• If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • You already know Dokkio is an AI-powered assistant to organize & manage your digital files & messages. Very soon, Dokkio will support Outlook as well as One Drive. Check it out today!


6-1-10 Notes

Page history last edited by Bill Derry 13 years, 8 months ago

These WORDLEs were created from the BIG THINK WORK DONE on the Google Doc at the final ITL Steering Committee Meeting of 2010:

Although the synthesis activities closed the meeting, with David Loertscher responding to the group work, they have been placed first in these notes....



Synthesis of the information related the the question: What ideas do you have, either FROM the presentations today or from your ITL experiences this year, for next year's district goals for ITL?




Synthesis of the information related the the question: What aspects of today's presentations might be used by our school's ITL Committee? What other ideas do you have to "charge" and support the work of your school's ITL committee next year?


Synthesis of the information related the the question: What relevance do any of the presentations have to strategies that might work  in my classroom or disclipine that would inform my awareness of students' understanding of CONTENT? 





Synthesis of the information related the the question: What relevance do any of the presentations have to strategies that might work  in my classroom or discipline that would inform my awareness of students' understanding of PROCESS skills?





The meeting opened with Bill explaining some of the values of a Big Think, and the use of the 9 metacognitive strategies presented in the book, The Big Think, by David Loertscher, Caol Koechlin and Sandi Zwaan. David Loertscher joined the entire meeting via Skype. Although one might say there are MANY, MANY ways to do a Big Think, as with all things ITL -- knowing at least 9 Strategies provides you with a way to compare and contrast the possible Big Thinks -- and select the one with the RELATIVE ADVANTAGE. This is where help from a library media specialist or technology teacher (who have at least explored the book and practiced the basic concepts of a Big Think) would provide the collaboration that elevates a Big Think to an even "higher level."

A Big Think should allow students to reflect on their learning in the areas of content and process.

What was this done for?  What would you do next?  What would you have done differently if ???

A Big Think can provide feedback on the percentage of students who successfully grasped the essential questions and themes of the unit of study. A Big Think may present areas of BIG GAPS, where some other activities can be created to help fill those gaps.



We had very little time for each presentation, and started the presentations before 2:00. Below, where there is an asterisk, you can find the work done by the presenters in the Contemporary Literacy Class on Blackboard (Go to TOOLS, then BIG THINK or TRAILS) All presentations (other than the one by Robin Stiles about their use of the assessment tool, TRAILS) focused on the use of a Big Think to motivate students to apply their knowledge gained from a recent unit of study.


*Kelley Auringer, LMS – GFS– Grade 4– Biomes– Ms. Krzyzek’s Class

This activity asked students to respond to a new problem that was not addressed during their study, and it best fits the NEW PROBLEM OR CHALLENGE (Strategy 5) Big Think.

     Showed student posters made during a 50 minute Big Think where the students who studied only the tundra had to design shelter and create a list of foods they would. One group determined that modern technology would allow them to adapt to the environment significantly easier. (There was some discussion that the posters demonstrated the understanding of adaptation from their work in 3rd grade. Since I was involved in this Big Think it was clear that those students who had studied the INUIT were using prior knowledge. One person suggested that she could tell the Native American group that influenced the results from the pictures, but the reality was the groups were very mixed, and no single Native American group was represented by the entire group. From my perspective they followed the original question and used only the TUNDRA in their decision making.)


*Aimee Anctil, LMS/Ali Moran, 5th grade–KHS – Ancient Civilizations

This activity asked students to reconstruct concepts to build understanding and to analyze and synthesize their collective ideas, and it best fits the HIGHER-ORDER THINKING Strategy (#3) and the RE-CREATE (Strategy 8) Big Think.

     A longer Big Think -- with 5 sessions. The setup for the Big Think was:

"The United Nations is planning to build a new culture in a remote part of the world. Their hope is that the culture
will survive for thousands of years with great success. The entire world is curious as to how this culture will
succeed when others (Ancient Egypt, Persia, Maya, etc.) have not. As an expert on your ancient civilization, you
will offer your opinion, backed up by your group's research on the following question:
What elements make a culture successful and able to endure over time?"


*Michael Brownstein, Tech T/ Barbara Eilertsen, LMS–LLS–Grade 4–Phaedra Taft-Biomes

The element of PLAY in this Big Think makes this a SANDBOX (Strategy 9) Big Think.

