How to Turn Facts Into Real-World Problems
Few will disagree that memorizing certain facts (e.g., multiplication tables, branches of the US Government, types of adverbs) and understanding specific skills and concepts (e.g., subject/verb agreement, the order of mathematical operations, the process of photosynthesis) are important to a student’s academic success. Yet, how frequently do we teach facts, skills, and academic concepts in isolation void of any real-world connection for students? Research documents the importance of activating student prior knowledge—a key building block for constructing schema and enabling students to advance to higher levels of cognitive complexity. This PD Byte investigates increasing lesson relevancy for students, explores curriculum planning techniques that enable teachers to connect key content standards with real-world activities, and provides strategies for turning skill-based lessons into authentic real-world problems that require students to exercise complex thinking strategies while seeking solutions.
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