Deconstructing to Instruct: The Role of Deconstruction in Instruction and Assessment in Middle School Science Classroomsby: Rebecca Katsh-Singer

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We want to challenge our students, but we need to give them tasks and assessments they can realistically succeed at and are valid indicators of their learning. Deconstructing planning, teaching, and assessment can help teachers instruct and assess more appropriately, leading to more confident, motivated, and higher-achieving learners. In this article, learn how to deconstruct your approach to teaching to make sure you are asking right questions, and students are developing the right answers.

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Reviews (4)
  • on Tue Apr 10, 2012 4:55 PM

If you want to hear more ‘I get it’ and less ‘we’ve never studied this before’ exclamations from your students, this article will provide instructions on how. The author shows ways to include questions in assessments that will help teachers determine where and when student understanding breaks down. Students come to the classroom at different places in their mastery of cognitive activities. In order to determine why they aren’t getting the more complex concepts, this teacher divided the cognitive objectives into subdivisions from simplest to more complex. That way she could pinpoint where the students started to have their individual problems. The article provides a helpful chart to show how quiz questions should change to reflect the quiz/test deconstruction. As a result of the text/quiz deconstruction, teachers are better able to plan for individual students’ instructional needs.

Carolyn M  (Buffalo Grove, IL)
Carolyn M (Buffalo Grove, IL)

  • on Mon Feb 21, 2011 8:02 PM

How often do your students do poorly on an assessment despite having taught the material? Are your questions asking too much of students? Do you know where the breakdown of knowledge occurs? Using a simple deconstruction method you can teach students to answer higher level questions while at the same time visualizing the specific point where students struggle. This simple approach allows you to differentiate instruction to meet the needs of all learners and to develop more confident learners.

Patricia McGinnis  (Pottstown, PA)
Patricia McGinnis (Pottstown, PA)

  • on Wed Jan 05, 2011 2:08 PM

This article explains how to deconstruct higher level questions into smaller questions to help students construct answers that require more critical thinking. This article will help you get the types of responses you want to get from your students.

Kate Geer  (Louisville, CO)
Kate Geer (Louisville, CO)

  • on Wed Dec 29, 2010 7:28 PM

Well-written article about the author's practical application of diagnostic testing as a planning tool for tiered instruction. The author uses Bloom's taxonomy levels in assessment questions to check for students' reading comprehension and higher-level thinking skills.

Therese H  (Salisbury, MD)
Therese H (Salisbury, MD)

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