Monday, June 30, 2014

Session II - Question 1

Session II - Question 1:  In the beginning of Chapter 3, the question is asked, "How can you let them [gifted students] work at a pace commensurate with their ability, while avoiding a power struggle over the work they may not need to do?"  Describe a lesson how "The Study Guide" strategy would answer the proposed question.

43 comments:

  1. The study guide strategy could work in many areas. I was thinking about a social studies unit. Perhaps events leading up to Civil War. Since in this case, this would be new material, a pre-test wouldn't be necessary. The student would have the study guide. if they were able to answer the standards listed in the study guide, they could delve deeper into a specific area that interested them. When the time came in the unit, the student could be the expert in the class and share the knowledge with classmates. If they went as deep as they wanted, they could move on to another area of interest. This would help with the issue of pacing.

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    1. In response to Elizabeth H on July 9th- I like the idea of using the study guide strategy with social studies and other subjects. Anytime a student feels empowered in their own learning great things arise.

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  2. In science we teach the advantages and disadvantages of the energy sources. this is something most g/t students have done in 5th grade with a big project. we still have to discuss the advantages and disadvantages again in 6th grade. For the gifted students, using the study guide, i could have them work on determining the effieciency of each energy source if they feel they don't need to research the pros/cons of each energy source again and then they could design a city using as many of the most efficient sources as possible.

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    1. In response to Helen on July 10th, I think this is a great example of identifying material that gifted students can opt out of. Rather than boring them with information they have mastered, this is a great use case for letting them go deeper into material for which they don't need another introduction. Identifying other topics like this is the biggest hurdle in getting a Study Guide program underway I think.

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  3. I could use the study guide strategy with our research project on famous Americans. The GT student as well as any other student that wants to go above and beyond the guidelines could go deeper into their famous person's everyday life: clothing, transportation, etc...

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    1. in response to ashepherd July 12th..i like that idea. we have our students do the basic research on scientists related to our curriculum..I could also have students go deeper into the scientists personal life..this would really help bring the scientist to life instead of just listing their important contributions.

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    2. In response to ashepherd July 12... I also like the idea. In our unit of totalitarian rulers, we look at them as political figures. Some GT students may be interested in their personal lives and, as Helen says, help bring the historical figure life. Students could see them as people, not just as an academic topic.

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    3. In response to ashepherd, I totally agree that the 2nd grade unit on American Heroes lends itself beautifully to independent study. Thinking about it globally (synthesizing) is excellent! :-)

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    4. In response to ashephard on July 12-

      I agree that the "StudyGuide" strategy would be a great way to conduct a research project in social studies or in science.
      This would be a great way for those students who are interested in learning more than just the basic facts to dig deeper and share with the class.

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  4. I could use the study guide strategy when teaching economics. Kindergarteners are required identify jobs in the home, school, and community; and explain why people have jobs. The GT children who already know a lot about jobs in our economy could debate about jobs that they feel best help others meet their basic human needs and how their job does that. Then they could rank them in order from most helpful to least helpful.

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    1. Response to Mrs. M's Kinders: at the secondary level, the study guide strategy could be used to do the same thing, only it could be used to generate relevance with regard to different careers, salaries, etc..

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    2. I like Mrs. M's idea for using the study guide with the economics unit for Kindergarten. I think it opens up the door for students to explore their interests and would be an interesting debate topic.

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    3. I agree with Becky the Mrs. M's teaching of economics on the kindergarten level is very interesting. I have always worked with older students, I thought that "economics" was something kids about until their senior year. Really interesting how vocabulary can be scaffolded with the currriculum

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    4. I teach first and I like Mrs. M's idea about the economics unit. For use primary teachers, sometimes its just tweaking the assignment for our GT kids instead of a complete compact sheet, or study guide, etc.

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    5. In response to Mrs. M's Kinders on July 15, I also see how the study guide could work for the first grade economics unit (Or most of our social studies units!) Several of my students already know a lot about Texas or communities. This would be a way, especially for my GT students, to explore a topic in depth. The debate aspect is also a great idea. I spend a lot of time trying to teach my students that it is all right to disagree with one another respectfully. This would be good practice.

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  5. One of the units we study is rise and rule of totalitarian and authoritarian single party rulers. We study the more well-known rulers of the 20th century. The GT student who already knows a lot about Hitler or Stalin could use the study guide strategy to choose a different ruler about which to learn. The student could also apply the information in a different way, such as comparing totalitarian rule to democracy or other different style of government. The student could compare the ruler to one the class is studying or could focus on some aspect that is of most interest. For example, if a student were interested in economic or social reasons for the rise of totalitarian rulers, the student could examine that. Or the student could choose aspects of totalitarian rule, such as propaganda, the arts, education and study those. One activity we do is to rank the leaders we study on a continuum. The GT student could present the information on the person studied and tell the class where the ruler fits in the continuum and why.

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  6. I believe the study guide could be used with our unit on relationships, systems, and cycles within environments. A study guide could be created where the student chooses specific examples of living and non-living organisms in an environment and investigates these interactions. They could go in depth about food chains and flow of energy, interactions, and the effects of changes in the ecosystem.

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    1. Response to Kimberly Muske: Agreed. This sounds again an awful lot like Menus, which I'm dying to use this year. And that expertise that's developed from researching something closely can be a great attention-getter in a classroom full of peers, GT or not. Enthusiasm is contatgious, and it's a great way to get all levels of kids interested in learning.

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  8. I think the study guide can be useful in mathematics as long as the teacher does appropriate preparation work to curate sources. Textbooks are probably the default choice, but the teacher may not agree with how the book presents material. Before a study guide project is considered, it would be important to establish appropriate resources for the student. Internet searches on math topics can lead to material written at beyond the college level.

    With that established, there are ways to use this in mathematics. Algebra II for example includes the study of a variety of parent functions. A student could easily be given a list of them to investigate throughout the grading period or semester and present a comparison chart. Graphs of the functions are the biggest differences but the student may find that properties of graphs themselves (intercepts, domain, range, etc) are universal ideas common to all of them. There would also be an opportunity to learn more about their different behaviors at a higher level than the class.

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  10. As I am new to teaching 3rd grade, I will reflect on topics from my many years in 2nd. I found science and social studies to be where the easiest topics for Study Guide. I think I could have used our biology unit on birds. This would allow them to learn facts and at the same time examine the implications of the bird within the context of the environment or with man.
    Perhaps in 3rd with a fairy tale unit, I could have them study the Cinderella stories. GT students could use the historical and cultural biases as a centerpoint for the actions and motivations of the characters actions and feelings. I would give them a list of appropriate TEKS- in and across 2 content areas as well as some general guidelines they would need to demonstrate understanding of the genre. For instance, compare/contrast the actions the cinderella character takes in a preChrist civilization and a post Christ civilization. ( I hope this is enough of a lesson?).

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  11. I like the idea of the Study Guide, but the whole time I was reading I was wondering how I could apply it to first graders who are still learning to read, rather than reading to learn. That shift takes place towards the end of the year and I might be able to try this. On page 76 it says the SG and the extension menu work best in grades 3 and higher. Initially, I could see adapting this for Science and Social Studies so that students with the ability could work on extension projects rather than complete the same packet/work the rest of the class completes for a grade. For example, several of the kids are familiar with the states of matter from kindergarten and this could allow students the option of taking it further.

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    1. In response to moneyj July 22, 2014 at 6:00 AM
      I do think it would be very difficult for children who are just learning how to read. I think science, social studies, and math would be the best places to try to adapt this, but it would still probably need to be highly monitored by the teacher.

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    2. In response to moneyj (July 22), I teach 5th grade so I might not know what I'm talking about, but I'm going to try anyway. Would a family study guide be appropriate homework for a first grader? Their parents could read the guide and they could help their child delve deeper into the subject. One idea would be to find or create an artifact related to the topic and bring it to school for show and tell.

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  12. In any research project in an English classroom, the study guide strategy would work beautifully, as it allows GT kids the choice to go deeper into an area of study that intrigues them, rather than allowing a broad range of topics to waste their time. And any kid loves a research project that allows the use of technology. With the study guide and a smart phone, GT kids especially can pace themselves and learn far more than we as teachers planned for that lesson.

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    1. In response to Charlotte McHale (July 22), I agree that the study guide lends itself perfectly to a research project. It would also help encourage deeper research skills. That is an area that we can help all of our students to improve. I read an article today about teaching students how to pull information from "outside of the U.S. sources." When students discover different perceptions stemming from different geographical locations, political views, and cultural views they feel like they've uncovered highly interesting and sometimes secretive information.

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  13. Gifted students can work at a commensurate pace while struggling over work they may not need to do by using the American Wars Extension menu on page 81. I believe this is a great way for students to feel in control of their learning and discover new concepts. I would like to use this during book clubs. It is another way of engaging students at a self paced manner.

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    1. I think it would be a really good idea for us to use this is book clubs. I can see it really taking the students above and beyond in their own learning.

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  14. I think the study guide method would be good for use in kindergarten science topics. I have a lot of GT students that are interested in plants, animals, or our moment and motion units. One example would be having a student come up with a science project they would like to do with the class based upon a topic we are studying.

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    1. To Becky: I agree that this strategy would be very useful in elementary science. Our new STEMscopes program can really help with this strategy also. I have use this method with 5th graders and they really enjoy the freedom to extend their learning.

