Whadya Think?

Post questions, comments, ideas to discuss based on your professional engagement research on Bloom's Taxonomy.
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my idea - Anny1 Anny1

This was one really interesting grading technique I read about and I was wondering what other people thought about it. One teacher graded his students' assignments as such:
1. He assigned each level a number such as 1-6
2. Then, he multiplied the number by how many days the students worked on a project
The result was a score that reflected what level of the taxonomy they were at after so many days. I thought this was a really cool way to grade because it took into account how deep the student delved into an assignment. That way, even if a student turned in a short paper that reached the higher levels of Blooms' Taxonomy it would receive a better grade than a powerpoint that only showed a student's ability to simply understand the topic (level 2). Not only had I never heard of this before, but I liked that this was a strategy for assessing a student's taxonomy level which I didn't see too many articles on. - staciac staciac

Oddly enough, I was also super curious about what Stacia posted. I thought this idea was new and kind of fascinating because it reflected the effort the student put into their work. Students would probably be more likely to reach higher levels of the taxonomy for the higher number, therefore they might actually hold on to some of the information. I also, just in general think that Bloom's Taxonomy is important, and I do agree that as teachers, we need to try to find ways to reach the last three levels, because we often only reach the first three, and I would argue that information is way more likely to stick if you reach the last level of the taxonomy. I really like the idea of having a poster that clearly shows the levels of the taxonomy and possible questions associated with each level so students could track their learning as they learned new concepts. On a random note, I thought the Three Little Pigs video was hilarious and an awesome idea of how you would relate the taxonomy to a book or story. - JennJoralemon JennJoralemon

Unlike Stacia and Jenn, I actually was not the biggest fan of this grading system (no offense, ladies). I find this grading system to be flawed because I do not think that a teacher, or anyone for that matter, has the right to gauge how much a student knows about a particular subject, especially with something as simple as a number. I think that grading this way is also not very concrete as the grade is based on the opinion of one person. Two teachers might take an assignment that a student has turned in and give the student completely different grades. There are much better ways to grade in my opinion. - channa5 channa5

I like the idea of classification in order to assess how much the students are understanding the information they are taught, and Bloom's taxonomy provides a lot of useful resources for today's teachers as well. Through my research I found something interesting, that teachers write letters to struggling students. I thought this was a very effective way of reaching out to a student without embarrassing them in front of other students and it also shows the true concern and willingness of a teacher to help each individual student. Also, I think this can be taken further than just struggling students, it can also be a form of grading a students' work. In my case of wanting to be an english teacher, when giving students feedback on their essays I can respond in a letter format to show students my willingness to help in areas that need work, and also show my investment in their success by proving that I gave each essay specific and individual attention. - cnye5 cnye5

I love the idea of Bloom's Taxonomy, because it gives a more concrete way of assessing not only how well your students are doing with the material you're presenting them with, it's also a gauge of how well you're teaching it. I think it helps if you were to give your students an assignment where they must Create something relating to the material - if they can't do what you're asking them to do, it's a clear indicator that you need to revisit some portions of the lesson. It's also kind of a gauge to see how well you understand the material before you teach it. I am a little hesitant about the grading system that Stacia and Jenn talked about, but I think it can be useful in some situations. - Mackenzie_D Mackenzie_D

Like Mackenzie, I also like the scaffolding that Bloom's Taxonomy provides for progressing students from lower level thinking to higher level thinking. It also challenges teachers to ensure that students have a stable foundation about a topic before delving into deeper levels of understanding and comprehension surrounding that topic. The other thing I find convenient about Bloom's Taxonomy is that not every concept needs to be covered on all six levels of understanding. For example, in math, the Pythagorean Theorem is a formula that needs to be explored from the knowledge level up to the evaluation level because it is the base of so many other concepts in geometry and trigonometry. On the other hand, there are other formulas where it is not necessary for students to see a proof of where they are derived from because the more important goal is that they can remember the formula and successfully apply it. Ultimately I like the flexibility that Bloom's Taxonomy allows while also providing a good structure for teachers to reference for planning and evaluating lessons, assignments, and assessments. - Mgreen141 Mgreen141

I really like the Bloom Taxonomy idea. It makes sure the student (and teacher) fully understand the topic. It's like, okay you remember this topic but do you understand it? If you understand it, can you apply it? Once you apply the idea, are you able to analyze it? Are you able to determine how the parts relate to each other? And so on, and so forth. When you climb up this staircase, you are demonstrating your knowledge on the subject. I think it's just a wonderful idea. I've started to use it in my daily life as well. For example, I remember to keep my hands to my sides when I sing. I understand that it allows me to intake more air when I sing. I apply it when I practice my singing and I analyze it when I do sing, and so forth. Usually students remember the material, but, sometimes they don't understand it. It's our job as teachers to help the student climb up the staircase, to guide them, and to encourage them not to give up. - dcisherwood dcisherwood

I love the concept of Bloom's Taxonomy. It makes students test their knowledge on different and deepening levels, and I think it progresses in a way that helps students learn how to think in more complex ways. I think one of my major concerns right now about going into the teaching field is reaching all of the different levels of learners, and I think this technique helps to offer a solution (or one of many) to that problem. I'm interested to see how this technique could be used in different lessons, with out making the technique too obvious. What unique ways could it be integrated into a lesson to check comprehension without making it clear that thats what it was for? - HTye HTye

