Chapter 2 is dedicated to similarities and differences....with an effect size of .88 for a percentile gaine of 31 points!!!! (only one of the several studies)
The main thing that stood out to me in this chapter is that it is CRUCIAL to continually EXPLICITLY TEACH our students how to classify, compare, create metaphor, and create analogies. There are so many ways to identify similarities and differences that we must continually teach our students what we are looking for from them and WHY.
Please tell us something that stood out to you in this chapter... (I have a tough time teaching metaphors and analogies to students with special needs. I would never have thought that they would make such a difference until after reading and processing this chapter with many teachers.)
Pick one of the areas: comparing, classifying, metaphors or analogies and share with us how you use it in your classroom. Describe for us a lesson or activity where you use the strategy and why it works for your students.
Pick one of the areas: comparing, classifying, metaphors or analogies that you find difficult to teach and use in your classroom. Share with us either what you will do now to incorporate it in your class OR tell us about your content and students asking others for input on how you might be able to incorporate the area.
Don't forget to post a response to at least one other person in addition to your original post!
I am a teacher in a classroom where none of the students read or write. Several are non-verbal. Much of the information I learned in chapter two I could not relate to my classroom. Except, the idea of similarities and differences. When I am reading or discussing things with my students, I will ask questions like, "Is the cat we read about real or not real?" Or if we are reading about a football team and a baseball team, I will ask if the teams are the same or different. If it is a short story we are reading I might ask if the story takes place during the day or night? Things like this.
Creating metaphors and analogies is not something that my self-contained classroom could grasp...I don't think, anyway. Actually, I think I probably have problems understanding methaphors and analogies myself. It will be interesting to hear what my fellow group mates have to add.
Your students might be able to make analogies and metaphors using picture representations. For examples, continuing with the sports theme, present them with a picture of baseball diamond, a football field, a baseball, and a football. See if they can create an analogy with the pictures provided.
There was a PE example on page 20 but I think you could put out a bunch of equipment and ask students to make classification based on either teacher-directed or student-directed classification system - individual games, team games, agility/skill, cardio, etc. You could create analogies for example - the body is like a ____________ (car, mountain, etc) and the students need to explain how they are related.
Are your students able to draw? Can you take the comparing/contrasting to the next level and have students draw the similarities and differences? Perhaps once they give a yes or no answer to a question such as "Is the cat real or note real?" you could have students draw/label a cat that is real and draw/label a cat that is not real (perhaps a cat with sunglasses and drinking lemonade) to show that they understand the difference between the two.
For classifying, perhaps start out at a very basic level and model how you classify/categorize items based on size, shape, color, kind (clothes vs. toys). Once students are doing well then give them a mixed group of items and have them sort by their own rule. Anything goes as long as it can be rationalized. You can move this into classifying characters from literature selections (nice characters and mean characters) to even rating read alouds (favorites, ok's and didn't like). You could write a sentence to accompany each that explains the thoughts/feelings of the class. Just a couple of ideas!! Good luck!
Thank you for the wonderful ideas! This year, I have two students who do not engage in much outside of what is going on in their own head. And, I have two others that are fully engaged but do not have the ability to use their hands. For these students we talk about the differences. Neither of these students can read or write, but are able to express themselves quite well verbally.
One thing that stood out for me was the use of analogies in math. I am so used to just teaching analogies during a poetry unit, and I was questioning how something like that could be used for other subjects. Once I saw the examples for math & science, it totally made sense! I would never have thought to use this tool outside of reading, so I am excited to try it in math.
I generally make good use of classifying & comparting using a Venn diagram. There is always something in each week's reading story that can be compared, contrasted, or classifying. I will ususally have the students use it to compare characters in the stories, then use this information to lead into a writing assignment. I have also used the Venn Diagram to compare 2 stories from the same unit. This is really helpful showing students how different kinds of genres can be used to present the same theme and ideas. I would like to keep doing the same activities, but maybe with different graphic organizers.
I also was suprised to make the math connection with analogies. Using analogies with math can help kids make those concrete connections. Here's a list of ideas and ways I'm going to explore the use of analogies: Vocabulary, grammar, science all areas, place value, multiplication, patterns, fractions, and lots more......
