Videos designed for teachers rather than students.
Depth and Complexity is a powerful, but often misunderstood, framework for teaching students to think more like experts.
My early lessons didn't even have objectives, let alone good objectives! Here's how to build four-part, differentiated lesson objectives.
Start with high expectations and scaffold down.
How can we ask questions that make students think rather than just remember?
What separates difficulty from complexity? And why do complex tasks lead to much more natural differentiation?
Research has been surprisingly unclear about whether high-level questions are actually effective What? The key is that high-level questions on their own aren't enough. We need to build sequences!
Why I don't use the word "Create" when writing objectives.
So many of us say, "I want to challenge my students!" But, that's probably not the best place to start.
How much time do students get to think? How much time do students need to think? How can we bring those into alignment?
After looking at dozens of lessons folks sent in, I came up with three big ideas to address.
Here's how Joelle Trayers gets even her youngest students ready to think in unexpected ways.
Universal Themes are an easy way to connect lessons, units, and content areas, even going across grade levels, and into students' personal interests.
Rather than giving students rules to apply to websites, let them analyze websites to create rules.
Combine higher levels of Bloom's Taxonomy with the prompts of Depth and Complexity!
With inductive thinking, students will work from parts to whole, discovering big ideas along the way!
How to go deep into conflict using the Content Imperatives.
Why being good at many things can be a bit of a burden.
Ask students to go beyond "I don't like it" and form critical opinions based on a set of criteria. Students can produce written arguments or turn their opinion into oral presentations.
How can our students be so different? And how can we help them to understand themselves and each other better.
Here are a bunch of ways to quickly practice creativity with your students for zero dollars.
Learn to lead a lesson that is built entirely on student curiosity.
Math is a particularly tricky subject for asking higher-level questions. Here are a couple of techniques I've used to prompt students to think, not merely calculate.
Who would win in the Tournament of Most Honorable Presidents or Least Useful Geometric Shapes or Bravest Shakespearean Characters? Create an academic tournament and watch your students' brains sweat!
How knowing your material well easily becomes a curse… and what to do about it!
Learn to use the Content Imperatives, a set of five additional tools that work with Depth and Complexity.
What would the pie chart look like for these three situations: the teacher asks the students, a student asks the teacher, or a student asks another student a question? I can tell you my pie chart would have been very lopsided.
Know any kids who, despite their brilliant minds, have a bit of a hard time keeping things in order, turning things in on time, or remembering to put their names on their papers?
A delightfully ambiguous framework that is quick to prepare, but can last forever!
In a Concept Attainment lesson, we give students examples and non-examples of a concept -- without telling them what that concept is!
Giving a definition just doesn't cut it! Use the Frayer Model to explain (and assess!) vocabulary.
What would it be like if students graphed characters from stories? Historic leaders? Elements from the period table? Objects in space?
We think of gifted kids as only having academic needs, but - in their own words - they also have many needs of the heart.
I spent about a decade making some pretty major mistakes in my use of depth and complexity.
Some kids are exposed to a wide range of classic art, music, and films at home and others aren't. Let's even the playing field by quickly integrating classics into our lessons.
When differentiating, most teachers simply start in the wrong place!
How can you tell if your students' social-emotional needs are being met on your campus?
Use these puzzling images to build a classroom culture that is comfortable with curiosity, ambiguity, and taking intellectual risks.
Here's a simple task that will add complexity to any content from any grade level!
Rather than just learning about one structure, let's climb Bloom's and think more deeply.
The thinking behind my weekly Puzzlements mailer.
Do you know a student who's a little bit… intense?
How I'd break down and rebuild a task about judging a volcano.
In some areas, a student may be shockingly advanced, while in others… surprisingly average. This is asynchrony in action.
Here's how I got better at using the Think Like An Expert technique.
Is creating nine, two-sentence tasks really an effective way to differentiate?
I update an old question about conflict and character change in the story Hatchet.
A high level of thinking also requires the support of thoughtful scaffolding.
How I'd upgrade a dull "which one is better" question.
What separates our on-level writers from our advanced writers?
How I'd update a low-level, overly engaging math question.
How to use a classic to revamp a study of context clues.
Let's see a few examples of how Depth and Complexity slides nicely into any graphic organizer.
Comparing fraction strategies? Let's take it even further!
How do you know, when you're walking through a class, whether the students are receiving appropriate work?
How I'd improve a low-level question about a story's genre.
Student products give an instant glimpse into whether differentiation is happening on your campus.
Want your students to ask better questions? Why not train them to inquire!?
Just because a task is "creative" doesn't mean students are at the top of Bloom's Taxonomy.
Here's how you can move from merely "summarizing a text" to a high-level task that culminates in synthesis.
Lisa explains how Log Cabin Living changed her classroom environment. Sort of.
How to improve questions at the "evaluate" level of Bloom's Taxonomy.
Why buy premade posters when you can show off your students' thinking about Depth and Complexity?
A collection of helpful tips about differentiating through pre-assessment.
For too long, I let my students turn in blah Big Ideas. Here's how I fixed it.
A big, impressive product doesn't mean that there was big, impressive thinking.
While "engagement" is fun, it shouldn't be our main goal.
Go beyond merely explaining strengths and weaknesses and get students thinking in interesting ways.
As a new teacher, I only knew one model of instruction: Direct Instruction. I was like a chef who only knew how to deep fry!
Rather than adding more to your plate, think about what you want to stop doing.
Why just "identifying patterns" isn't deep enough.
You're implementing Depth and Complexity, but how do you know if you're doing it well? Five things to look for.
How to memorize the countries in Africa, the Japanese writing system, or a deck of cards.
A few quick tips on how to better use graphic organizers to support higher-order thinking.
So your students can identify a story's problem and solution. Then what?