I was working with an adolescent education student and asked him if he was applying Bloom’s Taxonomy in his lesson planning. He responded that he was familiar with Bloom’s but not sure if he was applying it correctly to levels of learning when planning his demo lesson.
It did not take me long to realize that although educators are aware of the importance of learning objectives being aligned with Bloom’s levels of learning, we have changed the title so many times that preservice teachers could become confused with the actual reason we use Benjamin Bloom’s conceptual approach to instruction and learning. Benjamin Bloom, when a professor at Chicago University, participated in an informal meeting of college examiners attending the American Psychological Association Convention in Boston. Bloom held the title of Associate Director of the Board of Examinations of the University of Chicago. It was at this meeting that Bloom and a group of others expressed an interest in developing a theoretical framework that they could use to facilitate communication and to promote the exchange of test materials and ideas about testing with other examiners. The group mutually came to an agreement that they could obtain this type of framework through a system of classifying educational goals and objectives. They set out to develop a classification system for thinking behaviors that were important in the learning process, so that examiners might have a more reliable system for assessing students and educational outcomes. This group of college examiners continued to meet informally at a different university each year, and eight years later the Taxonomy of Educational Objectives – The Classification of Educational Goals – Handbook 1: The Cognitive Domain was published in 1956. (http://www.icels-educators-for-learning.ca/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=52&Itemid=67)
They devised a stairway with six steps, six learning levels. The six steps are rough estimates of how learning develops sequentially. Originally the steps were as depicted the diagram below (http://oaks.nvg.org/taxonomy-bloom.html).
Six levels of learning according to Bloom et al
The levels are thought to build on one another. The six levels in the figure pertain to thinking, the so-called cognitive domain. Here they are:
|There are six levels of knowledge according to Benjamin Bloom et al. The terms are reformulated and simplified in the figure.
However, over the years the taxonomy has been revised to reflect creativity, depth of knowledge, and much more, yet, the framework provides a structure for how we apply the common core standards as well. Spiraling up is a way to make sure that students “know” before they are asked to “comprehend” and then “apply” a concept.
As we approach another year of learning and instruction my goal is to provide a crosswalk from Benjamin Bloom’s hierarch of learning to the CCSS and result in learning objectives that reflect SRL! Stay tuned, the summer of blogging has just begun!
My youngest granddaughter and I were watching a Barbie dream house movie where everything happens instantly. Cupcakes pop out of toaster like appliances fully decorated, the closet dresses her, and her barbecue produces perfectly assembled hot dogs and hamburgers. The only thing Barbie is lacking is glitter, and that becomes the quest: searching for glitter.
I said to Reese, “Would Barbie pass the marshmallow test?” Remembering her own experience with the marshmallow challenge, the five-year old giggled and responded “Oh no! Never!”
What is the marshmallow test? I recommend watching the youtube video with Joachim de Posada sharing his landmark experiment on delayed gratification (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lWURnHkYuxM) and how it can predict future success. Included in his short talk is a video of youngsters trying their hardest not to eat the marshmallow. What I find most interesting is the strategies they use to remain focused on the goal to not eat the marshmallow even when they are very tempted to have instant gratification. What is remarkable is the studies that followed the children collected evidence of the lifelong value of delaying gratification.
So while Barbie has her instant gratification lifestyle, Reese has her Nana reminding her that everything is a process and how much better it is to save our money for a trip to Target than to spend it on the candy placed strategically at the checkout counter. Delaying gratification is a self-regulatory strategy. I am wondering if the common core is attempting to teach young students to strategically approach learning, using tools and strategies to take difficult tests and as a result, raise their self-efficacy for future testing (Regents, SAT, ACT).
Someone needs to tell the thousands of adults sitting at their dining room table with children who are frustrated with their homework, that not everything is covered in class before it is sent home for homework. Homework has become preparation for what is to be learned in a future class.
Homework is now actually challenging and often the first exposure to the problem. Polya,the great mathematician, said problem solving must be a struggle, and he provided a sequence of steps to problem solve. Many schools offer parents and caregivers extra help to make homework the discovery of new ideas in preparation for instructional segments.
Backwards planning, or the flipped classroom has come into practice without telling the most important participants, the parents! Educators have found that the process of stepping back for the old model of using class time to expose students to new material has been a successful motivational factor in learning. Devoting class time to interactions rather than lectures takes students beyond content and into the stimulating world of problem solving and critical thinking.
So don’t be surprised if your student comes home with a challenging new task. It is okay to discover together that learning is a journey and our goal is to learn to ask the right questions not necessarily finding the correct answer until class time. Knowing how to ask questions is a goal of the common core and a significant part of the learning process….Self-regulated learners are help-seekers, asking for hints and moving on with their inquiry is a key motivational factor as well as a means towards building self-efficacy.