     Long Ago, in a galaxy far, far away the planet of Shtam had become overpopulated.The Shtamian High Council met to discuss possible solutions. They decided to send a crew to a distant planet called Earth.  They chose this planet because its land and atmosphere are similar to that of Shtam.Their mission:  explore the Earth's biomes.  Recommend the most suitable biome for colonization to the Shtamian High Council.


*Ed Wolf, 5th grade/Pam Syndercombe, Tech T – Grade 5 – Ancient Civilizations

This Big Think is a blend of the ACTIVE DISCUSSION (Strategy #1) and the HIGHER-ORDER THINKING Strategy (#3).

         Ed, master of wikis, utilizes wikis as a basic tool in his classroom. All students in the past two years have mastered the organization, planning and use of wikis WITH other tools like Smart Notebook, Glogs, and Flip cameras. The students spent considerable time selecting ONE artifact each for one ancient civilization. They had to demonstrate how this artifact impacted as many cultural universals as made sense!  The Big Think forced the students to analyze each artifact in relation to the question, "Which ONE artifact in your Ancient Civilization MOST impacted future cultures and our culture today?" Then after that, they had to determine the ONE artifact from all the Ancient Civilizations studied that best answered that question.


Kathy Fleming, Tech T. /Bedford TV – Working with BAM –Big Think in Central Park 

          Kathy presented a video that she put together from her TV Studio students video footage that they created in Central Park before a visit to CNN. They were challenged to create a video for next year's video crew that provided the most important aspects of working on B.A.M.


*Rita Hennessey, LMS – Grade 7 – Jonathan Feagin’s Class- Social Studies

 Related to an essay students wrote and the writing model. Big Think Model used: Strategy #1 – Active Discussion, using Wall Wisher to have students reflect individually before the whole class discussion. Of the 72 original comments, there are about 20 that were on-topic (you can see the wall at http://www.wallwisher.com/wall/bmslmc ). I learned to use moderated status from now on ;>. For the students who took it seriously (this activity was last period on Friday), they posted some good comments & reflection on their process, and I think all of the students  got some ideas of what to do differently the next time they use this model to write an essay.

Jon Feagin’s glog:  http://jonfeagin.glogster.com/role-of-government-in-the-economy/


*Robin Stiles, LMS – TRAILS – Info. Lit. Assessment – What For? What Next?

"TRAILS is a knowledge assessment with multiple-choice questions targeting a variety of information literacy skills based on sixth and ninth grade standards. This Web-based system was developed to provide an easily accessible and flexible tool for library media specialists and teachers to identify strengths and weaknesses in the information-seeking skills of their students."

Copyright 2010 Kent State University Libraries

Trails includes assessments for 6th and 9th graders.  Debut coming for 3rd and 12th grade assessments!  We found it very easy to set up and use.  Staff at Kent State are quick to answer emails and any questions you might have.

  • At SHS we used the #2 Student View for 9th graders as a PRE and POST test given through freshman English classes in September and in May.
  • Most English classes visited the LLC for mini-research projects where skills needed were worked on with each class.
  • Skills improved for the majority of freshman from September to May.
  • The greatest need is in the category of "Recognizing how to use information responsibly, ethically, and legally."

What for?
          Continue to assess the level of incoming freshman and be able to adjust their instruction accordingly.
Incoming classes continue to have more and more information technology skills.  We get a new set of students every year with a different set of skills. It is essential for us to be aware of those skills and adjust accordingly.

What next?  Some preliminary ideas...
      Include in Freshman Orientation in the LLC a lesson on "Recognizing how to use information responsibly, ethically, and legally" which tested out to be the lowest category across all classes.
      Possibilities include incorporating a "Yes, No, Maybe" checklist of responsible, ethical, and legal researching techniques and an ensuing discussion during Freshman Orientation in the LLC.
      Through Collaborative Team discuss these positive researching techniques and how best to deliver them across the school.
     Through meeting with departments share methods of teaching positive imformation and researching techniques that develop researching responsibly, ethically, and legally.

During the activity all participants were responding to 4 questions in the Google Doc.

Each group took one question and synthesized the information at the bottom of each row.

Finally each group synthesized the entire "conversation" in a pre-selected box on the right hand side. The Wordle for the final synthesis combined the synthesis from each group.


Comments (0)

You don't have permission to comment on this page.