Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Session 2 - Question 2

How does differentating with Bloom's Taxonomy (Chapter 5) relate to the district's Effective Instruction initiative (DDI)?

35 comments:

  1. KHarrell
    I really see DDI and Bloom's as something that works side by side. If you are delivering good insruction following the guidelines set up with DDI...much of Bloom's is (what I can tell) the basis. Good instruction provides for the needs of all students in different ways. DDI talks about engaging students...Bloom's provides for different levels of cognitive processing. I guess as I have been in education for a long time I see how you learn all of the different educational models and take bits and pieces from each one to meet the needs of individual students. DDI/Bloom's helps you to provide for the individual needs of the students. I keep a chart similar to the one posted in this chaper nearby to help me visualize my lessons with my student as I write lessons. It helps me to make sure that I am providing for all of the areas and for various students.

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  2. DDI and Bloom's are not 2 separate entities. The whole idea is that if you are designing and developing instruction that is effective you are using Bloom's. As I read the beginning of this chapter, that's exactly what I thought about,and I wondered, did someone from Spring Branch write this chapter, or maybe Ernie (DDI guru) himself? I admit I kind of resigned myself to be bored through this reading, because, as the authors tell us, you can't learn what you already know. Then, the chapter took Bloom's and went in a direction I didn't expect. All our lesson plans are written using this style, but I never considered making the Bloom's chart and planning out the different activities that fit within the concept I'm trying to teach. Silly, right? Well, I just never thought about it that way. It makes me think about teaching in a very different way. I was also surprised by the center ideas. The idea of making a contract for students so that they are completing work that allows them to continue learning and have choice sounds like a lot of work, but work that is worthwhile. This will take some extra planning on my part. Hopefully, my teammate who is also reading this book will work with me to plan some great learning centers for students. I think this is where Spring Branch wants us to go in planning for differentiation within the DDI framework. It doesn't happen overnight. I'm eager to read more about the rubrics and how to grade without making new rubrics for each new concept.

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  3. DDI and Bloom's work hand and hand with the end goal being building higher order questioning and application of knowledge. Using Blooms will allow us to build rigor into our lessons. I really like the fig.5.2 on page 66, which clear explained the six categories of the cognitive processes. I was introduced to L. Westphal's learning menus last year and I created a learning menu for my students to use when we studied matter. I gave my students a preassessment, which was just a quick question & answer type quiz to see who already knew the major concepts. My one GT student clearly already understood the material, so he started working on his learning menu. My students really liked having the choice. I would definitely like to create more learning menus oe Bloom chart as mentioned on pages 69-70. I am going to suggest this to my team...this would be great to divide major units/concepts at the beginning of each nine weeks and divide it up among us. The center idea mentioned on pg.73 is another great idea, but I keep thinking...when am I going to have the time to create all these. I need to examine what math stations I already have and really utilize those so I am not having to re-create the wheel.

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  4. In response to ldavis, you could use Rubistar (http://rubistar.4teachers.org/) to make rubrics to match various products your students make that would work with any subject—poster, game, interview, etc. This way you aren’t having to start from scratch when making a rubric. Students would know the expectations if they were to choose making a poster or using digital storytelling beforehand because the rubric would be almost the same. I would make slight tweaks to make sure they are accountable for the content.

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  5. The DDI expectation set up by the district could not be implemented without one’s knowledge of Bloom’s taxonomy. Good instruction requires us to ask questions at different levels and our particular school has been working on the questioning aspect of the DDI model for some time. Without questioning on the various levels you cannot push student thinking along or have the continuous progress that the author reiterates throughout the reading(p. 65). I really liked the way the author used the Bloom’s chart to differentiate the process and the product while leaving the content the same. The charts provided as examples throughout chapter 5 used a variety of content. My partner and I used Tic-Tac-Toe menus this year when students designed products for their book club. They were set up so that students had to think at different Bloom’s levels. It required students to make products at three different levels. I like the chart provided here better because creating three products was a bit much for students and crazy to grade. Additionally, it required some students to work on a level that did not produce new learning.

