Tales Of An Educator New To Depth & Complexity


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Erika O'Connor

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  • Depth and Complexity is a way to connect learning to make it more meaningful.
  • Depth & Complexity is NOT; just giving more work or elaboration on a project.
  • Have teachers discuss other areas that they find challenging with kids
  • Icons are like environmental print
  • Could almost be a KWL chart style; you could write details in each petal
  • The Tortoise and Hare story: the turtle is slow; the hare judges him: don’t judge a book by its cover. Cask of Amatillado: big idea of freedom and confinement and betrayal
  • How others see things is very important can be used to teach ethics or to view the same idea from different disciplines of study
  • Tales Of An Educator New To Depth & Complexity

    1. 1. Tales of an Educator new to Depth and Complexity Erika O’Connor Marble Falls ISD [email_address]
    2. 2. Focus Questions: <ul><li>What is Depth and Complexity? </li></ul><ul><li>What do you think when you hear these words? </li></ul><ul><li>What are Depth and Complexity Icons? </li></ul><ul><li>Why should you use the icons? </li></ul><ul><li>How can you use the icons? </li></ul>
    3. 3. Texas State Plan <ul><li>From Curriculum & Instruction </li></ul><ul><li>3.1E: Curriculum options in intellectual creative and/or artistic areas; leadership; and specific academic fields are provided for GT students. </li></ul><ul><li>3.3R: Flexible pacing is employed allowing students to learn at a pace and level appropriate to their abilities and skills. </li></ul>
    4. 4. What is Depth & Complexity? <ul><li>Depth : exploring a discipline by looking below the facts and generalizations. </li></ul><ul><li>Complexity : the ability to see relationships between and among ideas. </li></ul><ul><li>Depth and Complexity are the words or prompts that activate higher levels of knowing. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The icons help provide a common vocabulary and a way to ensure that they are available to all. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>They provide a starting place to guide learning. </li></ul></ul>
    5. 5. Analogies <ul><li>Depth is to study as complexity is to web. </li></ul><ul><li>Depth is to door as complexity is to the key that opens the door. </li></ul><ul><li>Depth is to a block of marble as complexity is to the tools that makes meaning out of the marble. </li></ul><ul><li>Interaction is important in the development of Depth & Complexity. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Most interaction is passive; students are not engaged they receive. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>For content to be complex and in depth students must be engaged through speech and questions. </li></ul></ul>
    6. 6. How can educators guide students in selecting an area of study that is neither too narrow nor to broad? Develop a set of questions to broaden or limit the scope (Icons!) How can teachers limit the amount of superficial or inadequate information that their students gather when researching a topic? Ditto! The Icons can help steer students to meaningful information At a time when so much emphasis is placed on TAKS achievement, how can educators incorporate significant content for gifted and high ability learners Ditto again! The Icons are your answer
    7. 7. <ul><li>Icons link to non-linguistic representations which allow students to generate ideas. All students can benefit from these icons not just GT’s; you can use the more complex icons to draw abstractions and differentiate questions. </li></ul>
    8. 8. Deepen Thinking with symbols <ul><li>Non linguistic representation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Non English speakers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Young students learning to read </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Draw abstractions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Push students beyond the basics </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Students can analyze and think critically </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Differentiate questions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Nurture gifted </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Keep students engaged </li></ul></ul>
    9. 9. This is the sophisticated words and specific vocabulary related to a field of study or profession Pretend you are ______ tell about __________. What specialized language is needed to describe ______? Language of the Discipline Example Question Stems:
    10. 10. The parts the distinguishing traits that define something. Details Example Question Stems: Provide evidence to substantiate ___________. What distinguishes this from other things?
    11. 11. What are the recurring ideas? Based upon the pattern of events what can be forecasted regarding future actions? Patterns This identifies the recurring events, attributes, behaviors and ideas to present information and to predict future arrangements. Example Question Stems:
    12. 12. The structures, guidelines, order, the reasons, classifications, etc that explain a subject or idea. What are the guidelines affecting ___? What rules do we use in solving ___? Rules Example Question Stems:
    13. 13. The issues that are significant to the public. What courses of action affected __? What ongoing factors have influenced _______? Trends Example Question Stems:
    14. 14. Unanswered Questions What ideas remain unclear or incomplete about ___?
    15. 15. This involves the perceived conflicts or dilemmas such as: human rights, moral issues, etc. How has biased affected this _____? What is your interpretation of ____? Ethics Example Question Stems:
