Thoughts on "Generating and Testing Hypotheses" in all subjects....

I am currently in my second year of teaching (and brand new to this network) and am always looking for ways to engage my students in multiple facets of thinking.I recently read Marzano's top nine strategies in education and found myself pondering strategy #8 which is Generating and Testing Hypotheses. Now, my first thought was immediately of that being a science only strategy but as I did more research I learned that is not the case. This is definitely a strategy that invites students to use their critical thinking skills from beginning to end. I am interested in learning more about this strategy so I can incorporate it seamlessly into my Social Studies curriculum. I would like to know how other teachers implement this strategy in their curriculum. I would appreciate any feedback:)

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A great way to incorporate "Generating and Testing Hypotheses" in Social Studies is by using Socratic Seminar and Document-Based Questions.  In Socratic Seminar, an essential question is asked and students read through a challenging text that requires interpretation.  They must come up with their answer (generate a hypothesis) based on the ideas from the text and defend in the seminar discussion (testing the hypothesis).  

Document-Based questions are tasks that revolve around primary documents in history.  Students are presented with letters, photos, diary entries, etc. related to a topic and must interpret these documents in order to answer an essential question.

In general, any time students make a prediction and confirm or disprove, they are working on this strategy.  Any time students are asked "why" they are generating a hypothesis.  Any time they are asked to defend their answers, to prove, or disprove--they are testing that hypothesis.

Thank you for the great ideas on how I can develop "Generating and Testing Hypotheses" in Social Studies. I like your description of the Socratic discussions and I think that would be a great way to get my students "thinking". It also sounds like a great way for them to interact with each other.  

I also think my students would enjoy more document based projects. I teach 6th graders and they are still grasping the differences between primary and secondary sources. I could see my self using this strategy for my students. They could receive a historical resource and make a hypothesis about what type of source it is and then use details from the source to prove their hypothesis. 

Again, thanks for the great ideas!



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