Building Those Pathways #eduread


A big part of our Make It Stick discussion this summer was giving students opportunity to retrieve information.

Another aspect, I’ve battled with in using INBs was giving students all the information instead of letting them decide what’s helpful and create their own notes.  Very few ninth graders are skilled in creating their own notes – so how can I help them develop this skill?

So here’s what I came up with…


The workbooks have an intro to each lesson – a couple of paragraphs, highlighted vocabulary and usually some type of graphic or example.  Here’s what I did yesterday…

Step 1:  Read (2 minutes)

Step 2: Pair (1 minute) – share 1 thing you read.

Step 3:  Whole-Class (I scribe what they share) something you read that you think is notable – something you feel is important or that you want to remember, something that made you wonder.  I labeled each slide for each class so I could reference it today

Then they worked in their groups to complete a lesson and practice.

To begin class today, each student had their white boards.

Step 1: Brain dump (1-2 minutes depending on class) – list anything and everything they can recall from the past two days in class.

Step 2:  Give one, get one! (1 minute) – meet with 3 different people, look at their list and get one thing from them to add to your list.  Let them get one thing from your list.

Step 3:  Return to desks.  Pull up slide from yesterday’s share… and I asked, anything you wish to add?  And we added to our list from yesterday.

You can tell they are not asked to retrieve this way often enough.  It was hard for a few of them – only a handful of things were on their lists initially.

I loved the openness of the brain dump.  It helped me really see their focus/thinking.  One student listed things from 2 weeks ago, which made me think he had not fully processed this week’s work yet.  I had graphs, details from specific problems, a list of vocabulary – but everyone had something written down.

Give one – get one, I heard them saying:

“Oh yeah, I forgot about that!”  “Where did you get that idea?” “From the science lab bacteria problem.” “When the extra truck came in to fill the pool.”

I reminded them – like walking a path across the field to my granny’s house ( a story I told them during our 1st week) – we are trying to wear a path…  So what do you think will happen tomorrow when we do a similar routine?  I’m looking forward to their growing list of “all things functions.”  Everything they have listed is exactly what I would have had them copy down from my notes (minus a few details of course) – the big difference, its their thoughts and ideas, not mine.  I even had students list discrete and continuous! Go figure.

My intentions are to take their generated lists and allow them to sort / connect them (Making Thinking Visible) to create their own page of notes later in the unit.

It was a good day.

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