This is a professional development blog. We'll be discussing books we read as a group. Our discussions will be focused on gifted children.
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. Amitch
Bloom's Taxonomy is an integral part of DDI, especially in task analysis. A few things that really stuck with me: "Any time a question is asked the second time (e.g., on a test), that question is one involving remembering...Every time students apply, analyze, evaluate, and create, they increase their knowledge base" (80).
In response to A Mitch, I agree that "our goal is for our students to be lifelong learners and continuing learners beyond the expectations." For this reason, I also agreed with the book's idea to "tell your students that designing their own learning experiences around the content you determine would be great" (75). Motivation!
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I like the idea of giving students choice of product, yet guiding them to choose from 2-3 Bloom's levels. I'm really excited about make some Bloom's charts specific to my content area. I visited www.engine-uity.com expecting to find ready-made units but found only products for sale. One product looked interesting however, it was a learning center bundle for different subject areas. I may have to look into this one more closely.
Ms. Gio, I'm excited about using Bloom's charts too! What a great way to keep the students focused on their learning, but allowing them choice for their final product.
I believe that Bloom’s plays a critical part in the district’s DDI. We need to be using the higher level questions and activities with our students, which goes back to the high expectations for all students from chapter 3. I used something similar to the Bloom Chart with my literacy stations this year. It was definitely more simplistic than the Bloom Chart, but it gave my students choices of higher level reading responses. Each set of questions were labeled A and B, with A containing questions at the application and analysis level and B containing questions at the synthesis and evaluation level. The students didn’t know they were choosing questions based on Bloom’s levels. They were just happy they had a choice.
In response to Ms.Gio, I also am looking forward to using Bloom's Charts in my classroom. I think they will be a great tool to give students choice in their learning, but making sure they are doing activities that challenge them as well!
When questioning my students I always keep a list of questions from Blooms on an index card to insure that I extend beyond the knowledge level. DDI specifically measures a teachers use of higher level thinking in a lesson. I liked the Blooms charts described in Chapter 5, but would have appreciated some more examples on a lower elementary level.
I teach a GT program where we stress thinking on higher levels of the Bloom’s Taxonomy. We attempt every day for our students to reach the levels of application by giving them hands-on activities and through discovery, the students apply the knowledge they have been taught and often reach cognitive levels of analysis and evaluation and optimally synthesis. We often use centers as described on page 73 and they truly are effective means for students to experience differentiation at all levels of cognition. Centers are planned with objectives written specifically for the individual small groups chosen. Each center has specific instructions for the group and they work cooperatively to accomplish the expected goals. Sometimes we group students according to their particular interests or strengths and they enjoy the freedom to be doing their own thing! As a DDI instructor, I firmly believe in DDI as the best model for effective teaching. Following the lesson design format is essential for the best teaching strategies and essential for the best learning to take place. No teacher should ever write an objective without considering what level of thinking you want your students to be at in attempting to complete the expected product. As a parent, I sometimes get annoyed when I know that my child is just receiving knowledge and is expected to simply regurgitate that knowledge. Teaching is not just delivering knowledge based material. Make the students think at higher levels. Watch what they can do with that knowledge when given opportunities to think higher on the Bloom’s scale of taxonomy. It is our responsibility as teachers to give students the opportunity to “discover” learning to synthesize learning, to transfer their knowledge to other learning and to inspire a love for learning.
DDI and Bloom's Taxonomy go hand in hand. In order to write your DDI lesson plans you have to use Blooms to establish the level cognition you want to the learner to reach, how you are going to analyze, apply, and remember their learning. On p. 69 it states, "differenciating the process dimensions of learning experiences works to keep all students studying the same concepts but at levels matching their readiness," Can you imagine the class discussions that would occur in our classrooms if we continue to differenciate using Blooms to it's fullest.
In response to weedin... I know that when I ask my students questions more than once, I emphasize it. One of them will say you already asked us that. In return I ask do you think it might be important to remember. Then the little light bulbs come on.
In response to illgl... I really like the idea of keeping an index card with Bloom's questions on it. I will have to do that for next year!
I have found Bloom’s and DDI to different sides of the same coin. When writing lessons, I no longer differentiate one from the other. Everything in physics is word problems and determining how the topic is correctly or incorrectly applied to a real world situation. So, our work tends toward the applying, analyzing and evaluating. I make a point of making the Set at ‘Remembering’ and ‘Understanding’ levels. Horizontal teaching is a must if I want to teach the students and not just deliver a monologue!
