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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Combining Think-Trix for Student-Generated Questions and Titanpad, Another Simple Collaborative Writing Web Tool: Part One

When mentoring our pre-service and in-service teachers we need to describe and model both research-based and clinically tested best practices, and demonstrate how these best practices can be applied in the real (i.e. physical) and virtual (online) classroom for both teaching and teacher training. Accordingly in this section of the blog we will describe how the internet can serve as a supplemental resource for instruction and the mentoring of pre-service and in-service Jewish educators. This is the first of a two-part post in which we will share how the teacher/mentor can engage his or class students/mentees to brainstorm questions by using Dr. Frank Lyman’s Think-Trix framework and recording those ideas on the Titanpad platform.

Assumption: The teacher or mentor teacher has an interactive white board (i.e. SMART Board, Promethean, etc.), a Tablet PC (also called a Slate or Blade), a computer presenter or computer with internet access attached to an LCD projector in the classroom. It would be ideal if students or mentees had access to their own laptop computers as well.

Note: Although this lesson plan idea is designed for the Judaic Studies classroom, it can be also be used for training pre-service and in-service Jewish educators for professional or staff development. For example, the Titanpad can be used to co-create a lesson plan, a unit, a professional development or staff development plan, or a curriculum project. It is our hope that Jewish educators around the globe will form an online community of practice, a CoP, a group of people who share an interest, a craft, and/or a profession, to enhance the delivery of instruction and training of Jewish educators.

Note: We will use the word teacher and student in this lesson plan idea. For purposes of staff development training replace the word (a) teacher with mentor teacher, staff developer, teacher trainer or college professor, (b) and student with mentee, client, pre-service or in-service teacher, undergraduate or graduate student.

First let’s review what is F. Lyman’s Think-Trix.

Frank Lyman created the Think-Trix visual cues as a device to prompt students to create their own questions for classroom discussion and inquiry. Each visual cue is designed to empower students to ask seven different types of questions. At the top of this post is a chart depicting the seven visual Think-Trix cues representing seven different types of student-generated questions. For elaboration on the Think-Trix refer to this previous post.

On the next post we will share a lesson plan idea on how to help empower students to generate their own questions through using the Think-Trix and then recording those questions on the collaborative writing web tool, Titanpad.

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