Sunday, May 12, 2013

Activating Schema

Monday I'm leading a professional development for teachers in another district.  So that means this girl's at school today!

It's always amazing how much preparing to lead and teach others helps me grow in my own knowledge of a skill area.

Tomorrow one of my discussions is on helping students activate their schema to improve comprehension.

I'm starting with a little illustration using this text:

The Batsmen were merciless against the Bowlers.  The Bowlers placed their men in slips and covers.  But to no avail.  The Batsmen hit one four after another along with an occasional six.  Not once did their balls hit their stumps or get caught.

Did you know it was about cricket?  Probably not!  If I had told you that prior to reading and we had discussed what we know about cricket teams, equipment, and scoring would it have helped your comprehension?

That's schema!

We're going to practice with a text on the American Revolution's Shay's Rebellion by looking at Tier 2 & 3 vocabulary and discussing ways to help students be successful with both. 

But I wanted a little more to help teachers visualize more specifically what building schema could look like in their classrooms.  Bring on Pinterest!  Check out these two great ideas:

This one is from blogger Amanda at One Degree Extra.  I love the way she segmented the poster to really dig into students' prior knowledge AND included the misconceptions section, too.


I also love this "Word Splash" poster from Really Good Stuff.  I'm not sure if I want to pay $5.50 for it, but I'm totally going to steal the concept. What a quick and easy way to front-load a unit or topic by posting key words before a lesson and reviewing them with students.

I'm excited to work with these teachers tomorrow and hear their own ideas to help students fully grasp and retain important vocabulary.

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