The Learning Cycle Lesson Making learning meaningful.
The Learning Cycle Lesson research-based teaching strategy effective in planning social studies lessons promotes conceptual change and increases students meaningful learning
Three Phases Exploratory Introduction Lesson Development Expansion
Exploratory Introduction Enables the students to become more aware of their own reasoning and recognize shortcomings in their prior knowledge.
Ask: What activities will enable my students to: become aware of and make public their prior knowledge? have the opportunity to try out their prior knowledge in a new setting? compare their prior knowledge to the new idea and recognize flaws in their prior knowledge?
The Teachers Role present one or two key questions to confront the students thinking raise questions facilitate the students exploration stand back and observe
Important Components of the Exploratory Phase use cooperative learning groups include interaction and exploration include a formative assessment to determine prior knowledge and misconceptions
Formative Evaluation provides the teacher with information to determine students learning used for monitoring and diagnosing
Lesson Development Discuss results of the exploratory introduction, providing connections to the new social studies idea. Teach the new idea. Include interesting practice activities. Model and/or practice. Provide closure for the new idea.
Ask: What activities will: provide my students with a clear explanation and sufficient practice to allow them to connect the new idea to what they already know? enable my students to construct their own new knowledge based on the new idea?
The Teachers Role explain provide examples check for understanding guide provide closure (a clear description of the idea or skill with which they have been working)
Important Components of the Lesson Development Phase provides more than one form of explanation gives clear examples uses modeling checks for understanding includes a formative assessment
Expansion Phase Apply and transfer the new social studies idea or skill to different situations.
Ask: What activities will: enable my students to apply the new knowledge in relevant contexts? help my students develop successful procedures for making decisions and solving problems while transferring the new idea to other settings?
The Teachers Role provides some but less guidance provides activities for the transfer of the new concept or skill encourager
Important Components of the Expansion Phase allow students to apply the new skill or idea into a situation that is meaningful to them personally include a summative assessment to check for transfer of the new idea into the new situation
Summative Assessment Examines students progress at the end of an activity, lesson, or unit Any grades that are given are taken from summative assessments and not formative
Formative Assessments Conferences Observations Checklists Questions and Answers First drafts Pre-tests Journals self and peer assessments
Summative Assessments Chapter tests Projects Portfolios Performances Benchmarks State assessments Final copies
Recap: The Learning Cycle Lesson
References: Karplus, R. (1974). Science curriculum improvement study teachers handbook. Berkeley, CA: University of California. Sunal, C. & Haas, M. (2008). Social studies for the elementary and middle grades. Boston, MA: Pearson Education Incorporated. Vygotsky, L.S. (1978). Mind in society: The development of higher psychological processes. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Quick Quiz What are the three phases of a learning cycle lesson?
Why is the exploration phase so important?
What is an important part of each phase that determines if the student is ready for the next phase?