Academic and cognitive skills are something that is important to consider when conducting a class. One cannot expect all students to perform at the same level and it may even be a disservice to students to do so. Following are several ways that one can consider academic and cognitive skills when planning lessons:
1. In front of new math units one could hold a short 5 question quiz before the unit of instruction to assess the pre-knowledge that student bring to the lesson, and have the same quiz after the unit of instruction to determine if any gaps were filled. Many students in the classroom like to have tangible markers of their learning. Providing and the pre-unit quiz and post-unit quiz could give them those tangible markers of success and motivate them to perform at higher levels.
2. Give students written ‘exit-tickets' instead of verbal ones. This is because some students are uncomfortable with their cognitive skills and would rather submit a written question than ask one in front of the entire class.
3. In math, allow students to represent equations in ways that make sense to them. In many math units students will benefit from being able to create different visual representations of equations (Berdynaj and Vula, 2011). When they are able to use whichever models make sense to them, they may perform at a higher level.
4. In most units being taught one should use two different 'essential questions' so as to provide an opportunity for deeper understanding for all students. Hubbell & Goodwin (2013) say that teaching’s true goal should be to develop deep knowledge and a real understanding. This means to be able to process ideas in a coherent fashion and take in different learning aspects while being to apply them in different situations. Through the use of two different essential questions educators can cater to the different cognitive skill sets in the classroom.
References are found in the REFERENCES PAGE.
Benjamin Snitker. A master's candidate at Colorado State University-Global Campus.