Learning theory tells us that students learn when they are challenged to think and perform at new levels. Nothing dulls the mind so much as the same routines over and over. Worksheets day after day or too many overly scaffolded tasks cause students to stall. Productive struggle is necessary for learning, and you can manage that by thoughtfully planning a sequence of LDC tasks that increasingly demand more of students in their work and as thinkers.
As you plan a sequence of LDC mini-tasks and modules in your units and coursework, think about how to create a progression of complexity as students manage each task. You can do this by adjusting levels of demand to create “stretch” in your mini-tasks and modules in four ways.
A Double-Entry Journal is a highly scaffolded form of annotation. This scaffolded annotation provides teachers and students with a flexible space to identify and reflect on or respond to any genre of text for both reading and writing instruction in disciplines ranging from science and social studies to math and literature. You may know Double-Entry Journals by another name, such as Double-Column Notes, Dialectical Journals, or Cornell Notes. No matter the form or focus, this tool allows students to identify text with the intention of reflecting on that text in some way. Indeed, Double-Entry Journals support active reading.
Kelly Gaier Evans, Education Specialist, Education and STEM Learning at Battelle Education recently caught up with LDC Chief of Instruction & Design Dr. Suzanne Simons to chat about LDC mini-tasks and how they support the acquisition of literacy skills that are specific to different disciplines.
Check out this article from the Ohio STEM Learning Network blog (published 9/3/15) to learn more about literacy resources for multiple disciplines in LDC Back-to-School Collections and others, available in the LDC CoreTools Curriculum Library—and find out what’s coming soon from Battelle. (Hint: science-focused mini-tasks created by science teachers and scientists developed as part of the Battelle Education LDC Collection!)
If you’ve been teaching or serving as an administrator in schools, you have undoubtedly practiced formative assessment. According to ASCD, “Formative assessment delivers information during the instructional process, before the summative assessment. Both the teacher and the student use formative assessment results to make decisions about what actions to take to promote further learning.”
As someone who is using LDC mini-tasks and modules in your coursework, you know that LDC tasks help you scaffold instruction in a way that provides you with information about student learning and instructional effectiveness. With student work that results from both mini-tasks and modules you are in a good position to make those decisions and adjustments that “promote further learning.”
Who doesn't love a good summertime read—while relaxing at the beach, swinging in a hammock, soaking up nature on a park bench, or sitting on the front stoop? Here's what's on our summer reading list. What's on yours? Do tell!