Monday, March 11, 2013

Anticipation Guides--Very Powerful Tool to Build Background Knowledge for ALL Students in ALL Subjects and at ALL Grade Levels

For common core based lessons to succeed, teachers need to know what background knowledge a student has in the topic of the lesson to be delivered before the instruction begins. If students have some knowledge of the topic, teachers can adjust lesson plans accordingly.  If the reverse is true, teachers must build those missing pieces of knowledge for students to experience success with mastering the lesson content.

There are of course many ways to assess for prior knowledge, but for this post, I would like to bring in the use of ANTICIPATION GUIDES  (VIDEO here on its use in a second grade class) because they are great motivators or hooks for upcoming lessons.  When students think they have some knowledge of the topic, they are more engaged when the actual instruction occurs.

How do teachers proceed with this pre-reading strategy?  The teacher constructs anywhere from 5-10 statements on the content.  The students must decide if the statements are correct or incorrect.  There is no writing here.  Sometimes the statements might be a bit controversial as in "It is a fact that girls are more intelligent than boys."  (To Kill a Mockingbird).  Imagine 9 more such hot topic statements on bias or injustice etc.  Students should not be allowed to share their answers with others at this point since the sole purpose of this exercise is to build interest in the soon-to-be taught novel.  Once the answers are completed, students would revisit their answers during the reading of the novel.  The difference here is that they will not only correct their answers, but also note the page references where those answers were either found or implied.  At this point, students might be allowed to work with partners, in small groups, or as a whole class to review original choices.  Notes here would be saved by students for future reference for tests, projects, reports, etc.

ANTICIPATION GUIDE FOR MATH   Of course, anticipation guides may be used for math at any level of mathematics.  Remember that the sole focus of the guide is stimulate student interest while assessing the amount of background knowledge students have on the topic.

ANTICIPATION GUIDE FOR SCIENCE  Here is a quick guide for science.  Remember that the ideal number of statements ranges from 5-10. 

Get students excited about learning even before the lesson starts:



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