Similarities and Differences

In chapter 1 of the text (Dean et al, 2012), the authors begin by discussing the importance of establishing objectives and providing feedback to students. They state that when teachers establish and communicate objectives for student learning, students can see more easily the connection between classroom activities and expectations for student learning. In short, it is like seeing a map before taking a journey and finding out where one is going and how one will get there. But, many teachers have difficulty developing objectives because objectives are often too general (vague) or too specific (not general enough). In addition, objectives need to be on a continuum; that is they need to connect between prior and future learnings in order to make sense of the journey. The key is to be able to write “tight and descriptive” objectives that help students make connections with what is being taught.

In chapter 8 of the text, Identifying Similarities and Differences (Dean et al, 2012), the authors explain in detail the importance of students being able to identify similarities and differences, which helps make sense of the world. “These strategies help move students from existing knowledge to new knowledge, concrete to abstract, and separate to connected ideas” (p. 119).

Four definitions of practices within similarities and differences begin on page 118: comparing, classifying, creating metaphors, and creating analogies. The text gives examples of tools to assist teachers in helping students understanding similarities and differences, including Venn Diagrams, a comparison matrix, and graphic organizers.

Imagine yourself in a classroom as the principal observing an extended lesson in similarities and differences. You observe four separate lessons, one each in comparing, classifying, creating metaphors, and creating analogies. Prior to the observation, you have asked for a brief lesson plan for each lesson, which would begin with the objectives, followed by an explanation of how each of these topics will be taught.

Pick a subject and the grade level you teach or have taught in the past. Obtain four brief example lesson plans. Each lesson plan should include objectives (not too general or specific), followed by the lessons for comparing, classifying, creating metaphors, or creating analogies. You may use lesson plans from your current district or from other sources. After each lesson, summarize the key behaviors, strategies or tools you would expect to observe while in the classroom.

Support your statements with evidence from the required studies and your research. Cite and reference your sources in APA style.

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