Dialogue is important, process is important, and so is content!

From Knowledge Matters, a short except

http://tntp.org/room-to-run/knowledge-matters

“In Chris Hayes’ second-grade classroom at Westergard Elementary School in Reno, Nevada, this is how her students will finish off their unit on the Civil War—synthesizing their knowledge, forming opinions based on evidence, and writing and talking about it.”

“Here’s the assignment this group of second graders will tackle: “A hero is a person who is admired for courage and achievements that help others. Using evidence found in the following documents, your knowledge of our readings, and at least four of the vocabulary words above, rank all of these people in order from least heroic to most heroic. Then, write about your top three most heroic choices. Make sure to use details to support your reasoning for why these people are heroic.”

……..

“We hear kids this age having complex conversations with each other, and our reaction is that it’s cute. But it isn’t cute. It’s what we should expect them to do,” Mrs. Hayes says. “The kids are engaged. They think learning is fun. But I don’t teach this way because it’s fun. That makes it too simple. What we’re doing for them is very important.”

“It’s important not just because these second graders are building critical content knowledge that helps them become stronger readers, writers, listeners, and speakers (and that will be built upon in higher grades). It’s also important because in asking her students to do so much active thinking and engaging on these topics, Chris Hayes is laying the foundation for her students to persevere through more challenging work in the years to come. She is building students who own their learning.”

 

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