I like the idea of using analogies to teach math vocabulary. I used one - before I read this chapter, so it was a fluke - to help my kids understand the difference between multiples and factors. My kids see multiples and they immediately try to make factor rainbows with them! So, we talked a little bit about analogies and then I wrote, "factors are to multiplication facts and multiples are to skip counting." followed by factors:multiplication facts as multiples:skip counting. Not all the kids got it at first, but seeing the words side by side did help a lot of them. I noticed that many of the were referring to the board when solving those problems.
I am constantly using analogies in my classroom. I find that they are the best way to explain new concepts or complicated concepts to my students, especially in science. I find that my students love science (the experiment part at least) but struggle tremendously with some of the concepts that go along with the experiments because they are unfamiliar with background concepts and vocabulary they need to fully grasp ideas. This comes from a lack of experiences, I believe. Therefore, any time I teach a new concept, I relate it to something they are familiar with. For example, when I teach inertia I show them a toy car that will continue to move until it hits a wall and changes direction. This sets up the idea that something in space will continue to move, until it comes into contact with something else.
I would like to broaden the subjects in which I use these techniques. For example, math. I would like to have more student direct opportunities for these techniques in my classroom. I tend to lead the discussions, but after reading this chapter and completing Math Solutions training, I would like to see what relationships my students could come up with.
Alena, you are right on! The kiddos love science, and do struggle because of their lack of prior knowledge. Analogies are a tool we can use to broaden their knowledge of a content area.
Like you said, Math Solutions brought in a bunch of similarities and differences experiences-- the use of Venn Diagrams in MATH! WHAT!?! Things that I never though of before will help us build some of these skills and relate them to their prior knowledge.
It's funny (interesting, not haha) because creating analogies is a "highly robus" activity, and I first remember learning what an analogy was in high school which preparing for the SATs.
Now, as a fifth grade teacher I teach them to the kiddos, and they are part of our daily language warm ups. I just cannot believe how disconnected I was from the norms of education while in school myself.
Comparing and Classifying are used on a daily basis in my reading instruction. We classify our HM selection each rotation and we compare it in terms of genre, authors point of view, authors purpose, readers purpose. We classify these based on previous selections we have read or novels that they are familiar with.
Both metaphors and analogies are explicitly taught at the beginning of the year in my class. Metaphors often take longer for the kiddos to catch onto. I would like to know from others what kind of lessons do you use in language arts to get the kids engaged and hook them into the concept of properly forming metaphors.
I use classifying and graphic organizers in many subject areas in my classroom. I use them for summaries, theme selection comparing and contrasting and in writing on a regular bases. Last year I started using organizers more often when my students would answer questions quickly. Students would blurt out and jump to conclusions without thinking about what question I was asking. Using organizers made them slow down and sort their ideas before drawing conclusions. They are easy for the students to use and are great tools for small groups.
Using analogies can help students see how things can be different and how they can be similar. Showing relationships is how we are being trained to teach math. I can see how analogies can help students bring connections into mathematics. The key is the discussions that arises from their use. However, I would have to practice using them before they can become a natural teaching strategies in my classroom.
I completely agree with how helpful graphic organizers can be. It is amazing how they not only slow students down and make them think about what they are doing, but helps them organize their ideas. The only difficulty I have with them, is in writing when I want my students to create their own. They do great filling them out, but when they have to create their own, forget it! They rush through the process and don't think their ideas through. I know I need to spend time just having students create graphic organizers, without filling them out. That way they won't be so concerned with what needs to go in them.
I completely agree with your comment on how students rush through the graphic organizer part of the lesson. We spend a lot of time in writing filling out graphic organizers together as well and as soon as it comes time for them to write on their own, they just want to write and complain about orgazing their thoughts. I think it is a good idea to just get them in the hapbit of organizing their thoughts in everything they do.
This year, I have primarily taught math so all my thoughts seem to return to how I can use the strategies in the classroom. Students tend to get confused when we talk about prime, composite, factors, and multiples. They understand each concept individually but when confronted with a choice of the four, they often choose what they think instead of being able to prove it one way or another.
Starting with a given set of numbers, students can begin with comparing the numbers with Venn Diagrams labeled with Prime/Composite and Factors of/Multiples Of. Then to continue to push understanding students can use of the classfication tree in figure 2.6 on page 22 would allow students to classify a set of given numbers using the "rules" for prime, composite, factor, and multiple and actually be able to see how the interconnectivity of the numbers instead of seeing them as separate entities. In this situation though, the number would most probably be an example of Teacher-Directed Classification.
