I have recently fallen in love with a blog by Jennifer Gonzales, “boss” of Cult of Pedagogy. This blog seems to strike a chord with me almost every time I see her posts in my Facebook feed. This latest post caught my eye because of the a recent SIOP Refresher session I offered, that had a focus on higher order thinking.
Jennifer Gonzales writes:
“Higher-level thinking has been a core value of educators for decades. We learned about it in college. We hear about it in PD. We’re even evaluated on whether we’re cultivating it in our classrooms: Charlotte Danielson’s Framework for Teaching, a widely used instrument to measure teacher effectiveness, describes a distinguished teacher as one whose “lesson activities require high-level student thinking” (Domain 3, Component 3c).
All that aside, most teachers would say they want their students to be thinking on higher levels, that if our teaching kept students at the lowest level of Bloom’s Taxonomy—simply recalling information—we wouldn’t be doing a very good job as teachers.
And yet, when it’s time to plan the learning experiences that would have our students operating on higher levels, some of us come up short. We may not have a huge arsenal of ready-to-use, high-level tasks to give our students. Instead, we often default to having students identify and define terms, label things, or answer basic recall questions. It’s what we know. And we have so much content to cover, many of us might feel that there really isn’t time for the higher-level stuff anyway.
If this sounds anything like you, I have a suggestion: Try a curation assignment.”
In this post she describes several easy to implement ideas that promote higher order thinking in creative and personalized ways. I hope you enjoy reading her post as much as I did.