Have you ever spent a lot of time planning a lesson? Found all the perfect resources? Maybe even practiced part of it in front of a mirror? Then, when you deliver it, it bombs? Your students just don't get it?
Me too. When that happens, we, as great educators, take a step back and troubleshoot what went wrong to make sure it future lessons don't bomb in the same way. Marzano's 12th element, Help Students Reflect on Learning, is the student version of that.
Below are some things you (or an administrator) could look for to see if this element is being used in your classroom:
I utilize this element on a daily basis in my instruction. Each class period begins with students filling out their learning log. Students record the day's learning target and rate their beginning level of understanding on a 0-4 scale. Each class period ends by students re-examining the target and rating their ending level of understanding. I also require them to provide evidence: Why are you a _____? What else must you learn?
If you would like a FREE copy of my learning log, click the link below.
I get called "strange" at work quite frequently by my fellow social studies teachers at school. It's not because I dress or look funny (at least I don't think I do), it's because I absolutely LOVE lesson planning. I really do. I can't help it. I love starting with the standards and working backwards to create complete, standards-aligned, Marzano compatable, units full of fun and engaging activities and resources.
Earlier this year, I shared out my Early Humans Complete Unit & Assessment. This time, I'd like to highlight my Ancient Egypt one.
This complete unit contains everything you need to deliver a three-week, Marzano aligned unit about the Ancient Egyptian civilization. It includes a day-by-day unit plan, a sheet to explain the purpose and Marzano alignment of each day (perfect for evaluations!), and all of the parts you'll need for the following activities:
I think one of the keys to successful Social Studies education is finding the right resources for the right students at the right time. My differentiated readings, which I've posted about in the past, are a great resource to provide the same content to students in your class at a variety of reading levels.
This week, I'm going to highlight my American Revolution Differentiated Readings. With this set, your students can learn about three things during the American Revolution at either a Middle School or Upper Elementary reading level - whichever is just right for them!
Imagine you've just taught a lesson about the American Revolution. You might ask your students, "So, what European country helped us by providing naval support?" Hopefully, your students could answer, "France did; they gave us naval support."
That's great, but being able to answer a question is only the first part of this element. The next part is the most effective. Students must be given the opportunity to make inferences about the newly learned content so their thinking can expand beyond what was explicitly taught. A great follow up to the student's answer in the example above might be, "Why did they help us?" or, "What effect might France's help have had on the war?"
Here are some things you (or an administrator) could look for in your class to see if this element is being utilized:
I'll never forget the only time I ever fell asleep in class. I was in college, and the professor (a man who had the most monotone voice ever - he made Ben Stein sound like a motivational speaker) was droning one and on about George Bernard Shaw (an author who wasn't even on the reading list for that class). My head started doing that droop and jerk thing on that warm spring day until it nearly drooped all the way to my desk. I jerked my head back so violently that I smacked my head into the cinder block wall behind me hard enough to see stars and almost pass out!
I vowed then and there that as a teacher, I would never give boring notes to my students. Over the years I have developed a very energetic lecture style infused with stories, re-enactments and jokes to keep my students attention and spark their interest. But, it wasn't until I developed my interactive notes that I solved my problem of students not (or at least not neatly) recording the critical content.
My Ancient Egypt Interactive Notes include 3 presentations that utilize Google Slides (Egyptian Buildings, Egyptian Cultural Institutions and a Timeline of Ancient Egypt). Each presentation has built in "Turn and Talks" to allow students to think about and process the content and explicit directions for what to record and when to record it (so they have time to process the new information) on the provided student note taking sheets. Each presentation ends by giving students time to complete a short skills-based activity that uses the information they just learned!
So, click the link below to check out my Ancient Egypt Interactive Notes, and don't forget to look at and follow the rest of my store for more great Social Studies resources!
I'm a 14 year veteran teacher that loves teaching, coaching, writing, and my family.