    16. 16. The main principle that evolves from Considering overarching meaning and relationships What is the key relationship among the principle? What overarching meaning can be drawn from____? Big Idea Example Question Stems:
    17. 17. Change over time explores relationships of past, present, and future trends. How has time affected ____? How and why do things change or stay the same? Over Time Example Question Stems:
    18. 18. Multiple viewpoints possible when people respond to ideas, events, or behaviors; students interpret what motivates points of view. What are the opposing viewpoints? How do different people view the same situation? Multiple Perspectives Example Question Stems:
    19. 19. This will encourage relationships and enrich the depth and span of understanding. How do experts from _____ learn from experts in other disciplines? How do various fields of study affect what we are studying? Across Disciplines Example Question Stem:
    20. 20. <ul><li>“ Applications of abstract thinking, complexity, and depth promote higher achievements from advanced and gifted students. Initially, teachers direct; next, teachers facilitate in order to lift the rigor of a lesson or independent study. The ultimate goal is autonomous students able to implement depth in their learning.” </li></ul>
    21. 21. <ul><li>Traditional Teaching </li></ul><ul><li>Using Depth & Complexity </li></ul><ul><li>Teacher delivers information </li></ul><ul><li>Teacher lectures </li></ul><ul><li>Teacher summarizes with students and gives prompts to get desired answers </li></ul><ul><li>Teacher uses symbols to ask student to explicitly search for answers. </li></ul><ul><li>Students are in charge of their learning </li></ul><ul><li>Teachers push student’s thinking not just getting facts from them </li></ul>
    22. 22. Why use Icons? <ul><li>Because: </li></ul><ul><li>they allow you to sift through Information quickly </li></ul><ul><li>they are a catalyst to excite thinking </li></ul><ul><li>they arouse curiosity </li></ul><ul><li>they allow for interaction </li></ul><ul><li>they allow for connections (Just because we don’t see connections doesn’t mean kids won’t!) </li></ul><ul><li>they cut across: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Language </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Culture </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Poverty lines </li></ul></ul><ul><li>they foster independence </li></ul><ul><li>icons are a “universal language” </li></ul>
    23. 23. What do students think? <ul><li>I think Depth and Complexity icons helped us a lot and I really liked them. The whole chart kept me organized and I could see what was done and what I needed to work on easily. </li></ul><ul><li>Raegan </li></ul><ul><li>I think it helped my research because it showed how deep you got into your research. It helps you get deeper into what you are doing; which makes you learn more. This would help all kids. </li></ul><ul><li>Sophie </li></ul><ul><li>I thought the Depth and Complexity icons really helped because they helped me organize things better; and I am the kind of person that hates working with a big mess. The icons were useful because they helped me know where to look for certain things when I needed them. </li></ul><ul><li>Megan </li></ul>
    24. 24. Continued: What students think…. <ul><li>I think they are a good idea because you can sort things out. </li></ul><ul><li>Brandon </li></ul><ul><li>I liked them because it made information easier to organize and read. I thought that it really helped me get my information down. I like how we got to think outside the box by using these icons. I felt competent with them. </li></ul><ul><li>Haleigh </li></ul><ul><li>The depth and complexity icons give you the freedom to make your own choices and they make us think creatively. </li></ul><ul><li>Tatum </li></ul><ul><li>I liked them because we were able to discuss how others look at the same information. </li></ul>
    25. 25. Summarize <ul><li>We want creative thinkers: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Not puppets </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Students must be given the opportunities to verbalize </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>We want divergent thinking </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Work can be satisfying: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Students need complex content to stay actively engaged </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Autonomy </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Passion for Learning </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Students build on their own unique abilities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tier instruction </li></ul></ul>
    26. 26. <ul><li>When students use these icons they approach topics the way an expert does. </li></ul><ul><li>Using these icons brings immediate rigor and complexity to lessons. </li></ul><ul><li>Using these icons immediately engages all students. </li></ul>
    27. 27. <ul><li>“ Gifted students thrive on intellectual challenges and in depth study rather than content generalities and overviews. Teachers must teach gifted students how to apply this to their studies. This develops students’ independence and responsibility.” </li></ul>
    28. 28. Wrap Up! <ul><li>Consider the content area you teach: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How could you use the icons as a “hook”? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How could you use them as a pre-test? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How could you use them as enrichment? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How could you use them to culminate? </li></ul></ul>