    In RESPONSE to I. Davis:

    I had the same ah-ha! moment when I saw the Bloom’s Charts created to allow the content to remain the same, but changed the process and the product to provide challenge and choice. I have been using Bloom’s to improve my questioning during instruction, but never thought of it as a way to differentiate process and product as well in such a clear, succinct chart.

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  6. William Allen (Rob)June 21, 2010 at 12:31 AM

    In the learning experiences example in figure 5.1, content plus process plus product equals learning experience. Similarly in DDI, purpose plus all the elements of the body of the lesson (input, model, check for understanding and guided practice) are the learning experience (pages 62-68).

    The checking for understanding component of DDI is a good place to differentiate because you are determining the depth of their learning and if students already previously knew the material, it gives you the opportunity to differentiate with a deeper product for their continued growth. As the author states, “All concepts specified in the standards [state and national curriculum] can be taught at a basic level, and most can be taught at a complex level. It also allows for products that use music, art, technology, etc. I agree 100 percent with the author that students’ awareness that they can demonstrate understanding by a means other than a written test may encourage them to study and participate more in a subject, “Some students will tackle learning content that isn’t a priority to them if they can do it in a way that they enjoy (page 66). By having so many different ways to demonstrate a product, students have the opportunity to use skills adults use in their careers. Adults do not usually take written tests as part of their job. They make spreadsheets, Powerpoint presentations, speeches, debate, etc. (pages 63-68).

    The Six Categories of the Cognitive Process Dimension are an in-depth process for checking understanding of students as found in DDI (page 66).

    I like the fact that the author points out that sometimes students do need to write if how they show you what they learned is as important as what they learned. If what they learned is the most important thing than they may use a variety of different products to demonstrate understanding thereby increasing their motivation to learn (page 68).

    The Bloom Chart found on pages 70, 72 and 74 can be used in guided practice as well as independent practice and closure to determine which types of activities students should attempt based on preassessment data. By giving them choices, students will get “hooked” (the set in DDI) and will be motivated to perform tasks based on their learning styles.

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  7. When planning lessons, DDI and Blooms work well when they are used simultaneously. When I sit with my team to plan we have a small blooms flipchart on hand that we use to ensure that we use all areas of blooms. When differentiating instruction, DDI and Blooms are helpful because it allows me to meet the needs of all of my students. I keep thinking about what the author of this book says that differentiation is intentional, and it is so true. As I plan, the subject matter may be the same but the level at which the students are at vary. Therefore, I differentiate small group instruction to meet the needs of all of my students and that is intentional. I must admit though that the products in my class are usually the same. I will definitely change that and will use table 5.2 Product list to help me vary the products for my students.

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  8. I completely agree with L davis comment. DDI and Blooms are not 2 seperate entities they are used together to aide us in lesson design that will cognitively challenge, engage, and motivate our students so that we can meet their needs.

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  9. I remember when DDI first came to the district and we created our lessons for the next several years using the DDI format with Bloom's taxonomy for questioning strategies. One does not exist without the other in effective instruction. We need to understand what level of cognitive processing students are working on in order to provide them with appropriate learning experiences.

    In response to Rob, "The checking for understanding component of DDI is a good place to differentiate because you are determining the depth of their learning and if students already previously knew the material." Checking for understanding is a perfect place to list several questions aligned with Bloom's in order to gage the depth of understanding students have of a concept.

    In response to manderson and jchoy, my team used learning menus this year. Two things I really liked were how the menus had activities matched to different cognitive levels, and the menus were written in such a way that we could use each section as a rubric when projects were finished.

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  10. I can completely see how the Bloom's taxonomy and DDI can work well together. However, I think I will need to be writing more objectives to make sure I hit all of the needed learning levels. I think I have written the objective to meet the majority of the students but not all of them. I need to include other objective to fit the other students' needs as well. I like the fact that there are choices on different levels offered to us (p.67 Table 5.2). I see how the product doesn't really matter as long as students (all students) are learning. I also agree that if there are different products driving students that they will work harder and therefore learn more. It will make assessing these more rewarding for the teachers as well. I am encouraged by the centers (P73). I think I can motivate my teammate (who is in this book study) to group our two classes as needed to meet more students' needs and interests.