If the teacher has matched the learning experience through the information gained from the pre-assessment, then it is time to match the cognitive level of the learning experience to the student’s level of readiness in the learning. And thus….the famous Bloom’s Taxonomy as we have all been taught time and again through our DDI training. I have been a teacher /trainer of DDI since DDI’s inception in Spring Branch. I am a firm believer in the science of teaching which DDI represents. It is the basis for effective teaching. When you combine the science of teaching with the artistry of teaching (which is often difficult to articulate), you have master teaching taking place. Giving students engaging activities as stated on page 78, certainly brings about differentiated learning experiences.
I agree with susand when she says that as GT teachers, we use the discovery/inquiry approach to teaching where students are given the opportunities to engage in activities at their own levels. The level of cognition is different for small groups we create for an engaging, hands-on activity. Each group may be working on something different although the focus, or theme of the activity is the same. The process and product may vary from the expectations of other group members but each group has a rubric for us to evaluate and assess products as well as having the students themselves self-evaluate. For every lesson, we write objectives that befit the level of cognition and the observable , congruent student “proving” behavior expected.
Re Theo: Since you have been a DDI trainer since the beginning: HELP!In my book, I have highlighted one of the sentences on p78 you mentioned: “Respectful tasks are ones in which all children have opportunities to learn things and at a level of challenge that will require mental stretching to reach.” My question is: – HOW? Do you have any class specific examples – a book you could recommend, a website.…Anything that is subject specific on how to create ‘respectful tasks’ physics? Does the district have a list? I know most of the people in this class are elementary and middle school – so any examples in websites or books for that grade level would be appreciated, too. Thanks!
Designing and Delivering Instruction incorporates Bloom's Taxonomy for Learning. This way of instructional planning and presenting helps teachers to guide their students through a framework of learning readiness in order and increase their understanding of complex concepts. The SBISD lesson design seems to have included some structures developed by Madeline Hunter as well. All good!
DDI and Bloom's definitely go hand in hand. In order to help students learn as well as assess their learning we must use questioning strategies that cover all levels of Bloom's. Good lesson planning allows us to really think about the purpose of the lesson and to plan quality questions that cover these different levels. Yes, we are all very impromptu and can create these questions during teaching based on the direction that students' responses are leading to, but when we plan for our questions, making the more conscious effort helps us make sure that not only are we questioning on different levels, but that the quality of the questions is leading our students in the best direction.
In response to ratliffb on June 15th: I too ask certain question more than once for emphasis. Even though when we ask questions more than once, the second time means we are only on the recall scale (p. 80), it's still a good tool to emphasize, to check for understanding, and to make sure students are participating in the lesson. This can also lead to students asking for clarification or leading to hypotheticals both of which can lead to further great discussions.
In response to ms. gio on June 13th: I visited engine-uity.com too and was disappointed that they didn't even have examples so you could see what the products/centers were actually like. I have found that menus give students choice, but you can also have different menus based on your students' levels. I often have at least 2 menus and will let all students look at the more challenging menu to see if they want to challenge themselves so even though my menus are differentiated based on my students' levels/needs, I find this allows my students to challenge themselves if and when they feel ready which gives many of them more of a feeling of accomplishment.
Differentiating according to Bloom's levels and the districts DDI plan go hand in hand. You cannot achieve effective instruction for all students without providing differentation based on different Bloom's levels. I teach 1st grade, and I feel like sometimes many of the assignments focus on the "rememeber" level in Bloom's. It is so important to move those students who are ready to higher levels of Bloom's thinking. The only way to deliver DDI instruction to all is to give them assignements on their level on thinking.
In response to Ms. Gio on June 13th, I am also exicted about giving students choices based on different Bloom's levels. I do wish that the chapters in the book would show more elementary examples though.
Differentiating with Bloom's goes hand-in-hand with DDI right from the beginning starting with "What am I trying to teach?" (content) and beginning the planning process there. Using differentiation with Bloom's you can make the lesson relevant (and therefore interesting) to the student with choices of product on a level that will continue their learning. I would like to make Bloom's charts for different units this year that I can use over and over again. I would also like to make product Tic-Tac-Toes based on the different levels that could be used for many years. The inital time investment would be considerable, but then it would be in place to use each year with only minor variations to account for students' needs over the years. Also, it would be great to have some sort of database or website where SBISD teachers could share their charts and ideas. We have a great team that works together, but imagine having all the teachers in the district sharing their ideas!
