This is a professional development blog. We'll be discussing books we read as a group. Our discussions will be focused on gifted children.
With DDI, the focus is on the content, the cognitive level, and the product/proving behavior. As I read the chapter, I thought about the DDI focus in my building. We just gave teachers another opportunity to make some Bloom's cards to keep handy as they teach--definition of each level, what the teacher does at each level, some prompts for each level, and verbs for each level. The teachers are searching for ideas for activities and products for the higher levels, and hopefully, I can get ideas from this book to share with them.
With effective instruction being a huge focus in the district this chapter ties in perfectly. I really like the idea of the Bloom's chart (p. 69) as a way to differentiate. The concept is for the content to stay the same (which is the TEKS) and simply change the process and the product. This reminds me of Learning Menus. When I attended the CAST conference in the fall I went to a workshop on science learning menus where the students got to pick from various products within a menu. The concepts that were being covered were always the same, but the process and the product changed from column to column. Part of the workshop was learning how to create your own menus and I totally see the connection to the Bloom's Chart. The first thing you had to do after you had your content was to vary your level of Bloom's within the menu so that you touched on all six levels with various products. This is a great way to differentiate and it fully fits in with the district initiative of designing effective instruction in a creative way.
One of the definitions of DDI states that "the fundamental student learning needs to be considered by the teacher when designing and delivering a lesson." This correlates to the "continuous progress for all students" that the authors refer to so frequently in the text. The DDI modules ask teachers to focus on "what" is taught and "why" it is being taught. DDI assists teachers with designing lessons that increase student motivation and success by using the appropriate Bloom's Taxonomy for each student. Differentiating the learning expereiences to reflect the various levels of expected learning enables the teacher to challenge each student at his/her own level. The authors state on page 78, "Respectful tasks are ones in which all children have opportunities to learn new things and at a level of challenge that will require mental stretching to reach." DDI incorporates this philosophy into its framework.
I really love the organization of the Bloom's chart in the fact that it will help kids see that they can extend their thinking/knowledge learned. I wish I could see more examples to know just how to create them in a timely manner for all different subject areas. I think that my students would enjoy the challenge of reaching to higher levels of Bloom's by giving them more examples of ways in which to extend their thinking. I see these charts as a way to dive deeper into the concepts to maximize learning potential for all students.
Chapter 5 contains pieces of DDI throughout its pages. Content, process, and product (page 62) ring of writing learning objectives. The authors discuss each of these, adding Bloom's Taxonomy in the descriptions of process and product. DDI instruction also contains Bloom's work, but not in the capacity of differentiating. While much is similar, even the unit assessments suggest lesson plan alignment (p. 75), the present book does much to demonstrate differentiated lesson planning according to student ability. In my book I drew five hearts because the text clearly got to the heart of the matter when communicating how to go about writing plans for students of different abilities.
Kandel's fan said she drew five hearts about writing plans for different abilities. I copied her--nice idea to help me remember how important it is to take this next step.
pg. 81 shares the verbs from Blooms Taxonomy, which we use for lesson plans in DDI format. I am glad to see the verbs again, as it is easy to get stuck using the same ones. Chapter 5 has me wondering if I should include 3 objectives for each lesson instead of 1, so that I show my plans for differentiation. I often include a note at the end of the plans for differentiation, but this chapter encourages placement of such at the beginning.
As a campus we have had several opportunities to develop and implement the DDI using the Bloom's Chart to differentiate the learning experience.pg.79 Differentiation has helped me to scaffold down the content to ensure that my high risk students are challenged and engaged in active participation and learning. Often the struggling students need to have options to choose from so they are not defeated from the start. The content has to be broken down into smaller segments at a slower pace to reinforce that learning is taking place and success is obtained. The lesson plan form has the sped accommodations space to differentiate and modify lessons for the targeted students to construct effective lessons.
On p.62, there is a chart of the learning experiences that I feel very closely correlate with the DDI standards. While there is still the content objective which will tie into Bloom's, my question would be when I differentiate, do I need to write separate objectives for every different level. Each student will reach the same content objectives but in very different processes.
The whole idea of bloom taxonomy correlates with the district's push for DDI in the classroom. It allows us to help the learner apply-synthesis-analysis-evaluate. The last really coming into play on page 79 by allowing the student to view and follow the grading rubrics when the assignment is given to help the educator look for the correct cognition level of the learner. It also allows the teacher to move through all of the bloom's and DDI stages simultaneously. Which include, Knowledge to Comprehension (translating) to Comprehension (interpretation) and then finally Extrapolation, all of which follow the forms given in the chapter.
DDI is a great tool for teachers to use as it allows to diagnose according to what the kids are getting. Blooms taxonomy is great because it gives concrete verbs that the teacher will be able to see. I liked to concept of free choice and then assigned choice as a method of differentiating because it encourages the students to challenge themselves but allows the teacher some control as to what the kids are needing.
