After I left Laura’s classroom, she did some really interesting work on her own. First of all, she had students reflect on the experience in a number of ways and shared these reflections with me. Here is a picture of the discussion guide she gave to students:
The responses she received showed students making many connections from the activity to working with texts. For example, students said such text-based skills might be “interpreting” what is not directly explained by an author, “hypothesizing” about what will happen in the future of a text, and looking for “context clues” in texts to determine meaning.
Students also identified that as they continued to look closer and for longer in the activity, they were able to think of the “deeper meaning,” look more “critically” and “wonder” about more things. In addition, one student said that when he doesn’t understand something he would “ask meaningful questions” about it to help him understand.
Laura followed this reflection by reading the back cover of Of Mice and Men with students and discussing what they might hypothesize the book will be about. Students made connections to Naturalism and the book cover to make predictions.
Laura plans to continue to build on this activity through examining foreshadowing in the text and predicting future events with students as they read.
The assessment is called “3-2-1.” This is an activity from Making Thinking Visible. It is intended to see how students thinking expands or changes on a topic/key idea/skill after you have provided novel information. It would be an interesting replacement for an exit ticket. It might also be a way to explore “thinking” or “process” skills (Ex: collaboration, critical thinking, inference, hypothesis etc.) . The instructions are as follows:
Before the lesson
1. Write a word on the board for which you will provide new information (Ex.: historical event, literary time period, presentation skill, thinking strategy etc.)
2. Have students write the following:
- 3 words they associate with the topic/key idea/skill
- 2 questions they have about the topic/key idea/skill
- 1 metaphor about the topic/key idea/skill
3. At this point, I thought it was helpful to discuss/share student ideas before teaching the lesson, watching the video, reading the passage etc.
After the lesson
1. Have students review the 3-2-1 from before the lesson/new information
2. Repeat step 2 from Part I, asking students to consider initial responses and how thinking has changed
3. Discuss/reflect on the changes with students
4. Collect the 3-2-1 from students for formative assessment
Here is a 3 2 1 Strategy handout to give to students.