Pictures Don’t Reveal the Whole Story

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It’s been awhile since I’ve had a chance to write a blog post…but I’ve been posting plenty of pictures of learning in action on our Instagram account (@jiishawksrock).  This week my students are using their deductive reasoning skills as they analyze images about Chinese inventions.  Students were told to pre-read sections of the textbook (for background knowledge) before coming to class today.  Now, I’ve had discussions with many teachers about assigning reading for homework as most of them have found that students do not do the reading.  I am no different.  However, I also don’t believe in simply assigning something for students to do with the reading when all I want is for them to build a little background before delving deeper into the text in class.  The students who did the reading prior to class today had a much easier time locating textual evidence to support their inferences based upon what they thought they are seeing in the images.

This deductive reasoning skillbuilder activity is a modified version from Teacher’s Curriculum Institute (TCI).  Ever since the world history classes went 1:1, I’ve been slowly modifying lessons to incorporate the meaningful use of technology with critical thinking skills.  The image above doesn’t capture the dialogue that ensued all day in class today.  At the basic level, students were utilizing listening and speaking skills.  But on a higher level, students were engaging in meaningful dialogue as they used critical thinking skills.  They were making inferences, justifying their thoughts, and citing textual evidence to prove their point.  It was a beautiful thing to behold.  I’m only bummed that students tend to stop speaking when I start recording a video.  They are used to my taking pictures of them…but once I stand too long in one place their conversations slowly stop.  One of these days though I’m going to capture this learning moment…one of these days…

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