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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

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

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 second part of a two-part post in which we will share a lesson plan idea on how the teacher/mentor can engage his or class students/mentees to brainstorm questions by using Lyman’s Think-Trix framework and recording those ideas on the Titanpad platform. Here is part one. Part two follows.

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.

Step One: The teacher places students/mentees into learning pairs and gives each pair a Judaic topic (i.e. from the Tanach, the hagim, Israel, Hebrew, Jewish history, the middot, Jewish culture, etc.) for which they are to generate questions.

· Here are some examples of general questions related to the seven Think-Trix categories.

· Remember or recall question: Can you recall a time when you were most proud of being Jewish?

· Similarity question: What beliefs do all Jewish people share?

· Difference question: How is life different as a Jew living in the United States as compared to living in Israel?

· Idea to example question: As Jews we value shalom bayit (the idea) ? What examples can you give of shalom bayit that you have witnessed?

· Example to idea question: Can you give examples showing that Israel is a light to the nations?

· A cause question: Why is there evil in the world? Why do some people hate the Jewish people?

· An effect question: What are the effects of assimilation or acculturation on the Jewish people? In particular, has living in the United States promoted or undermined Jewish culture and religious practice?

· An evaluation question: As a Jewish person, if you have the chance to live anywhere in the world, where would you reside and why?

Step Two: Students/mentees in learning pairs generate their questions and record them using the Titanpad collaborative writing web tool.

Step Three: At a point determined by the teacher or mentor the student generated questions generated are placed on the interactive white board and these questions drive the lesson, the unit, the semester or the year’s curriculum focus.

On the next post we will begin to discuss how Wiederhold’s Q-Matrix can be used in combination with another basis collaborative writing tool, Meeting Words.

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