teaching analytical thinking and writing language skill set 2: analytical writing involves the...
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Teaching analytical thinking and writing Andy Homden
Connecting Teachers conference, JCSC July 6 & 7 2017
•What are you hoping to gain from this workshop?
• I would like to: Discuss the importance of analytical thinking Show how analytical writing can be taught to a
wide range of students Suggest some quick ideas you can start using
immediately Some bigger ideas for your school to consider
3. Learning strengths and weaknesses of your students
How did Year 11s & 13s deal with new linear courses?
Three language-based skill sets for analytical thinking
1. Actively and deliberately building vocabulary
2. The confident practice of analytical writing
3. Building and retaining a relevant body of knowledge
Analytical thinking and independent learning
9. Walkabout: survive, then thrive
An extreme learning situation
Language, analytical writing and independent learning
With our help, and in every subject, students must
learn how to take control of and use language effectively to the point where they don’t need us. Therefore:
Every lesson is a language lesson We are all teachers of language
Why is the ability to analyse important?
1. Analytical thinking is a learnable and repeatable process that leads to insight, understanding and ultimately independence
2. It enables the expression of ideas with precision 3. It is a means of establishing context and seeing what’s
there 4. A stepping stone to critical thinking 5. A stepping stone to creative thinking
Language skill set 1: building vocabulary
With explicit guidance, students must learn how to
1. Build their general vocabulary 2. Build their specialist vocabulary 3. Know when to use more formal language – and
learn how to use it.
Language mantra 1: Meaning = Definition + Use Origin (M =DUO)
1. Define “analysis”
2. Give 2 examples of its use
3. What are the origins of the word “analysis?”
M = DUO example
Above the surface __________________________________________________
Below the surface
Recording key terms: starting a glossary
Identify key terms in every unit
Ask students to challenge you all the time about words and their meanings
You challenge them about words and their meaning in every lesson
We are all teachers of language
The importance of listening: Listen Wise
DNA Changes the Linnaean Classification System
Language skill set 2: analytical writing
Involves the methodical analysis of a concept, idea or question, and the synthesis of a response or answer.
Analytical writing: what is it? M = DUO for Synthesis
If a school adopts a coordinated approach to independent learning, a shared definition of these terms is vital.
The 8 step “mantra” for writing a good argument
2. Delete the irrelevant
3. See the connections
4. Draw the diagram
1. Decide the order (Intro, 2, 3, 4, Conclusion)
2. Write the Intro
3. Write the supporting paras with evidence
4. Write the conclusion
Two analytical exercises: 1 concrete, 1 abstract
Use the 8 stages of analysis and synthesis to describe a motorway service station.
Use the 8 stages of analysis and synthesis to answer this question:
Why did the people of the United States elect Donald Trump on November 8 2016?
Language mantra 2: analyse then synthesise
Introductions, conclusions and the bits in between.
1. What is an introduction?
2. What is a conclusion?
3. What is the difference?
4. What comes between?
Expert in a year: a sporting analogy
Teaching style 1: coaching analytical writing
• Purposeful Practice
• Recapping & spiralling
• Scaffolding and conditioning the game
• The idea of the personal best
• Peaking at the right time: just another PB
Analytical writing: do 1 thing at a time
Language skill set 3: Growing a body of knowledge with understanding
• The relationship between memorisation and learning: memorising in order to learn
• The importance of knowing “how” to build knowledge
• building a body of knowledge as an active process
• Organisation: practical ideas for recording, storing and accessing what is being learned
• The relationship between STM & LTM
• The continuing importance of “purposeful practice”
Teaching style 2: monitoring (and lecturing?)
• The importance of being organised and systematic in note building: why?
•What guidance do students need?
• Should we ever “lecture”? If so, what is good technique?
• The importance of access
• What to read and how to read it; monitoring note making
• Lecturing: structure as a formal set piece on a regular basis
A successful student is organised for independence
How do you like students to get their work organised?
Some other suggestions • The general A4 Spiral pad • Headings, sub headings • The glossary • The General File • Specialised files • Transferring notes to files: pagination, annotation • E-notes?
Using and learning notes
• What questions can you answer with these notes?
• Connecting ideas & inserting pages
• Condensing notes: the “reverse wedge”
Files Flash cards Making notes Making cards
Learning and memorisation • Is memorising knowledge
• What’s the difference between Long Term and Short Term memory?
• See Christodoulou: 7 Myths about Education
• The final exam
• the importance of “pitching”
• STM: operations
• LTM: storage
• Interaction between LTM & STM to generate ideas & connections
Mantra 3: building a body of knowledge
New knowledge and revision
• When do you start revising? • When do you stop introducing new material? • Why is a school-wide agreed approach to revision
desirable in a two year course? • Plan the year in advance: start with the exams
and work backwards • The exam period: awareness, not demonisation
44. New knowledge and revision
September March, 18 months later
Revision and exam technique
• Revision: what works?
• Exam technique?
Some other ideas: • Little and often • Chunk up revision in a
planned time table in Y13
• Revision from the start • Reading through a paper • If you realise you’re
behind in an exam
Influencing your school What aspects of this work would you like to
use personally? What aspects of this work do you think
might be generally introduced? How can you influence your colleagues and
the SLT? What might be your priorities?
Perhaps the school’s Language or Literacy policy?
1. How would you change it?
2. Some ideas • Language must be at the centre of every subject
• All staff require students to build a subject glossary • Meaning of key terms need to be part of every unit of study (e.g. at
least 3 subject based and 3 “common” words are discussed as part of a week’s unit of work)
• Everyone use the same dictionary
International Teacher Magazine; learning wedge video
• Further reading: resources page in International Teacher Magazine: