Friday Feedback

12/11/15 Edition

Bloom's Taxonomy and Level of Complexity for Student Tasks

A few weeks ago I shared the observation data that was collected from when Adam and I were conducting walk-throughs. One of the items that I continue to be very impressed with in our building is the posting and usage of our Learning Targets/Purpose Statements so students know the "why and what" of the learning lesson for the day. One area that we may start to look at in observations is the level of task that the students are being asked to complete towards that daily target - in other words, where at on the Revised Bloom's Taxonomy/Higher Order Thinking is this task at today towards that target?

In our Administrative Instructional Rounds Wednesday at George Washington we were looking specifically at the level of task that teachers were asking students to accomplish using the Revised Bloom's Taxonomy - the complexity level of the task that students were completing. The Middle School Instructional Rounds will be later this Winter.

The Revised Bloom's Taxonomy is something that I tried to make a point of using often when I taught to increase the level of Higher Order Thinking in the types of questions that I was asking in my tasks and activities or practice work; Bloom's Wheel (below) can also be a nice guide to developing higher level learning targets and questions with associated tasks. HOTS (Higher Order Thinking Skills) were a point of emphasis in West Branch walk-through data and Instructional Rounds.

One obvious connection of Bloom's to the Gradual Release of Responsibility is that typically when students are engaging in Collaboration/Productive Group Work often there is a creating and/or evaluation aspect to that team work (Higher Order Thinking). This is why Fisher and Frey argue that student collaboration has been a key component in their school reform efforts and gains in student achievement. In other words, generally as students collaborate more the level of complexity in the questions and tasks raise = Higher Order Thinking (see link and video below).

As you are thinking about your future units and lessons and targets around the standards, think about the level of task complexity you are asking students to complete towards your daily targets and towards those standards. Are students engaging in a mix of low level and high level task complexity and thinking? (A variety of tasks utilizing Remembering, Understanding, Applying, Analyzing, Evaluating, and Creating)? A quick win is simply raising the level of the questions you use as a teacher to include more HOTS.

Up and Coming...

Important Dates and Events

Monday 12/14 - MS Bball vs. Washington - 4:30

Tuesday 12/15 - MS Bball vs. Burlington - 4:30; MS Wrestling @ Ft. Madison - 4:30

Friday 12/18 - Special Assembly Schedule for Angel Tree Recognition; Angel Tree Shoppers go to Wal-Mart from 1-2:15 pm

Tuesday 12/22 - 1:45 Student Dismissal and Staff Dismissal District Wide

Wednesday 12/23 - Sunday 1/3/16 - HOLIDAY BREAK!!!

When times get tough, remember why we got into this profession!!!

3.2 - How to Write Learning Objectives Using Bloom's Taxonomy