Sara Russo I think your question is very valid. I know that on my campus the teachers have to write a DDI objective for the "terminal objective" or main content objective, but not for the differentiation. They need to be able to articulate what that objective is to the students, but they do not have to write the three parts down for their differentiation groups in the district format. If someone asks them - they should be able to tell what the content, level of taxonomy, and proving behavior is. I believe it is a campus by campus decision when it comes down to differentiated groups.
I think that the differentiation and DDI are aiming at the same thing, higher order questioning and application of knowledge. The higher order questions are pretty easy in most classes, the problem I have is that I sometimes jump too far up the ladder and students struggle to reach the new thinking or application level.
Because the district (and my campus) push DDI, this chapter fit in very nicely. I think the Bloom's Chart with differentiated activities is something that I can implement now in my classroom. I love the idea and I see that if I just build it more into my planning, or plan in a different way, it will be better in the long term. This chapter really opened my eyes.
I have had a similar experience as loliver said in have difficulty with jumping too high with questioning and students struggling with them. What I find interesting is the way struggling students will use all that they know to try to answer the question you posed to them and therefore- you really can assess where breakdown is occuring. Sometimes just talking to the student and getting them to converse about what they were thinking helps to bridge that gap. I have had students think and question their own thinking to make sure they expain themselves more efficiently. Turned out to be a win-win situation. Just keep trying it!
I have read some really helpful comments on this page, so many of them answering the thoughts I have going on. It seems like writing several objectives at different levels of the taxonomy before beginning a unit increases my own accountability and assurance that differentiation isn't overlooked (at least until a tried and true method of the day can be implemented).
Like Katie K I think the chapter fits in nicely with DDI. The DDI model challenges us to incorporate the various Bloom's Levels in our instruction beginning with the lesson plan itself. I really like the idea of the differentiated activities for a given topic. As a bilingual teacher I always have such a range of student backgrounds in my class, and like Sharon G and loliver said, I often find myself jumping too high with questioning. The idea of activities for the various levels really speaks to the gradual release model too. We are beginning where students are and then scaffolding them so that all are learning and eventually able to function on their own at higher levels. All the while they are developing the confidence to learn more independently.
Creating a menu of options using something we are very familiar with, Bloom's Taxonomy-thanks to DDI objective writing, as seen on page 7 is revolutionary. Anything that makes student's learning experience more meaningful while making a teacher's job less stressful is an excellent idea. I'm all about efficiency when it comes to planning and grading. However, with the opportunity to use technology daily with mini-laptops and the activboard, I've found myself extremely overwhelmed. I get so excited seeing my students crave learning with technology. Furthermore, I find myself spending hours and hours creating specific lessons for menues when I could use a general bloom's menu and rubrices "that can be used again and again...in order to keep [my] sanity" (pg. 79). I love this concept and will implement the bloom's menu idea immediately!
I feel the district's effective instructional initiative (DDI) and Bloom's goes hand in hand. Pages 80-81 were most helpful to me. The statement...it is impossible to apply, analyze, evaluate, or create if you don't have knowledge about the topic or concepts. The process verbs give teachers a quick reference to engage their student's thinking at different levels. I love that I can use these right away in my classroom!
I agree with loliver's statement, "the higher order questions are pretty easy in most classes, the problem I have is that I sometimes jump too far up the ladder and students struggle to reach the new thinking or application level." I think many of us shoot for those higher level questions, but sometimes have to step back. That is why I feel that a strong knowledge base enables you to reach to those higher levels.
As I was reading Ch. 5, I was thinking about how much it related to how we plan and write our lesson plans using DDI. The 1st thing I do when I am beginning to plan is look at the TEKS that need to be covered for the 9 weeks for my roadmap. I think that road mapping is great way to organize the 9 weeks, before diving into each week with a detailed plan. Then using your roadmap and data from the pre-assessment, you can plan each week. Normally, I only write 1 objective for the day, but it does make sense to have more than 1 objective since there are multiple levels in the 1 classroom. Blooms taxonomy helps to guide us to differentiated levels using the different verbs. Once you have your process, than you need to think about how the student will show you what they have learned. I love the product list on p. 67 because I always find myself using the same products, and most of the time with the entire class. This chapter helps remind me to slow down when I am planning and think about all of the different choices we have in order to make sure all of the students are always making continuous progress.
I agree with Katie Kavanaghwhen said that it will be easy to implement the ideas from ch. 5 right away. I love that this books gives you lots of product ideas that will actually work in the classroom once you take the time build it into your lessons.