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  15. Grrr... It didn't take my post!!! Not sure this one will be as good. Since I teach 5th grade the easy way to start using the Study Guide is in social studies. US History is the a great place to delve deeper. Since we don't go real deep into US History in 5th grade, it would be great to use this study guide. The Revolutionary War would be a great place to have students learn more about the different battles or even learn more about the battles we do study. They may find out some interesting or fun facts about the different battles. Of course, this study guide can be used in all subject areas too.

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    1. I agree with you about starting in social studies. When the students are allowed to explore a topic and take the path they are interested in…the results are remarkable. While investigating the California Gold Rush, one of our students discovered that Levi jeans were invented for the miners. When the other students heard about this discovery, everyone tried to find other interesting bits of information on the topic. It was incredible to watch!

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  16. Using a "Study Guide" would be challenging since I teach first and the whole maturity level plays a factor. I could definitely use this with a very high reading group. I could assign chapters with task or questions to complete after every chapter and then have a checkpoint to monitor progress. I was also thinking that maybe toward the end of the year I could use this idea in science when we study animal groups. I think this could actually work for the whole class. I could break them all up into groups and discuss what they need to learn, their products, and resources. The Extension Menu on 83 could be useful for the higher kids. I think using the Study Guide and Extension Menu provides the students with some sort of control and choices in their own learning which makes learning more enjoyable and powerful for all kids.

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  17. Catherine Roth:
    By using the Study Guide strategy, students are given the freedom of choice and the power to pace themselves through work & learning they are interested in. For example, in Science, the TEKS that students need to know centered around electricity can be demonstrated by gifted students quickly and then the gifted student can move into working in a study guide that takes learning about the topic of electricity beyond the grade level TEKS. Students participate in check-point assessments and they are expected to complete a daily log of their work and adhere to the ‘Independent Study Agreement’ expectations. All this allows the gifted student to show they have understanding of the grade level TEKS, while also keeping engaged in learning, moving at a pace through the material that works for them. It’s a win-win for the student and the teacher!

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    1. To Catherine: You are so right! Allow students to go further in a particular topic only enhances their love of learning and creates a positive experience about school. It also creates the idea that my teacher knows me, because she knows I like to learn more.

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  18. margaret goodwin-griffinAugust 12, 2014 at 11:15 AM

    Responding to Helen R, July 10th: The study guide method would be a reasonable way to allow my gifted, AP Psych, students to work at their own pace while mastering some advanced related concepts in units such as research methodologies. Additionally, the guide could allow the student to apply their knowledge by selecting and analyzing real-world research, of their choice,

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  19. margaret goodwin-griffinAugust 13, 2014 at 12:10 PM

    Response to Charlotte McHale (7/24): I totally agree. A study guide and smart phone allows gifted students to work at their own pace while delving into concepts/research that appeals to their cognitive level, interest and knowledge.

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  20. I like the idea of using the study guide in social studies and science. I have had many GT students who were very knowledgeable in both areas and this would have been great for them. I had a 5th grade student last year who loved American history and she would often bring in extra information on the topics that were covered.

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  21. I believe the Study Guide Method will work great in social studies and reading classes. My GT students love to dig deep into a subject and the study guide combined with the extension menu will allow them to not only work at a faster pace, but make them experts in the subject area. I would also use this with other students who excel in a subject area.

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  22. Like several others, I believe the study guide would be especially useful in Social Studies. I teach 5th grade U. S. History. The "Biography Study Guide" on page 12 gives students relevant questions that would lead them in their investigation. I think it's important to allow students time to research, read, and explore the available information. If students felt that they needed to quickly answer the questions, I think it would defeat the purpose. I believe the ideal use for a study guide is to lead students to research, investigate, and uncover more information about the topic.

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  23. I am thinking of using the study guide with our SS unit on History's Heroes. So many of the people in our TEKS have been discussed repeatedly and our GT kiddos usually get the info the first time around. They can answer questions about each of heroes then they can either investigate other heroes and how they changed our world OR find the answers to the questions they didn't know.

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  24. The Study Guide approach is not really anything new. I have used it for years. Generally I create a pretest that tests the end results I want for finial objective learning not the prerequisites. If a student does well on this, he is presented with a letter stating that he has been elected to join the study guide group. I have a conference with the study guide group where we discuss expectations and activities. After that they are expected to work independently asking for help from each other rather than me. They come to me only if no one in the group can guide them in the right direction. Included in their activities are any skills/objectives that I feel need to be reinforced based on the the pretest. Some of the activities assigned are practice of what we are studying in class. I use many of Sue Westphal's ideas, tweaking some of them to meet the needs of my students.

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