Friday, December 16, 2011

Strategy of the Week

I guess at this point, I might more honestly be called a strategy of the month. But, I promise, this one is a good one that can be used (HONESTLY) for almost any grade level.

This strategy gets students thinking about an issue, idea, item, or topic at all levels of Bloom's Taxonomy. This strategy can be good as a post-learning activity, or to build background on a familiar topic before connecting that to new learning. For example, I used cubing to activate my students' prior knowledge on water before beginning a lesson on the Water Cycle. 

On each side of the cube, have a different prompt. 
Describe it: Look at the subject closely (perhaps with your physical senses as well as your mind).
Compare it: What is it similar to? What is it different from?
Synthesize it; What does it make you think of? What are some ways that you can change it?
Analyze it: Tell how it is made. What are it is traits and attributes?
Apply it: Tell what you can do with it. How can it be used?
Argue for or against: Take a stand.

Believe it or not, I have used this strategy for students in grades 2-8, and I know it works well in high school as well. It's all in the presentation, my friends! When I did this with water for my second graders, I first wrote specific questions for each category. Then, I talked them through each side of the cube, read the questions, and gave them 1 minute to talk with a buddy. With middle school students, you can write your questions and then let them complete the cube on their own. With high schoolers, I have seen colleagues give students the general categories and let them come up with their own questions to discuss. You can also use the cube to explore different parts of a story (characters, setting, plot, climax, conflict, resolution).

Click HERE to get the free templates from my TpT store!

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