Put That Post-it on the Wall

Posted: March 30, 2011 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , ,

So, I’ve been thinking about how my students organize information. We have practiced a couple of ways to gather information and then manipulated it this way and that. We have worked on this both formally and informally. So, I was interested to see what groups of students would do with this assignment:

Note: I had already directly presented (I know, I know, but sometimes we have to get in a little background quickly) some basic information about Ancient Egyptian dynasties and kingdoms.

During their group times, each student had to do some if not all of the reading and then bring notes to the group. I got to watch. I love watching my students really do stuff. It gives me insights into what strategies they are using, what they can take in from the text without me, how they can work together, who leads well, who leads aggressively, who follows well, and who doesn’t follow at all. These are pictures of what different groups did with their information:

This group started with post-its on a table

Then they moved to a wall to reorganize.

This group radiated ideas out from the center.

I especially like getting to see how each person deals with information and attempts to organize it. I know already that I have some straight-line-flow-chart thinkers. Everything is linear and connected at right angles for them. Then there are the categorizers who group, but don’t necessarily worry about the order of the details. And, there are always the web-makers who have trouble putting anything in only 1 category because the see all those connections.

I find it infinitely fascinating to watch so many different minds at work. While I watch (and advise, I’m not trying to torture folks), I get a peek inside those heads, even if the window is a little cloudy.

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