Bloom’s taxonomy has always been a part of my teaching experience. When I originally took my teacher education classes from Regis University back in 2003, Bloom’s Taxonomy felt like it was the new “buzz” word. We were given a copy of the pyramid and studied the verbs associated with it. Then, once I started teaching in 2006, it wasn’t brought up or focused on as much. I still used it because I really felt like it helped me differentiate my lessons and scaffold them. Then in about 2010, I noticed that the principals started referring to Bloom’s again, this time requiring that we incorporate the different levels of Bloom’s in our lesson plans. Luckily I had been doing this, so it wasn’t too difficult to change my ways. I did however discover that I was doing a lousy job pushing my students to the top three tiers of Bloom’s: analyze, evaluate, and create. It was only during this class that I had even heard of Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy. I am so excited to start finding ways that I can incorporate this Taxonomy into my lesson plans. I do believe that is a scaffolding approach that I will need to use when technology is involved since students have varying degrees of comfort levels when it comes to technology. For example for the analyzing level, I could teach my students how to use Survey Monkey to create a math survey, then use the results to create a graph using the Create a Graph website from Kid’s Zone. For evaluating, I could get each one of my students signed up on Kid’s Blog and contribute to discussions that way. For Creating (my favorite level!) I would like to continue to use Glogster with my students, but I would also like to try some of the other creative programs such as iMovie and one of the comic book creator websites.
As far as Marzano’s instructional strategies, I never studied them as much as I have for my Instructional Technology courses. I have found that there are a lot of the strategies that I have already used, but reading Marzano’s book has opened my eyes as to other tips and suggestions that are more indepth. For example, under the Homework and Practice chapter, I have always been a firm believer in not giving homework for just busy work, but to enhance and practice skills that have already been taught. However, I have had a difficult time trying to figure out how to grade my students’ homework and what type of grades to give them. My colleagues and I have always given academic grades for homework, but I have never felt like that was fair to the students since homework is supposed to be practice. This chapter reinforced my thinking and I will now give non-academic grades, such as for participation or work habits, for homework. From now on, as I am planning my lessons, I will use the attached document to help me plan.
Learning more about Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy, Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy, and Marzano’s High Yield Instructional Strategies has brought a new sense of excitement to my teaching. I really believe that I will be a better teacher and be able to reach more students in my class.