Reflection: Staircase of Complexity "It's Only Natural..." - Section 2: Anticipatory Set ("Hook")


Things that make you go "hmmm"...

  1. "Think-alouds are also inexact reproductions of a person’s actual thinking about reading; no one can thoroughly or accurately capture all of what he sees in his mind’s eye. For these reasons, a think-aloud has been described as allowing us “to track the trail of a porpoise” because it gives us glimpses into hidden activity, allowing us to infer what is happening below the surface of consciousness."

 Source: A study Guide for Improving Comprehension With Think-Aloud Strategies

Essentially, this strategy is meant to scaffold the steps of increasing difficulty for really any task, not just for reading. In the case of the quote above, the intended focus is for reading. I will be the very first to step up to the line and declare that I am a teacher of reading, writing, and my content area. But it occurred to me that many such strategies are multi-modal. Why reject it on the grounds that it is not neatly tailored to the task at hand?

So, I decided to employ this strategy in a novel context and it works. How many of us have learned how to do some DIY project or learn how to cook creme brulee from a cooking show. They are demonstrating (modeling) the skill and talking through it. In one version of skill building, there is an "I/We/You" approach. Well, the "I" is all about thinking aloud with students "eavesdropping" so that they can see how the skill ought to be done.

  Making my thinking transparent to students
  Staircase of Complexity: Making my thinking transparent to students
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"It's Only Natural..."

Unit 6: 6) Exploring Change ("The Theory of Natural Selection")
Lesson 7 of 15

Objective: Students will cooperatively reflect on their original understanding of the Theory of Natural Selection and evaluate how it has changed throughout the unit.

Big Idea: Natural Selection is a very complex, abstract, and widely misunderstood theory. It's only natural to wonder how it all works!

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2 teachers like this lesson
Science, natural selection (Evolution), Explaining Behavior, Evaluation and Analysis, peer review, point of view, analysis, comparative comparison, pattern, stability and change, Blog
  55 minutes
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