What I like most about Bloom's Taxonomy is that it forces the students to be intentional thinkers. There are so many levels of deeper thinking that are required, it's impossible for the student to throw out any answer that sounds right because they have to defend themselves. This is one of my biggest apprehensions about teaching; that my students will be bored, uninterested, and unfocused. Bloom's is an easily structured way of making the students think more critically about what they're doing. It makes what they're doing so much more than busy work because they have to go through all the steps to apply, analyze, synthesize, and finally evaluate when they're done. - maryh13 maryh13

Today's Targets:

  • I can access curriculum standards for my subject area and brainstorm learning activities aligned with a given standard.
  • I can explain Bloom's Taxonomy and applications for teaching
  • I can explain the purpose and characteristics of high-quality, challenging objectives

9:25 - 9:35 - Welcome and Review (Audrey)

  • Notetaker: Mackenzie
  • Photographer: Mary
  • Reviewer:Emmett

9:35 - 9:55 - Standards Activity

1. Find the standards documents for your subject area.

2. Browse the standards for two grades/courses you could imagine teaching someday.

3. Copy two standards from each grade/course. Brainstorm several learning activities students might do to make progress towards achieving these standards.

9:55 - 10:25 - Finish professional introductions

10:25 - 10:45 - Discuss P.E.T. (Bloom's Taxonomy)

10:45 - 10:55- Break

10:55 - 11:55 - Writing Objectives
  • Writing an Objective

  • Tile Game
    Learning Goals for a Lesson:
    • If we have a goal, then we also need a path.
    • Purpose:
    • Characteristics:
      • Descriptive
      • Measurable
      • Achievable
      • Purposeful
      • Memorable

11:55 - 12:05 - Closure

9-9-14 Class Notes

Activity with curriculum standards, Bloom’s taxonomy, high quality of learning targets.

Curriculum Standards:
- By grade
- Look at standards
- Google doc – collection of standards
- Learning goals + hypothetical activities
- 4 standards
Sometimes, especially in history/English, the standards can be pretty vague. Math – more conceptual in language to represent the more conceptual emphasis in schools.
It’s difficult to create activities based on objectives because you’re dealing with a hypothetical classroom.
Standards are large and you can’t always get an activity that encompasses the entire standard. Pick out important words from standards and understand what they mean.

Bloom’s Taxonomy

- If posted in a classroom, there may not be complete understanding by children.

- You don’t have to have all the gears going at the same time. Eventually, however, all the gears will work together concurrently. You don’t have to have defined segments (I can’t move onto this until this is perfectly done) so you have overlap and connections. It can be more of a guide than a perfect linear process.
- Shows smaller gears work together to turn the bigger gear. Not as equal, not equally representative of what the learning goal is.

- Shows the goal is being able to evaluate. It’s obvious which is the next level of understanding, very literal.
- You need the lower levels to reach the higher levels. You must master the first stair to move onto the second.
- There’s an explanation on the levels, so you know what to expect from the standards.

Example where you might create before you understand: our fictional kids from 240 (one who flies through high school and one who has everything wrong with them). Snakes and mice problem that has a secret connection to math before you know what the project is about. It is possible to create before understanding.
Is creating always superior to understanding? à Not always: Stacia – someone with a technical background in music may make more articulate and intelligent music. Chris – who can say when someone understands material? Can’t really make a value judgment. Audrey – tells you more that there is more to learn.

1) Maybe Bloom’s isn’t linear and hierarchical
2) Maybe we don’t always understand something before we create
3) Maybe we always don’t do one form of thinking at one time (we create and analyze and remember at the same time)

Meaning: you don’t have to teach this way always the same way. It is of greater value to understand than create, sometimes.
If it isn’t hierarchical, how can we use them as teachers?
- You don’t always have to start at the bottom and move up. But it is an idea of wondering always, “Can I do more, can we go deeper?”
- When you’re making tests and assessments, if you expect students to apply something, you can have a step by step process, “explain why you did this” sort of assessment. Helps you know whether you’re just asking students to regurgitate memorized information, or whether you’re going deeper and your students are really understanding.
- Memorizing has a place. That’s why Bloom’s isn’t hierarchical. It’s not prescriptive, it’s a tool to describe different types of thinking.
- There are multiple types of thinking and we want to engage several different types consistently.

Looking back, most of us remember that school demanded of us: remembering, analyzing, understanding, and applying. There isn’t much evaluating and creating. The job market demands creation and innovation – we aren’t quite preparing our students for jobs. Problem-solving skills aren’t taught – they’re mostly in the creating and evaluating domains.

Scrabble tile game:
First – didn’t know the rules
Second – too many rules (diagonal, horizontal, vertical words, 3-5 words, one must have X and one must have Z)
Third – make a word

What is the analogy in terms of curriculum design and learning objectives?
- You need to have a plan to teach (set objectives and standards for the students to meet). Clear goals that define success of the lesson. (Objectives – learning targets). This tells us whether we achieved what we set out to do.
- Characteristics of a good learning target: must not be too complicated, must be so that everyone has a chance of success, must not be too vague, must have basic building blocks in place (achievable targets), must be relevant and worthwhile (logical)
- Criteria of high-quality learning targets:
1) Descriptive
2) Measurable
3) Achievable
4) Purposeful
5) Memorable

SWBAT – students will be able to…
Many learning targets start out like this. “Enables kids to think about their thinking and learning – metacognition”
Learning goals are observable behaviors – “Describe the key objectives for the Union/Confederation”
“I can” objectives – “I can describe the chief complaints of the Confederacy”
SWBAT is maybe more formal, but “I can” objectives are more student-friendly.

Objective-hunting online