In response to ms. gio, I'm disappointed to hear what you said about the website. I bookmarked it to look at later (and I still will) but I was hoping to find some good ideas I could use immediately.
In response to ratliffb, I had several students who were on a higher level than the rest of my class and it was interesting to see what discussions were sparked when they presented what they knew or asked a question that extended the learning.
illgl - That is such a great idea to write questions from all of the Bloom's levels on an index card when questioning in class or preparing an assessment! I'm going to have to "borrow" that one, if you don't mind.
To nlopez - Could you possibly email me an example of a menu you use in your classes. It would be extremely helpful to see a real-world firstname.lastname@example.org
@ swagner -I wholeheartedly agree with your comment, "Also, it would be great to have some sort of database or website where SBISD teachers could share their charts and ideas."
When setting up my lesson, DDI gives choice, whereas Bloom’s sets the level. In using the Tic Tac Toe model for differentiation, I go back and review the levels of questions or tasks from which they are able to choose. Each column should contain at least one of the higher applications. I struggle with giving the academically gifted students work that will challenge them without adding extra work to the normal load. It is through Blooms that in differentiating we can achieve “differentiation is not more but different.” Pg. 74
DDI and Bloom's Taxonomy are needed to create lessons that will reach all of your students. Bloom's sets the level of cognition while DDI allows for choice. I liked the section on page 65 that talked about the group that got together to reexamine the original taxonomy and give it an update.
In response to Ms. Gio who posted on June 13, 2011 at 8:16 PM. I am excited about creating some Bloom's charts for my students. They will have choice in their final product. I hope to find a teaching partner who would like to work on these together for several content areas.
When starting to write a lesson plan, I always refer back to my DDI manual or flip book of ideas made for us by 2 fabulous teachers at our school.You must always know how you want your students to be thinking before you can decide how you will teach the lesson.
In response to susand:Discovery is a huge deal at our school. We are lucky that we have more flexibility with our classrooms and how to approach each lesson. When talking about your children sometimes having to just repeat information learned - when I was in grad school I had to take a class all about testing. I really learned to appreciate how to question kids with the different levels of Blooms!
In response to swagner:Such a great idea! This is the one profession where it's ok to share your secrets for success! Getting together a database could help so many teachers reach the needs of the students in their classes.
Bloom’s Taxonomy and DDI work well together and aid teachers in planning. We should also remember that the learning experience should be “congruent” with the objective. Hopefully, gone are the days of products and projects that are “fun” without substance or meaning. Challenging and interesting products and projects should be in agreement with the objective while also exploring the levels of Bloom’s. We must make sure our students have “purposeful” opportunities to study content at a more complex level.
In response to kimberlym on June 13th, I liked your idea of the “A” and “B” charts in your literacy stations. Great idea for reader response with choice.
In response to nlopez on June 16th, your phrase “quality questions” reminded me how we can elevate student thinking by changing our word choice in questions.
I definately agree with several of my collegues when they state that DDI and Blooms cannot be separated. I really feel that in order to have effective planning it requires the usage of both so their is congruency in the lesson cycle. Also this facilitates for teachers to have the same common language in regards to lesson planning so that teachers can really deliver quality instruction. In fact the Blooms charts mention in the chapter made me recall when I used to integrate literacy menus that my students would choose from to do an activity where the expectations and structure where present but they still had choice which is a fabulous motivator for student. In response to BrookeC I am glad to read that discovery is a component in your school because when students begin to discover and take ownership of their learning it leads to great and amazing possibilities for our students.In response to Theo, I agree with your statement, "When you combine the science of teaching with the artistry of teaching (which is often difficult to articulate), you have master teaching taking place." Teaching is about bringing the wonders down for our students but also scaffolding and monitoring as necessary. It is not about reinventing the wheel but being a keen observer of students to help them with their learning process.
Blooth om's is an integral part of DDI. With both DDI and Blooms we must always consider (pg.63)content, process and product. Since cognition is processing this is where Bloom's plays such an integral roll. We want our DDI questions to take the students past remember, understand, and apply to where they are truly internalizing what they've have learned. Therefore our goal is for students to produce products in the analyzing, evaluating, and creating areas.
In response to weedin's June 12 comment on the quote, "Anytime a question is asked the second time it covers remembering" (page 80)All of our standardized tests evaluate remembering and knowledge which the book states (pg.80)is the first step towards higher level thinking questions. Therefore I hope to create LA/SS workstations where the products focus on creating, applying, evaluating, and analyzing since many of our lessons are already evaluating the student's knowledge base.