Chapter 5 refers to the district’s DDI components multiple times and incorporates them into Bloom’s Charts as ways to differentiate and design learning experiences. Pages 66 and 68 point out that teachers need to make a conscious and deliberate choice about the intended purpose of products as they are formulating lesson objectives. When the students are told the purpose and objective of the lesson, it makes so much sense to also let them know whether what they are learning is more important than how they demonstrate their skills and knowledge. It is very interesting to think about how a student’s enthusiasm for creating a product they have chosen could motivate them to learn about a topic they would not otherwise be interested in!
DDI provides an easy way for teachers to design an effective lesson for their students.Blooms provides an easy way to design learning experiences that allow content to remain the same while altering the process and the product to provide challenge and choice. (pg 69) The Blooms strategy involves everyone on the same concept – but doing things on different levels and showing what they know in different ways. DDI is the same way for teachers it gives us a strategy to use while designing a lesson on different levels.
I agree with jeane….when a student gets to create a product they have chosen they are motivated to learn all they can about that topic. We are reading different science stories in class and the kids get to make a product about their book. Students do book reports, posters, interviews and power points and they take great pride in their work.
After going through the extensive DDI training, I am a firm believer in all of its parts. I think that following the DDI model makes a teacher a better teacher. I was really excited to see the blooms charts on 74 and 76 that gives examples of real life examples. It makes complete sense that you figure out what you want students to learn but then mold the way (process...i.e. different options) they will achieve this learning to fit the learning styles/levels of the the different students. This book does a good job in making a teacher see real life examples of differentation that would be easy (or not that hard) to implement in their classrooms.
DDI dovetails quite nicely with this chapter! If a teacher plans for each students' learning needs, as they are supposed to with DDI, then this chapter gives ideas about how to make it a reality. The charts and other visuals made this more understandable for me, but my favorite part is fig. 5.2 on page 66. Changing the levels of cognition to verbs makes so much more sense to me! I've seen similar things before, but for some reason this just clicked. I also like the "what does it look like?" and "when do I use it" sections starting on p. 69. It is so helpful to see the Bloom charts and exactly how they work. I can imagine using these with my kids in the library when they are researching different topics and putting together their information.
in response to mcushing - I love the menu idea! I have used it in a limited way in the library, but I have helped teachers put them together. The ones I've observed and assisted with have been very successful. I like that the kids have control over what they do and how they do it. It is such a motivator for our kids!
in response to jeane - I also like the part about teachers making a conscious and deliberate choice when planning for lessons. The teacher's intent must be stated clearly for everyone to understand the point. This has become so seond-nature to me that I find myself doing this in all aspects of my life. My husband and kids tease me about stating my purpose for going to Target or Kroger. (But it helps me remember what I'm going for!)
The use of Blooms taxonomy in developing differentiated instruction plugs right into the components of DDI. DDI includes establishing the purpose of each child's learning and Bloom's can not only aid teachers in identifying this purpose but also creating effective activities for each of those purposes. The examples in this chapter demonstrate beautifully how the verbs coorelate to actual learning activites, and provide an excellent example of an accesible format to use with the students.
The idea of using the product list (p. 67), pointed out by jmelacon, is valuable because the list is creative and gives multiple choices for demonstrating learning. What is thought provoking is combining different objectives for a pre-assessment. This is done in other classrooms?
I think sara russo's comment on whether or not the differentiated objectives should be included in the lesson plan is a valid one. I started thinking that mcushing's comment on using Learning Menus might be a way to 'plan' for the differentiaton inside the body of the lesson plan while still working under the one 'main objective' that is part of the DDI format.
I think differentiating with Bloom's fits in very well with the district's DDI initiative. DDI emphasizes the purposeful nature of teaching for specific learning, while differentiating with Bloom's takes that emphasis one important step further by matching that specific learning to specific learners - it provides a more realistic framework for meeting that objective with all students.
Melanie and Sara Russo both brought up the idea of writing several objectives in lesson plans. I think, like MCushing said, it's a campus-based decision, but I think it comes down to whatever works best for you. Will it hold you to be more accountable? Do you need to write stuff down to make it stick? If either one of those is true, you might want to go with writing different objectives. At the very minimum, I would think it would be useful to have differentiation plans written down somewhere, whether it be in your "official" plans or your small groups notebook.
The meshing of Bloom’s, differentiation, and lesson objectives has been a struggle for me this semester. I have been struggling with writing objectives the last 2 months because I have been using Laurie E. Westphal’s menu ideas and it has been really tedious to actually write 5-7 different objectives for each class depending on what combination of activities/projects each student chooses. The really ironic thing is that I have always been kind of obsessed with objective writing and getting them DDI “perfect”, but in the past 2 months, because of menus, i.e. differentiation, I have had more students working in the upper levels of Bloom’s than ever in my career, but I have not been …or had the pleasure of writing an objective with an upper level Bloom’s terminology. My objectives include cognitive level, but they are very general and in no way do they communicate all that my students are doing. If someone asks me….I could recite an objective, but as far as sitting down and writing them all out…I have chosen to spend that time designing lessons/activities/project, providing student feedback, and/or small group teacher facilitated instruction.
