Bloom's and Marzano's at my present school.

 

      I’ve had a fair comprehension of Bloom’s Taxonomy and Marzano’s Strategies since I began my teacher’s training years ago, though the Digital Taxonomy is something I’m relatively new to.  In past work environments we used Bloom’s terminology to create scaffolded lessons, working our way up to the creation stage in each class as well as throughout a unit. While Bloom’s was something we consciously did I found that Marzano’s was more something that came as a natural byproduct. For example, note-taking, practicing via homework, and reflecting on the individual lesson or overall unit, is a natural part of the classroom. Getting from the initial stages of Bloom’s to something more rigorous often takes conscious effort, especially from new teachers who often end up stuck in the teacher-led routine, as it’s easiest to control.

      At the present time I am working for an IB school that has included many of these strategies into the regular curriculum. Reflection, feedback, and more creative avenues of expression are highly encouraged and regularly implemented in all subjects. So, while I haven’t been explicitly using Bloom’s or Marzano’s I feel that in just the way that I am teaching on a day-to-day basis I am hitting all necessary steps and traits of each. In a recent lesson with my year 9 class we explored graphing various types of linear and non-linear equations, with the students taking ownership of the discovery and creation of rules each type of equation produced. They first learned how to graph by hand using a t-chart as their basis for data, as well as Wolfram Alpha or their graphing calculator (if they had one), and then they went about classifying the equations. Within those classifications they would then create rules based upon what they found. The final step of this was for them to generate their own equations from these rules. Overall the few days we did this went quite well, and I felt the students learned a lot more from it than I could have taught via a direct approach.

      Most of my current colleagues are using the same IB methods, which, when implemented seem to work quite well, so I’m not sure I could share much with them. In addition, most of them have gone through workshops involving Bloom’s and/or Marzano’s, so they are well-versed in it. The one thing I do believe I could share is the way I have implemented these strategies in the math class. In the last month or two I’ve been working on redesigning some of the lessons to better suit the IB. Restructuring the assignments and redesigning the way the chapter is laid out with previous units has yielded much success, and I'm hoping that future tinkering will do so as well.

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