explain the reasons for their choice. (These are right/wrong responses and the answers are in the text or data)

Reason/ explanation
 True                   False          

 True                   False          

 True                   False          

 True                   False          

2.        Provide an article/ reading/ book/ website link/ for the students to study. Have a selection of inferences based on the facts.  Students decide whether inferences could be true or false based on the of article/reading/  story/ website links/facts that they have found out about the topic and explain the reasons for their choice. (Students may have a range of responses but they need to be able to justify them based on words/phrases/text/information that supports their response).

  Agree              Disagree

  Agree              Disagree

3.       Students compile a list of words (with definitions) from A-Z that have relevance to the topic and say where they can be found.

4.      Students find a reference from the set work for each square of a Noughts and Crosses (9x9) grid. The challenge is to complete three in a row. (vertical, horizontal or diagonal.) The following example is based on grammatical relationships but the activity could be adapted to suit the specific learning objectives

A word that has two meanings

An opinion

A fact

3 adjectives (describing words) from the text.

A synonym for …

4 different examples of punctuation

A list of nouns from the text, arranged in alphabetical order

An example of an interesting question about the text.

An antonym for …

1.       Think of some questions that you would like to ask the writer/ author of an article/book relating to the topic. Pretend that he/she gives you the answers and make a television report for the class.

MODERATE level challenges are a combination of fact finding, application and creative activities with an emphasis on analysing the facts and coming up with complex and creative ways of showing the learning. Useful verbs for developing activities… show, compare, change, classify, infer, select, survey, analyse, plan, create, consider
1.       What makes a/an … a/an …? (Link to the topic to  show understanding of the concept being studied)  Make a list of requirements in the style of a job advertisement.
2.       Study four different articles/readings/  stories/ website links to the topic  and try to find a pattern that you could use to recommend another of article/reading/  story/ website link that fits the pattern and the topic.
3.       Start with the answer and list five questions that might give that answer. This activity can be differentiated for higher level ability by adding the proviso that the answer given can be the ONLY answer to the question that is asked… then challenge others to find exceptions.
4.       Write your own article about the topic using facts that you have found. Be sure to acknowledge your sources.
5.       Create a ‘what do you think’ sheet and survey your classmates, then write up the results.