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  11. William Allen (Rob)June 22, 2010 at 9:23 AM

    In response to ldavis, I also was apprehensive of this chapter due to fear of boredom. SBISD has placed so much emphasis on DDI that I felt any chapter discussing it would rehash previously learned material. I was pleasantly surprised when the author used several examples of creating a Bloom diagram with different activities based on what level of cognitive processing students were on. By giving students choices, but limiting those choices to where data determines students should be challenged, students will be motivated to learn because they have a "vested interest" in the subject matter since they made a choice on how to demonstrate their understanding of the material.

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  12. I believe DDI and Blooms can really compliment one another to develop higher level thinking skills. As teachers develop differentiated lesson plans, it is very easy to incorporate the higher level blooms.

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  13. This may sound a bit over-analytical, but this is how I think sometimes... Just as the book mentions how we should "look at a familiar concept as a strategy for differentiation...design learning experiences using a Bloom Chart." (page 61) It is interesting to me how all of us have become familiar and had many repeated exposures to Blooms, but just how well do WE really know it? Do we JUST know it, or do we truly understand it? Perhaps we should be able to analyze it, etc to gain its deeper meaning and be able to apply it to our daily content for our children's benefit. I am willing to be that when you look closely at the levels and examples of each that many educators are not at that higher level of cognition yet... Just a thought... Are you ready to evaluate others based on your understanding just yet? -we all could benefit from some more authentic practice! :)

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  14. Perhaps this is because it’s only my second year with Spring Branch, and I don’t have as much experience with DDI, but I actually see quite a bit more opposition between the two (DDI and using Blooms to Differentiate) than the other people that have commented before me. When I look at the DDI model, the first step is formulating your lesson objective. It involves some “proving activity” that will show the students have learned what you wanted to learn. However, page 68 states that “When you allow students to develop different products, you are more concerned with what they’ve learned than how they’re showing you what they’ve learned.” It seems to me that the students will be choosing their own proving action. To be perfectly honest, DDI seems to me to be very “teacher-centered” – “tell the objective” is one of the steps. But is this really what you want to do with your GT students? Is there room for inquiry-driven, discovery lessons?

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  15. In response to ldavis on June 17, at 9:20, I completely agree that the beginning of this important chapter sounds like SBISD and Ernie wrote it hand-in-hand! So funny! You cannot successfully have DDI without full implementation and embracing Blooms. The entire 5 part objective required in our district lesson plans (3 part minimum) is based on these components: content, level of cognition at which you are teaching, and a matching proving behavior that is expected to see that your learners were successful.

    I have had the privilege of serving on our district and campus level DDI cadres and have assisted many teachers in creating their plans (and objectives). The most common hurdle is getting the level of cog and proving behavior to be congruent. I feel our district is really making strides in our DDI implementation, but I fully agree with ldavis that Blooms and DDI are completely intertwined.

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  16. A wise person once told me that teaching was as simple as asking 3 questions. What do you want the students to learn? How will you know they learned it? What will you do for those who didn’t learn it? These questions fit beautifully into chapter 5 of our book about Bloom’s Taxonomy. This chapter is all about deciding what students will learn, which is set by our state standards, the TEKS; about how students will show they learned it, the Bloom’s charts; and about what how to help those who haven’t yet succeeded, alter the product choice on the Bloom’s chart. The underlining purpose of DDI is to design and deliver effective instruction. This book clearly says that effective instruction is different for each and every student. The content remains the same, i.e. the TEKS; but the process and product are different, they are to “match student’s readiness.” [p. 82] DDI lays out a framework for delivering a lesson-it’s sort of like the basic sugar cookie recipe. But in order to make the cookies really good, you must add in the chocolate chips, the M&Ms, the macadamia nuts, etc. DDI provides the start and the teacher must finish off the symphony with appropriate process and product based on the students sitting in front of her. She’s the intentional decision maker based on her knowledge of the students’ abilities and interests. [p.69]

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  17. In response to Dani Pico posted June 22nd at 3:00 pm—I agree with your analysis of the DDI lesson planning format and how matching it to what we are learning in our book is difficult. We want students to have choice in how they are showing us what they’ve learned—it’s critical to future success. Perhaps the ‘proving behavior’ in the objective could be that the student chooses an appropriate process and product based on his pre-assessment. I think that everyone [teachers, students, parents, administrators] need to remember that teaching is an art and a craft. DDI is the white canvas and the pallet of paint. The students and teachers paint the canvas to make the work of art.

