4 Steps To Identify Essential Questions

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DEFINING THE ESSENTIALS OF A
DIFFERENTIATED CLASSROOM
FOR PLANNING OF
INSTRUCTION
In just four easy steps!
Tim Robinson
Gifted and Talented Education
CREATING A COMMUNITY
WHY DIFFERENTIATE
Beginning
intermediate- some
knowledge or
experience
Novice- Have very little
knowledge or
experience
Advanced
intermediate- a good
working knowledge and
proficient
Expert- a vast amount of
knowledge and expertise

Discuss with your Second Base Partner the
following:

How did that activity help you to answer the
question “Why differentiate?”

Would you find benefit in doing this in your own
classroom? If so what benefit?
DEBRIEF
KEY ELEMENTS OF
DIFFERENTIATION
1.
Mindset/environment
2.
Curriculum (Absolute Clarity about the
destination)
3.
Assessment (Where are my students at now)
4.
Instruction (Adjusting teaching as appropriate)
5.
Management (Flexible Classroom Routines)
UNIT/LESSON PLANNING

How many of you are submitting lesson/unit plans
to someone in your building?

How will what you learn today influence that
planning?

Disclaimer: Please do not change what is
required of you when it comes to your lesson
plans.
YOU MUST KNOW WHERE YOU
ARE GOING
 We
have to know where
we want all students to
end up before we can
think intelligently about
how we want them to get
there!
 Differentiation
is seldom
about different outcomes
for different kids. It’s about
different ways to get kids
where they need to go.
BLOOM’S REVISED TAXONOMY
THE POWER OF ESSENTIAL QUESTIONS
21ST CENTURY CURRICULUM MODEL
4 STEPS TO DEFINING THE ESSENTIALS
OF CURRICULUM
1.
Define the Key Components of Curriculum
1.
Conceptual
Concrete (5 senses)
2. Abstract
Procedural
•
Factual
Just the facts Mam
• Vocab
• Dates
• Must knows
The “know how”
• Skills
• Processes
• tools
We must search for the
Abstract concepts within
our curriculum!
4 STEPS TO DEFINING THE
ESSENTIALS OF CURRICULUM
2. Form Objectives for What Students Will Know, Be Able
to Do, and Understand
LOOK FOR THE CONCEPTUAL LEARNING
4 STEPS TO DEFINING THE ESSENTIALS
OF CURRICULUM
3. Create Essential Questions for the unit
•
What are the concepts embedded in the
curriculum?
•
These form the journey through the curriculum
•
These should cause students to generate more
questions than answers
•
They should engage students in higher levels of
thinking and conversation, decision making, and
problem solving
•
Answering an essential question is a process, not
an end product!
•
They should be open-ended and written in ways
that challenge and intrigue the students in
discourse
•
They should spark curiosity, provoke wonder, and
use the skills of inference and interpretation.
LET’S TRY IT
Either pick a random
abstract concept from the
list found on page 16 to
start with.
OR
Identify a standard or
group of standards within
your grade level and look
for the concepts found
within.
1. Find your First Base
Partner for this exercise
SOME EXAMPLES USING SOCIAL
STUDIES
When is it ok to cause others misfortune for the benefit of our
nation? (Western Expansion, etc)
Can we learn from our past?
Are there always two sides to an issue?
Can old wounds really be healed?
When is the use of power justifiable?
Why are ethics overlooked by nations?
How long does memory last?
When is a democracy no longer a democracy?
When does the power of a nation outweigh the needs of a
few?
What is worth fighting for?
How should governments balance the rights of individuals with
the common good?
Why do people move?
READING ACTIVITY
Read the provided text from Essential Questions.
Then discuss any Ah-hahs you may have had while
reading it with your 1st base partner. Be ready to
share with the group as I may call on you.
4 STEPS TO DEFINING THE ESSENTIALS
OF CURRICULUM
4.
Create unit questions that break down the essential question
•
These are designed to guide the learning to help students better
understand the content.
•
The point of these is to help the students gain insights to the
Essential Question.
•
These are meant to be the framework of the learning
experiences you have purposefully chosen.
•
These are specific and use the vocabulary of the discipline.
Do your planning forms identify the KUDo’s?
THE DIFFERENTIATOR

http://byrdseed.com/differentiator/
SO THE BIG QUESTION
Is what I’m having students do in class helping them
gain better understandings around the essential
question(s)? Are the learning experiences helping
them formulate their own answers?
Teachers ask questions for different reasons in the U.S.
and in Japan.
In the U.S., the purpose of a question is to get an answer.
In Japan, teachers pose questions to stimulate thought. A
Japanese teacher considers a questions a poor one if it
elicits an immediate answer, for this indicates that
students were not challenged to think.
WHAT POWER IS THERE IN A
QUESTION?
Question Stems Packet
KQED article – Teaching students to ask their own
questions http://rightquestion.org/education/
John Gast, American Progress, 1872
New Orleans, After Katrina
2005
Schoolgirls walk by as British soldiers aim at a sniper after British troops came under fire in
Basra. The incident came as British troops on foot patrol in the center of the city were forced to
take cover after a number of shots were fired near them. It was not clear if the British soldiers
were the target. Although pockets of resistance remain, schools reopened Saturday for the first
time since the start of the war on March 20 (Saturday, April 19, 2003) Source: Tim Sloan (AP)
HOW CAN THIS BE USED IN OUR
CLASSROOMS?
In helping us formulate better questions
With Students!
•
Active learners are always questioning!
•
As an Entry Event to a unit or lesson
•
With a piece of complex text to allow students to
dive deeper
•
To generate questions for questions sake. It’s ok to
not answer questions.
•

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