I was thinking about how I could use some of the articles that we talk about, which segued into thinking about a topic/idea/helpful group thinking thing we could do together in class. A lot of the things we do and talk about, common core for literacy, making questions open ended, designing inquiry-based activities, etc. is fantastic, but I find myself running into one of the same issues consistently. That is, so many of my students have been force-fed everything for so long, combined with the fact they are on the whole such low level readers and thinkers that it becomes extremely difficult to implement much of these without great well-developed scaffolds.
And that’s the rub. This is definitely a skill that improves with time, as well as being able to judge the difficulty level of an assignment before it’s given in comparison to the students that you have. That being said, it would be really beneficial for all of us if we could have a class or group learning session where where take inquiry-based activities and design them for different learning levels with the appropriate scaffolds. For example, if we were each to be given a different assignment (not necessarily one that we created) and then had to change it to a hypothetical class culture. I imagine this type of activity being a great resource for those of us just starting out, as this has been one of the most difficult parts of planning so far, especially for my innovative unit. I’ve found myself adjusting different parts for each class based on their motivation, maturity level, abilities to think critically.
Thoughts on this?