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  18. In response to JChoy who posted in June 20 6:06 pm—I agree that Rubistar is a good website to use to create rubrics; however, be very cautious about creating a rubric in the absence of children. Children should be able to help the teacher create a rubric that measures what they’ve been taught. For example if one of the products on the Bloom’s chart is to create a reader’s theatre script then the rubric would naturally have characters, format, correct spelling, etc. Students can tell you these things based on the critical attributes anchor chart made after consuming lots of reader’s theatre scripts. They can also help determine how much each item on the rubric should weigh. Be sure to allow students to have a voice in rubric creation, it bumps accountability to a higher place.

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  19. Kharrell
    in response to annm and rallen, I agree with the checking for understanding. This is a place where you can put the two together to get a good response.

    In response to mandersons comment on the need to use Bloom's taxomony to implement DDI. I think that is a very important thing to think about, as you prepare and implement a lesson, you take all of your background knowledge and use it to produce a good lesson. Which is why Bloom's and DDI work so well together...they are complementary.

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  20. Right away when reading about learning experiences on P.62 I realized that our DDI objectives are the learning experiences we are expecting to provide to our students. Blooms and DDI go hand in hand. We can differentiate for our students by simply changing the cognitive process and the product. I liked the way the author laid out the Blooms chart for differentiation using examples (pg. 72,74,76).

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  21. I like the suggestion posted by William Allen on June 20 of using the charts on 72,74, 76 during guided practice. It is like a menu allowing them see the different product options and could encourage them to do more challenging cognitive work in order to be able to do the desired activity. I like it!

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  22. DDI and Bloom’s Taxonomy are like an inseparable couple. You need to have both to be joined at the hip. In order to make our DDI successful in the district, teachers need to use the level of cogitations on the higher order side from Bloom's Taxonomy. This stimulates an elevated to a more challenging level for students (page 64). Students need to create content-rich products that are motivating for further learning (page 68). Learning should not stop at the teacher’s learning objectives. As teachers, our goal is for our students to be lifelong learners and continuing learner beyond the expectations.

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  23. Reading these last two chapters has completely turned me upside down, but in a very good way. I’ve always known that preassessing is important, but I never saw it this way. I have gone to all the DDI trainings and I know about the bloom’s taxonomy, but I didn’t see the correlation between the two, I saw it as two separate things. But now I completely see it differently. After reading these chapters, I think that Bloom’s Taxonomy and DDI do compliment one another to improve instruction as a goal for students to become higher level thinkers.
    I am ready to make the changes. I am definitely going to use this “aha” to improve my planning and instruction. By the end of the unit, I would like to see every child progress to the complex levels.

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  24. In SBISD, how we create each objective into a three part process of content (what) plus process (level of Bloom’s) plus product (how demonstrate mastery) is exactly the same as seen on page 62. It is especially revealed in the second graphic of figure 5.1 of page 62 of showing the differentiation possibilities within the objective. I think this is a great visual to assist teachers in softening the starting process of allowing students to learn at them their readiness level and skill set or interest, etc.

    In response to D.Dunavin on June 21st, I do believe DDI and Bloom's incorporate well together. They allow us to keep our focus on the specific need of the objective regardless if the proving ability varies or not.

    In response to croth on June 23rd, I agree formulating the objective to show student's choice allows for the appropriate interpretation without finitely defining each and every possibility in the classroom each day.

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  25. Differentiating with Bloom's Taxonomy fits hand in hand with DDI higher order thinking questioning strategies. Our lesson plans are constructed in the content, process, and product format. As the old adage goes: "We're killing two birds with one stone." It will get us thinking Bloom's constantly and consistently as we should be.

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  26. In response to Scrump:

    Amen! They work hand in hand.

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  27. In regard to the DDI and Bloom's connection,what I have remembered and used from our training is that Bloom's terminology and practice is embedded in the DDI plan. We use Blooms to complete the DDI process.

    I agree with KD from June 24 that we are "killing two birds with one stone".

    I am going to copy pages 66 & 67 to keep in my planning notes just as a quick reminder.

