Wednesday, January 2, 2013

The Core Six

This year has been about one day at a time.  My priority over break, however was to finish a book for an upcoming book day at a time, or should I say one project at a time this year...I'm hoping that I can use some of what I learned in the presentation I'm giving to the science department.

The book, The Core Six, focuses on 6 strategies to use with students as we look to increase rigor to fall in line with common core.  The more I read about the ins and outs, the more I realize that rigor is one concept that is difficult to define.  This quick and informational read gives classroom strategies to increase the rigor and depth of knowledge that is at the forefront of educational reform.  For each of the 6 strategies, the authors give examples of it being implemented in classrooms.  It was the perfect tool for me since I'm a "show me" kind of girl.

One of the strategies that I used before break is called Inductive Learning. Students are given sets of words or "bits of information" and asked to sort them into meaningful groups.  (For those of you that use thinking maps, this and the other core strategies mesh really nicely and provide the opportunity to layer maps for deeper understanding.)  After time working with the words (and I allowed students to look up unknown words), students label their groups and then generate predictions or hypotheses about the learning topic based on the groups they've made.  Students keep a copy of their statements throughout the unit of study, but return to it when they have evidence to either support or refute their statements.  Students are asked to give examples next to the statement to provide their proof.

EASY strategy, nothing new, no materials needed, just a new tool for my toolbox.

The Core Six is available through ASCD (ebook, members price cheaper than Amazon) and Amazon(They have a preview).


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