Reflection: Developing a Conceptual Understanding Classification, part 1 - Section 2: Introduce New Material


The gradual release model of instruction is used in my classroom. I like using this model of instruction because it has led me to be much more intentional about how I provide instruction, based on what it is I want my students to be able to know or be able to do.

This lesson begins with students engaging in an activity that creates significance about the concept of classification.  By allowing them to classify the animal cards in any way they choose and then comparing their scheme with their peers, students are able to recognize the value of a universal classification system for organisms.

After the significance is established, students receive explicit instruction about classification, followed by a video that reinforces the key concepts.  Modeling how to complete the classification grid follows. Then, students are released to work in small groups to complete the grid.  

This gradual release sequence really seems to benefit my students.  No longer am I frustrated or confused because students cannot perform the task that I want them to do when they work independently.  My frustration has been eliminated because I now show them HOW to do what it is I am asking them to do before I release them to work.  Of course, there will always be students who will need support beyond modeling.  But, the numbers of students who need this type of support is greatly diminished not that I follow the gradual release model of instruction.  Using the gradual release model of instruction, I now find that more of the work products I receive reflect the learning targets that I set for the lesson.

  Gradual release instruction
  Developing a Conceptual Understanding: Gradual release instruction
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Classification, part 1

Unit 3: Unit 4-Organisms and Evolution
Lesson 1 of 7

Objective: Students will examine the evolutionary basis of modern classification systems and compare how structures and function vary between the six kingdoms of life.

Big Idea: Organisms are classified for many of the same reasons we classify things in our lives every day.

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29 teachers like this lesson
Science, Classification Systems, phylogeny, phylum, genus, classification, Taxonomy, kingdom, species, binomial nomenclature, Morphology
  55 minutes
life six kingdoms
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