Can 4th graders infer meaning from context clues and morpheme clues?
YES THEY CAN WHEN THEY USE THE OUTSIDE/INSIDE STRATEGY ALONG WITH VTRIX!
Self-regulation of vocabulary acquisition includes linking learning process goals and encouraging self-recording of individual progress (Zimmerman 2008; Zimmerman & Kitsantas, 1999). The CCSS for K-5 invites students to confront challenging words or phases by making several attempts to arrive at a viable approximation of the meaning, rather than skipping over them or making one attempt and moving on (Caulkins, Ehrenworth, & Lehman, 2012). It is suggested that texts with spiraling like content in increasing complexity can be an effective means for both students and teachers to become engaged in constantly building a transferable vocabulary.
No Skipping! Infer Meaning From Context Clues and Morpheme Clues
Words Have Parts!
A working knowledge of academic language is foundational for learning concepts and processes taught at the middle and high school level. Without a working knowledge of an academic vocabulary, readers and writers most likely will struggle in classes across the curriculum.
- Teachers cannot possibly teach all of the words students need to know directly, however, providing students with tools and strategies for learning words on their own, one such strategy being morphology (Kieffer & Lesaux, 2010).
- Students from grades 1-6 have evidenced success in word reading and reading comprehension through training in some aspects of morphology (Bowers, Kirby, & Deacon (2010)
- Morphology provides a key to developing both word knowledge and high quality mental representations and that knowledge and contributes to word reading and to reading comprehension (Nagy, Berninger, & Abbot, 2006; Nunes & Bryant, 2006).
VTRIX is a combination of a reading passage aligned with morphemes and their meanings. As the student reads through a passage, he/she is self-monitoring while using an Outside/Inside word attack strategy by first attempting to define the word from context, and then from the available morpheme definitions. I made adaptations to a well known Vocabulary Tricks derived from Baumann and his colleagues (2003) by adding self-regulatory vocabulary learning instruction strategies, calling it VTRIX. Learner’s use the Outside/Inside approach to look both inside and outside a word in order to read a challenging passage.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.R.4 Interpret words and phrases as they are used in a text, including determining technical, connotative, and figurative meanings, and analyze how specific word choices shape meaning or tone
Yesterday I went to Costco to get apples, There were sixteen varieties of apples, yet they were all a type of apple. Now, an apple expert would immediately know that some were good for baking, others of eating, and still others represented a variety of flavors. However, none of the apples could claim to be oranges!
As states begin to individually revise approaches to implementing the common core the essential skills needed to be college ready remain unchanged. Learning achievement requires a common core of learning goals that emphasize college readiness and self-regulated learning.
When not being politicized, the common core initiative can be viewed as an excellent set of guidelines for curriculum, instructional planning, and good teaching. The old saying that states, “If you aim at nothing you will hit it everytime!”, has not been the problem with our educational system. In reality, aiming at mixed sets of goals and curriculum planning has led to poor learning outcomes.
As educators we need to embrace the concept of common standards. Educational excellence is the goal of all those involved in teaching and learning, although approaches to achieving the goals are varied, we are all headed in the same direction.
You know sometimes it comes down to resetting our goals in the moment. Self-regulation informs our decision making almost “on-the-go”… For example, if I am planning a dinner party with many guests and find that I have run out of time to cook all the food I need (or wanted) – why not have pizza?
Self-regulation is a life skill and it applies to entertaining as well as the classroom setting. Sometimes our reach exceeds our grasp (especially during the holidays), and the grasp of our students, meaning we set goals without a realistic time frame. In last week’s class we discussed the hazards of lesson planning, and how to set attainable proximal goals that raise self-efficacy. Like the dinner party with a three course meal, I had not taken into consideration I would not have time to cook the meal – when I thought ….PIZZA – I was able to maintain the “look” of the dinner party (decorations, table cloth, dinnerware, cutlery), the only thing that was adjusted was the menu which did not make me look like Martha Stewart but neither did it make me cancel my party. The next time I will set more realistic goals which will include time management.
My take on this is that we need to be realistic with what can be accomplished in one lesson or group of lessons. If we adjust goals we are doing it in the interest of raising self-efficacy. An “It Can Be Done” motto is better than not doing it at all. Eventually we will get to better time management but for now working with what we have, praising every proximal goal attained is one way to create a successful learning environment and increase student learning. The common core standards are a spiral staircase encouraging a meaningful progression towards attainable goals not an immediate run to the top.