Highcroft Herald

September 28, 2015

Quote of the Week

"When educators believe students are competent, students tend to perform better; conversely, when educators believe students have deficits, students tend to perform more poorly."

~ Eric Jensen

Road Tested / Chunk-Challenge-Chew-Chat-Check

As you read the following article which was printed in the June issue of Education Update, consider how you can apply this learning within the workshop model and what engagement strategies might you use during the "chew," "chat" and "check" phases. CL

Road Tested / Chunk-Challenge-Chew-Chat-Check

By Emily Mather

One of the more user-friendly and effective approaches used in education is chunk and chew—breaking content into small pieces and giving students adequate time to process it. The addition of the element of assessment can create the even more concrete, not to mention alliterative, chunk and chew and check model. What this model does not include, though, is the opportunity for meaningful questioning that enables students to grapple with the content and express their emerging understanding in a way that promotes engagement and discussion. In order to incorporate all of these necessary elements, we need to move toward a five-phase chunk-challenge-chew-chat-check model.

Chunk: Teachers need to plan to chunk content into slices of no more than about 10 minutes to ensure that students are engaged. Within a short chunk of deep content, teachers can ask for students' full attention. The chunk phase is teacher centered and content rich.

Challenge: Teachers can then use the challenge phase to present a single or small handful of targeted questions or tasks to guide students to delve deeper into the content. The challenge phase can range from questions that involve very simple recall to tasks that involve higher-order thinking and complex academic skills, depending on the timing within the lesson or the structure of the unit. The important thing is that the teacher plans these questions or tasks beforehand and reserves a time within the lesson to pose them to the class.

Chew: The chew phase allows students to process information and engage their minds in the challenge. This phase may be 30 seconds of think time in a think-pair-share activity or 10 minutes of individual writing time, but the premise is the same: students require time to process a rigorous content-based challenge. If the challenge is engaging, the students will welcome this time to ponder the content and begin to formulate an expression of their understanding.

Chat: Structured classroom talk gives students the chance to practice academic language, build discussion skills, and increase their understanding. The chat phase is two-fold: it is a time when students have the opportunity to express their emerging understanding and a time when the teacher can assess, probe, and engage students in both spontaneous and structured dialogues that scaffold understanding.

Check: Though both the chew and chat phases of this model provide teachers with multiple opportunities to assess student understanding, nothing is as informative as a targeted check for understanding. At the end of each chunk-challenge-chew-chat cycle, teachers can conduct numerous cold calls or ask all students to briefly respond in writing to a targeted question, sketch a diagram, or simply give a quick thumbs up or down to a yes/no question.

A Classroom Example

This approach is especially effective for English language learners (ELLs) who often fall behind when the delivery of content outpaces their ability to process it and express their understanding.

When teaching ELLs how to write a thesis statement, for instance, I may start out by spending about 10 minutes explaining and providing examples of the SORT concept—subject + opinion + reason = thesis (the chunk phase). I would then challenge students by giving them a subject like school uniforms and a sentence starter, such as "School uniforms are [opinion] because [reason] and [reason]," to help them write their own thesis statement (the chew phase). Next, I would task them with sharing and comparing their sentences (the chat phase) and posting them on the board to review as a group (the check phase). I could then reteach as needed, or start the next chunk phase.

The chunk-challenge-chew-chat-check model provides a simple structure for lesson planning and delivery. It also includes frequent checks for understanding to ensure that all students, including ELLs, have equal access to the content.

Power Off Projectors When Not in Use

To ensure the longevity of our projectors and prevent them from overheating, make sure that you are turning off your projector when it is not in use. When using the A/V Mute feature, the projector lamp is still on. You must turn off the projector in order to turn of the lamp.

Social Justice Development Dates - Click Below to View


Monday, September 28

  • Sukkot
  • PLC Leaders Meeting - 7:45am-8:45am - Teacher Resource Center (TRC)
  • Picture Day - 9:15am-11:15am
  • 4th Grade Progress Report CLL - 12:30pm-3:30pm
  • KDG ELA Data Meeting - 2:00pm-2:45pm - (TRC)
  • CLL Collaboration Subs - Madison Schaeffer - PM
  • CLL Collaboration Subs - Sue Clark - PM
  • CLL Collaboration Subs - Debbie Spitzer - PM

Tuesday, September 29

  • Sukkot
  • Hotline Articles Due
  • Multiple IEPs
  • Intruder Drill - 2:00pm-2:15pm
  • Debbie Irving, Author of "Waking Up White" - Parkway Central High School - 6:15pm-7:45pm
  • Harper - Elsie Rafferty - PM
  • SSD Collaboration Sub - Debbie Spitzer - All Day
  • McPherson Out of the Building - PLTW Event - All Day

Wednesday, September 30

  • Sukkot
  • Intervention Team Meeting - 8:00am-8:45am - CRA
  • 1st Grade Field Trip - Water's Edge - 9:30am-1:30pm
  • Lucas Out of the Building -Special Education Leaders Academy- All Day
  • Board of Education Meeting - Parkway Central High School - 7:00pm-10:00pm

Thursday, October 1

  • Sukkot
  • Denim Day to Fight Cancer
  • Jog Jam/PE Time
  • DIA Meeting - 8:00am-8:45am - CRB
  • Choir Rehearsal - 8:00am-8:45am - Music Room
  • Vision Screening - 9:00am-4:00pm - CRA
  • KDG Math Focus Student - 2:00pm-2:45pm - Crowell's Room
  • Oleshchuk - Dianne Herndon - All Day

Friday, October 2

  • Sukkot
  • National Custodial Appreciation Day
  • State Dental Hygiene Check CRA - 9:30am-3:00pm
  • Lucas Out of the Building - AM
Highcroft Ridge Elementary Progress Reports