Implementing an PLN idea – Thanks Robyn


Just the other day I posted about a lesson I used in class to try and explain to my students the concept of CRITERIA. In addition to this I asked my PLN and those who visited my blog for suggestions and ideas to help teach my students about CRITERIA.

Relatively soon after my post, Robyn, a member of my PLN suggested:

An easy way is to ask them what they would need to think of if they were buying a birthday present for their best friend. Then ask them what about if they were buying a present for their granny. Look at the two lists and see what is the same and what is different – not only can they understand criteria but they can also see how criteria are different in different contexts.

Considering this suggestion, yesterday I tried exactly what Robyn had suggested, the only modification being that I used a Comparison Organizer. This is what my students came up with through conversations and discussion.

The students determined that there are differences in the types of gifts we give people because of what they like, how they spend their free time and what they do for fun. Which for Grandma is projects and crafts but for a student their age it is playing.

I was exstatic – the kids were getting it and I was not doing a lot of guiding to help them discover the answer, they were learning from and feeding off of each other.  THANK YOU ROBYN

This developed into another great lesson and activity, but that can wait for a later post. Once again I would really like to say ” THANK YOU ROBYN”


3 thoughts on “Implementing an PLN idea – Thanks Robyn

  1. Hi Shawn,

    I too teach in Parkland County (Stony Plain). Of course, we have also been working on criteria. I teach Language Arts 8 and a great area I find to use criteria is a film study. For example, we started the year off by reading “The Outsiders” by S.E. Hinton. After the novel, I showed my students the movie, which of course isn’t as good as the book. We developed criteria of a great movie before we watched it and then evaluated the film based on the criteria we decided as a class. The movie does not measure up to today’s generation’s standards of an excellent movie, and it is enjoyable to watch them become so critical with their evaluations. After the movie critique, we compared the novel to the film, and again, the students picked apart the shortcomings of the movie.

    I like your comment about the students basically doing the work. All we have to do as teachers is facilitate the discussion while we watch the class collaborate and brainstorm. I have been finding that once my class becomes comfortable with establishing criteria they can pretty much transfer those skills to any subject and topic (I also teach Social Studies so this blends very well in both areas). Great posts and I look forward to reading more.

    • Thank you so much for the comment. First I look forward to meeting you as we work for the same division it would be nice to meet each other and put a face to a name (other than pictures). It is interesting to try and get kids to look past the changes in movie productions. I tend to have the same issues when we watch older movies like Willow. Great movie, but very different compared to Lord Of the Rings.

      Robyn has graciously offered to send some of the critical thinking ideas and strategies that they try in her district in New Zealand. I agree that criteria is great, when you build them with the kids. I like them most importantly because it gives students a better understanding of the requirements of an assignment.

      I look forward to sharing great Ideas with you, but should say that sometimes criteria does not only apply to educational assignments, but also applies to many of our CSR requirements. Hope to hear from you soon – Cheers

  2. I love how the PLN works with web 2.0. No longer do we have to feel segregated in our classrooms with our students from the world. We can collaborate and grow. I love it. PLN using web 2.0 is a new concept to me and I am loving every second of it. It is fast and efficient. Thank goodness for where technology is today. BTW, I am glad that you are part of my PLN.

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