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  28. When thinking aboud DDI, bloom's taxonomy, and differentiation - I have mixed thoughts. A big part of DDI is creating a guiding objective with a proving behavior that is congruent to the objective. This proving behavior is determined by bloom's because the teacher must decide at which level will the student be working at. Looking at it this way, the teacher would typically write one objective with one proving behavior at one level of bloom's, however, if you add differentiation into it, one must view writing objectives in a different way.

    I agree with Croth when she commented on Dani Pico's post. To differentiate using Bloom's while keeping the DDI framework in mind, the teacher will have to incorporate choice and activities on various bloom's levels in the objective.

    To do this, I think using the Bloom Charts which start on p. 72 will be most beneficial and the easiest way to begin planning objectives that address multiple levels of bloom's.

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  29. Page 69: "This strategy involves all children thinking about the same topic or concept--they're just doing so on different levels and showing what they know in different ways." This quote illustrates for me how well Bloom's Taxonomy and DDI dovetail into one another. One of the things I like about DDI is how you are able to poll the class to check on student comprehension but you can do it in ways that enables each student to do the work independently and at his or her own pace. The different methods of doing this (holding up a finger or two, using the clickers to vote or choose the correct answer) appeal to the various types of learners in the classroom. Wait time is another aspect of DDI that I see as being inextricably linked to Bloom's--in order to let each student work on the same thing, but in his or her own way, the teacher must allow for an appropriate amount of time to pass to enable all of the students to work things out.

    In response to PD Readings' post, I, too, didn't really think much about the connection between DDI and Bloom's until this question forced me to. I think that all good teachers inherently use Bloom's to plan and move along classroom discussion and instruction, and in our district, DDI may seem like something we're somewhat forced to do. However, this has made me take a long look at how I can fuse these two together to help every student in the class, and myself as well, in terms of pre- and post- assessment.

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  30. In response to cwinegar on June 24 at 11:19 pm, I agree that DDI is the perfect method for SBISD and planning/teaching lessons, etc. I liked the quote that you picked out and also it was mentioned by another blogger earlier that Blooms can be used to teach/review the same strand of concept but at differing levels depending on learner's needs. This can be done by polling kiddos (using ActivVotes, etc) or also as part of everyday workstations and small group meetings. I also agree that wait time is imperative to learners and letting them "digest" what they are thinking before relaying back their understanding. It is such an easy aspect to integrate, too and requires no planning either!

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  31. DDI stresses that you must know where you wish to end before you begin (all those "guiding questions & enduring understandings) and Blooms gives you a way to ascertain if you've indeed come to a good end. I found Chapt. 5 to be very enlightening. The "new and improved" Blooms (page 65) really helped clarify matters. I could fully get my mind around the concept of "synthesis". "Create" makes much more sense to me. The chapter provided concrete examples which helped this down to earth Virgo tremendously.
    Figure 5.4 (page 72) meshes perfectly with the other book study I’m participating in. Primary Guide to Challenge Math is nothing but differentiated math problems and exercises. It’s a perfect accompaniment to this book.

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  32. In repsonse to what Croth said: "A wise person once told me that teaching was as simple as asking 3 questions. What do you want the students to learn? How will you know they learned it? What will you do for those who didn’t learn it" - love your comment - it does indeed sum up what good teaching is. It does need a 4th question though - "What will those who have learned it do while you work with those who didn't?"

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  33. In response to D. Dunavin - I agree that differentiation is intentional. I also think that it takes a some practice and awareness. I would love to know what flipchart you use!

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  34. I think that Blooms and DDI are similar in that they building process. You don't just go out there and jump to the end. Some students are ready for the end but most, probably not. I like the structure of DDI and Blooms. I really like figure 5.1 (pg 62), it simplifies the whole concept.

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  35. As many have stated previously, I do see the connection between DDI and Blooms. I think the “proving behavior” will be a little more open ended because children may be working on different products to “prove” their learning. It also ties in the preassessment piece to ensure that students are making continuous process at the appropriate level. On page 68, “You plan to give the students a choice of products when what they are to learn is more important than how they show you what they have learned. It appears that preassessment, DDI, and Boom’s provide a structure in which to meet the needs of all of our learners so no one is left to “run in place.”

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