This past week our elementary personnel received professional development in the areas of Extending and Refining Strategies from Learning Focused Schools. When I think of extending and refining lessons, I think of the incorporation of more higher-order thinking skills and questioning techniques. Abstracting, comparing/contrasting, classifying/categorizing, analyzing perspectives, inductive and deductive reasoning, and error analysis are all integral skills to be planned into lessons. We need to hone our students’ use of these skills, move away from simple recall and regurgitation of facts.
Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy has placed “Create” at the top, which seems completely magical to me, since I am a sort-of “artist” in my free time, and I’ve also seen the incredibly power of allowing children the opportunity to create something to demonstrate what they’ve learned. When they can create, they have learned. The other important thing to remember is that these skills, these “HOTs,” have to be PLANNED for. Yes, there are some dynamic teachers who can “run with” an idea a student has, and on-the-fly, allow students to delve into these critical skills. For the rest of you, please, please, PLAN on how to incorporate these extensions into your lessons and units. We need to model and support our students through their experimentation and creation for learning. Need help? Check out the amazing resource below that graphically represents the desired skills with example products and activities for use in the classroom.
Here are some additional Bloom’s taxonomy resources, including my faves, the Bloomin’ Orange and the Bloomin’ Butterfly. 🙂
Now go create something wonderful today!
Variety of Bloom’s resources: