Teachers ask up to two questions every minute, up to 400 in a day, around 70,000 a year, or two to three million in the course of a career [teachertools.londongt.org/].
Bloom’s Taxonomy proposes a significant framework for teachers to use to focus on higher order thinking. It provides a hierarchy of levels, this classification can assist teachers in designing performance tasks, constructing questions for discussion with students, and providing reactions to student work.
Head of History James Frazer shared his experience of Bloom’s Taxonomy and how he has made connections with our key stage 3 assessment and progress.
James has simplified the classification and each level of learning with the use of pictures, displayed in his classroom. Particularly helpful for EAL students to have a visual representation and to be able to relate to their ability level. A lower levelled answer would expect a basic description about the question in mind, as the teacher you would point to the ‘dictionary,’ whereas a high ability student be able to weigh up two or more different interpretations so is depicted by scales.
- Remembering – to recall information (dictionary)
- Explain – focus in on a topic (magnifying glass)
- Applying – to solve problems (paint brush)
- Analysing – breaking it up into little bits (scissors)
- Evaluating – weighing up two or more different ideas/interpretations (scales)
- Creating – piecing things together (Lego building blocks)
Having the pictures displayed encourages focus on the quality of questions and answers from you as the teacher as well as the student.
James’ Practical suggestions of using Bloom’s:
- Introduced skills vocabulary (EAL) understand scissors of “breaking up…”
- Replace pictures with props – kinesthetic
- Provides a framework for differentiating your questioning
- Provides the students answers – indicates the kind of answer you expect
- Show a short video – students must produce different kinds of questions based on the taxonomy. You as the teacher targets certain students with the pictures to show the level of questioning you are expecting from them.
- Print out a paragraph on A3. Students cut it up to Point, Evidence, and Explain.
- Every student is given a Lego brick and a historical factor. They must build the biggest Lego structure they can but only attach their brick to another if they can come up with a link between the two historical factors.
- Students are given a list of Napoleons good and bad achievements and some plasticine. They must assign an amount of plasticine to the achievement depending on how significant they judge.
- To clarify their understanding of Bloom’s, students ask questions and then given an opportunity to suggest which level of Blooms they come under.
If you would like to see working examples, see James to arrange an observation.