Apr 13, 2014

Making Student's Thinking Visible


Sometimes when students are learning a lot of new information, it is difficult for them to organize it, or keep the parts together that go together. They know the terms, and have some of the links, but don't quite have it all straightened out in their heads. 

Also, as a teacher, it can be difficult to sort out where they have misconceptions. Here is one tool that I used to do just that. Concept maps. 

I gave the students a list of 20 terms (with definitions) related to weathering and erosion. I told them they need to use 15. I showed some examples of concept maps on the board and the linking terms.   I had them write the words they chose on post-it notes.  I had them organize the terms on the large paper, then add linking words to explain how they were connected, and then add at least 5 pictures (I had many pictures available for them to choose from).  

For my higher students, this was really an opportunity for them to tie together their knowledge, and organize it.  They felt like they benefited, and caught many of their own misconceptions as they were trying to connect the terms.  

For the lower students, I was able to see their errors or confusion when they laid out the terms, and help correct those, or talk through with them how the concepts could connect, and which didn't make sense.

I think it was a beneficial exercise to wrap up a unit, and they love seeing them on display in the hallway.

If you are looking for complete vocabulary lists, and concept lists for Earth Science, a good place to look is in this product, or your district curriculum.





1 comment :

  1. It is so nice to see kids no matter what their age start making connections and understanding. I really like the large chart paper and having them linking connections.

    Heather
    The Busy Busy Hive

    ReplyDelete

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