Re: PatricetI like your suggestion of using a "small groups notebook" to manage the multiple objectives problem. I usually sketch out or rough draft my plans anyway...compiling these plans/ideas into a small informal notebook seems like it would be a good stepping stone towards the seemingly insurmountable goal of formally typing multiple daily objectives into Eduphoria's Forethought. Thanks!
In response to s.acevedo, 10 menu objectives are tedious, agreed. As long as the students understand where they're heading and their learning goal, that's what is important. For instance: The student will demonstrate understanding of the Industrial Revolution by completing at least 3 tasks on the menu that add up to 100 points. Because you have rubrics for each task on the menu, students are able to see what is expected of them (their learning goal). DDI objectives are important because they force teachers to make a roadmap. For teachers who naturally do this, like yourself, I would keep a general objective on the board for the subject that day and keep up the good work (a.k.a. spending your time wisely)! It sounds like you are encouraging your students to use deeper thinking skills and to become responsible for their own learning!
I like what Rebeccah J. said about "respectful tasks" and thinking about "why" something is being taught. Student need to know the purpose of why they are learning what they are learning, ESPECIALLY GT STUDENTS! This concept constantly keeps me accountable to create meaningful tasks that don't waste my time or my students' time.
With all the DDI inservices I've attended at my campus, we don't even talk about DDI without talking about Bloom's Taxonomy! In my opinion, they go hand in hand! Our math SIS has even created a rainbow type flipchart using bloom taxonomy for us to use when writing our five part (DDI) objectives. I think it is best summed up on page 69--"the bloom chart provides an easy way to design learning experiences that allow the content to remain the same while altering the process and the product to provide challenge and choice."
I believe that there is a nice marriage between Bloom's Taxonomy and the district's DDI initiative. One of the things my principal speaks to frequently is the fact that, while the content of an objective may be the same throughout a week, as the week progresses, so should the level of cognition on that concept. This makes me think of the way we build a new math concept from the concrete with manipulatives, to the pictorial on paper, to the abstract. We progressively make the task more difficult as the level of understanding (hopefully) is increasing. Thus, the students are able to complete tasks at a higher level of Bloom's the more knowledgeable they become about a topic. I really liked the Bloom Chart idea, expecailly seeing the math example on page 72.
Michelle, I have the same flip book, a relic of our former principal, and I keep it right in my plan book and refer to it often as I am lesson planning and composing thoughtful questions to support my students' thinking. I also try to use some of Linda Sheffield's techniques with respect to my questioning strategies, based on our campus book study, which incorporates some much higher level Bloom's thinking questions! I highly recommend the book.
Differentiating with Bloom’s Taxonomy and DDI go hand and hand within the educational scope. Bloom’s Taxonomy relates to having students use higher order thinking skills so that they are not always stuck at the bottom with recall and memorization. DDI strategies that are correctly implemented provide strategies for teachers to engage students and have them get to the higher levels of thinking and questioning. I really like the charts on pgs 67 and 72 because they provide quick tools for all teachers to use when designing effective lessons.
Elise- I can totally relate to loving to use technology for DDI integration but sometimes being overwhelmed at all of the time it takes to create a proper flip chart. The menu really is user friendly! It is wonderful that our school district has created a flip chart repository for everyone to use and share.
I agree with the posters that talk about the real life examples. As someone said on the other question, why reinvent the wheel. By using the examples given then modifying for your class/content/level, differentiation and using the DDI techniques will be much easier to implement.
I think all agree that effective instruction is a key element for educators to achieve in order to create the ideal learning environment for all students. The first paragraph on page 78 states, “Ask yourself: What is it that I want everyone to know, understand, or be able to do when they walk out the door? All students will be held responsible for that concept or idea – on varying levels.” Is this not what drives effective instruction? The concepts and ideas in chapter 5 regarding Bloom’s Taxonomy creates one of the stepping stones in achieving effective instruction in one’s classroom. “Differentiating the process dimension of learning experiences works to keep all students studying the same concept but at levels matching their readiness…Bloom’s Taxonomy is but one way to differentiate.” (page 82) A true statement that invites educators to intertwine Bloom’s within effective instruction.
I am reponding to patricet that the teachers are constantly being DDI trained to make sure all the Bloom's Taxonomy components are in the lesson plans. My school continually reinforces and checks to make sure the cognitive level, product/ proving behavior are in the plans to ensure that teachers are delivering and designing really good learning experiences with differentiation.
Susanm—I, too, like the Bloom’s chart on page 72. Having a math “example” is always nice to see!