Please excuse the mistake on my June 20th comment. It should read, "Bloom's is an integral part of DDI. Thanks
In response to kimberlym, June 13th. I like the center question cards using Bloom's. I would like to try this activity with my student's next year.
As several others stated, I liked Kimbelyn's, June 13th use of Bloom's in the centers to offer choice. Although I use centers once in a while, I don't use centers for each of my units. But I could make more use of offering a variety of questions to choose from, intentionally utilizing Bloom. I especially liked having the chart on page 68 which uses a variety of verbs that may be used.
I agree that when teachers use DDI and Blooms together they are creating quality learning experiences for ALL children.
I agree with weedin (June 9th) that DDI and Bloom's are intertwined, particularly in terms of task analysis. On that note, while reading this chapter, it occurred to me that I have to be careful that I don't jump directly to the higher levels, without making sure the kids have the requisite skills, and have then had to "back up" so to speak.
(continuance of June 21st, 8:23 post) I particularly like the division of the "knowledge dimension" into the four levels (p. 63), in that they serve as a type of roadmap for the students learning, which could be used in conjunction with the preassessments discussed in chapter 4 to track students' learning.In response to amartin, you are absolutely correct in saying that the state tests covered the lower levels of Bloom's. The good news is (or at least I think it's good news) is that the STAAR test will actually require our students to operate at the higher levels of Bloom's, which will require teachers to get out of the drill and kill mode, and into those practices that encourage best practices in the classroom.
Bloom's and DDI are one in the same. The objectives taught should be the same, but at different levels of cognitive processing. With the preassessments completed at the beginning of new unit the teacher will be able to begin at a stage of learning that is appropriate to them. DDI stresses that the educator be aware of and try to extend learning based on Bloom's Taxonomy. Not all students need to begin at the knowledge level because they already have mastered that step of the contend objective. Objectives need to be written at the level that the students will achieve at the end of the lesson. Be careful of the "process verb" you use when writing content objectives. Aim for the stars and most students will meet the analyze and evalution stage at different paces. This is supported on page 80, "You must intentionally match the level of content, process, or product with each student's interests, needs, abilities or skill level." I love that at the end of chapter 5 it mentions that students will share their products of different levels for all to benefit from. It is like reteaching, but the students are the teacher.
In response to KimberlyM June 13th at 8:40, That is a great idea using the Bloom's cognitive levels and creating questions based on the levels! I love to give students choices in what they do, as they seem to own the experience more. This past year we studies heroes, at the end of the unit I had the students create a collage with words and pictures cut out of magazines to display what a hero represents to them. The end product was amazing due to my limited guidelines and the students creating these psoters based on their knowledge base.
In response to teresah on June 20th at 9:04, I completely agree with your wording of "congruent" and "purposeful"!! Gone are the times of cute projects. Our teaching time is so precious that we need to assure that all assessed work and ongoing work is meeting the objective and is purposeful to that verb stated in the objective. I like for my math centers to be congruent with what we are learning in math each day, as to practice and extend knowledge of the content to a deeper understanding.
I really think that when DDI was written/created, the creators probably sat down with Bloom's Taxonomy in mind. DDI keeps us from staying at the base level questions and helps us formulate a more wholistic approach to teaching the material. By using DDI, I know that Nloom's Taxonmy is being addressed. The two go hand in hand.I really liked the "Revised" Bloom's Tasonomy, as shown in Figure 5.2 on pg. 66. I think that it really lays out the process of thinking that should be addressed when learning.
A Mitch, I also like how the author made a good point in saying that students need to make content rich products that stimulate learning. This takes more effort than a traditional pencil/paper test or assignment, yet it really helps the student internalize their learning in a way that is meaningful and of interest to them.Illgl, I too would like to see more examples of how to use these at an elementary grade level. I think that the product list on pg. 67 is a good start, however. It is always helpful, though, to see a true example of the designated outcome.
In order to create lessons that cater to all students you need to use DDI and Blooms. They go hand in hand. Using the higher level questions allows the students to learn beyond just the basic recall of facts and information. It allows them to truly comprehend the newly learned information. I really like the idea of using Blooms charts as a way to provide the students with choice as well as focus on their learning. I am excited to implement this into my classroom next year. My only complaint is, I wish more elementary examples were given.
In response to amandas on June 18th at 11:57am, I completely agree with you as far as giving more examples of how to use the Blooms charts with elementary. I am the kind of person that it helps me visualize how it would work in our classroom with more relevant examples. Maybe more will come in the book.