I think you are completely correct. Every year that I teach this concept, my students always seen to struggle with classifying the four of these concepts into their own categories. I too, will begin to use this when i come upon this concept next year. I think that the use of categorizing and classifying will come in quite handy for the students to see the great difference of these properties. I also think that using direct explicit instruction while identifying this concept is of GREAT importance. If the teacher can not explain, how can he or she expect the students to understand the process.
As a highly effective strategy that has been taught regularly in our Math Solutions training, comparing and classifying are completed on an everyday basis within my classroom. Relating math concepts to the students with everyday situations can be a strategy and maybe "life lesson" that they can continue in their studies for years to come. While scaffolding each lesson and unit, the students should be classifying concepts daily.
Like many teachers, using comparing and contrasting is something we use in language arts more than math. Identifying that the two can be inter-related is a powerful tool. Without graphic organizers I believe this concept would be a hard strategy for students to grasp.
I would like to use the stragegy discussed in this chapter to engage the higher leveled thinker, "anlogies" when building background to new lessons. I think this would help deepen the students understanding of the new concept.
I definitely agree that using analogies will help build a deeper understanding of new concepts. By tying ideas back to what students have already learned, or mastered, they can better be able to understand how the new concept builds. My kids seem to be more actively involved when I explain how this is relevant to what they have already learned. Gives infomation more of an importance or place in their minds.
Reading this chapter got me excited about teaching. I loved the idea behind using analogies, graphic organizers and just using the similarities to help bring a deeper understanding to students. I started thinking about all of the things I can apply it to (unfortunately I have been Galileo testing all week, so I have not had any regular classes.) What this really got me thinking about is relating new concepts back to student's prior knowledge. This can be a powerful tool. It will help them remember because it is something familiar and it will give them a concrete example that they can refer to when applying their new knowledge. I definitely want to try and utilize this next year with my classes.
My daughter is currently watching Dino Dan on Nick Jr. on it was a fine example of comparing and contrasting that would allow some students to grasp the concept of comparing using concepts they are more familiar. I wonder if the writers have read the Marzano books...
On the show, the children are building a sandcastle with tools and Dino Dan says, How is a brachiosaurus like a crane? Dan went on to describe the various parts of the crane as it relates to the dinosaur as they rebuild the sandcastle. I tried to find a link to the video but couldn't find one.
Jyothi these shows have come such a long way. I believe that any time that you can appeal to the senses (visual cartoon), especially with the younger students that I teach; you are much more likely to help the students make connections, whether it be through analogies, metaphors, comparisons or classifications.
I have found using video or other visuals helps my students to understand certain concepts. Many other teachers may think we are just goofing off in my classroom watching videos, but that is how my students learn; through visuals. Of course we do a lot of other things such as hands on which can be incorporated into what we just watched.
You are all amazing! Thank you for sharing all of your ideas!
I am now trying to figure out how to create some sort of database of all of the ideas and thoughts you have to share with others in implementing the 9 strategies....hmmmm...I'll add it to my summer list of things to do.
Something that stood out to me in this chapter are points 1 and 2 on page 15 where it is written that we need to explicitly guide students in ID'ing similarities and differences to enhance their understanding of and ability to use knowledge and ask students to do these tasks independently as well.
I realize that I compare and classify a lot in my class--more than I first realized. In Reading we compare characters within a story or even characters from two different stories, classify words by their meanings, spelling patterns, etc. I love comparing math concepts---addition and subtraction, multiplication and division, addition with regrouping vs subtraction with regrouping. In Math there are so many rules and tricks to remember, I have found that when the kids 'discover' these similarities or differences on their own they can recall and apply them more effectively. Just today we were working on a very basic division problem as part of our Mountain Math and we began discussing how multiplication and division are inverse operations of each other. The students were able to connect that to a lesson we had at the beginning of the year in which we discussed addition and subtraction being inverse operation of each other. It was easy to compare not only multiplication to division, but also one set of opposites to another.
I HATED analogies and metaphors as a student, and I recognize this as a weakness I still carry as a teacher. I find these areas to be a bit intimidating to teach to my second graders. We have done some VERY basic analogies as part of our DOL, but I could probably carry this further and tie it to math, science or other reading concepts. Any creative ideas out there?!?!
We compare and contrast in Math all the time using a Venn Diagram. When I worked in Mesa I took a class that taught us how to use a Venn in Math. I start each week with a couple of numbers in the diagram. The students write in their math journals what they think the similarities and differences are in the numbers. Each day, I add a couple more numbers. Sometimes their predictions will change and sometimes they stay the same. Again, they have to write in their journals about contrasts and similarities and prove their answers. By the end of the week, the Venn is full of numbers and we look at it as a group and contrast and compare. This activity has really helped my students think outside the box, as well as, realize that there is more than one way to look at something.
Writing has always been a struggle for me to teach. I was interested in the graphic organizer for metaphors and how the teacher tied it into writing a paragraph. What a great way to start out the beginning of the year when the students are first coming in and do not have an idea about where to start. The analagy of making a sandwich aand writing a paragraph is a perfect way to get the students thinking about juicy words, supporting details, etc.
I am currently using venn diagrams to compare and contrast Earth and the other planets. We also use venn diagrams quite a bit in Math. I believe our Math talks and our Math Solutions training lend itself very well to using classification, comparing, and contrasting. I think having students create analogies is a difficult concept for them to grasp. This is definitely something I need to spend more time on since it makes such a huge impact on student understanding and processing. Using metaphors is a great way for students to link something that the students know with something that is unfamiliar.
I have found that I use analogies much more often in math than I would have originally thought. For example, when I teach measurements and conversions, I use what they already know (feet, inches, etc) to help them compare and convert to newer concepts found in fifth grade curriculum (yards, miles, etc). Teaching them how go back to what they have already learned and making the problem simpler is an essential problem solving strategy. After going through Math Solutions, I found more strategies for using Venn Diagrams. I use them a lot for helping students to get a better grasp on concepts that they struggle with. I use Venn Diagrams for teaching prime and composite numbers and also for divisiblity.
Another thing I found interesting was the idea that all students don't always find the same information as important as their classmates. In the example in this chapter, students were directed to the same website and given the same ideas to research. Not one student had all the same information because the students didn't view the same infomation with the same importance. I thought this was a good example of how students learn differently and how to compare the information they did find. I see this a lot in math when we discuss how someone got the answer they did to a certain problem. I always have at least one other student tell me how they got it in a different way. This, a lot of times, helps other students to see the problem differently and maybe more clearly.
What stood out in chapter two for me was the idea that identifying similarities and differences might be considered the "core" of all learning. At first I thought this was a little ridiculous to say, but then looking at examples and thinking it through helped me realize that this could be true. At the start of the chapter, it is also stated that "Researchers have found these mental operations to be basic to human thought." This makes me wonder why we need to explicitly teach this if it is basic to human thought. I would think it would be more accurate that we need to point out that we all do this and go on from there.
We use comparing in my class quite a bit. For instance, we will take two characters in a novel and compare them with each other or take a character and compare what that person was like at the beginning of the story and at the end. This is a good way to show specific examples of dynamic characters and have a conversation about characterization. Generally we would use a Venn diagram to do these, but I like the idea of the comparison matrix that was shown on page 19. It allows for more detail.
I struggle with metaphors. My students have a difficult time with the abstract and I have difficulty with explaining it in a way they can understand. I know what I mean, but they don't. I have mostly freshmen, mostly boys, all struggling readers who HATE to read and are in a READING class. They tend to give up easily and shut down if they don't get something right away. Often thse students are considered the "bad boys" of the school, often they have poor grades in all classes, poor attitudes, poor attendance and a lot of bravado. Any ideas for me?
Please tell us something that stood out to you in this chapter:
It was mind blowing to me to learn that the ability to identify similarities and differences accounted for the largest percentile gain.
Pick one of the areas: comparing, classifying, metaphors or analogies and share with us how you use it in your classroom. Describe for us a lesson or activity where you use the strategy and why it works for your students:
I often use Venn Diagrams for the purpose of getting my students to understand the process of comparing and contrasting. We use Venn Diagrams a lot during the reading process. Example: We read stories,and then compare similarities, and differences amongst main characters. This works for my students because they are able to see those visual relationships, and it helps them broaden their understanding and awareness of the characters.
Pick one of the areas: comparing, classifying, metaphors or analogies that you find difficult to teach and use in your classroom. Share with us either what you will do now to incorporate it in your class OR tell us about your content and students asking others for input on how you might be able to incorporate the area:
I think that teaching analogies is difficult especially for my ELL students. I think that I can incorporate this strategy during my reading block by providing books on the topic, visual examples, and exposing them to PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE.