Last Saturday, I posted about "Horizontal Thinking" and the changes I made this year in my instruction about research. Several comments asked me to explain the shift.
BACKGROUND: I have to admit I was that teacher who thought after my students finished their research, they were ready to take their new learning and present it. I thought I was doing a great job with allowing students choice in topic. Mini Lessons including nonfiction text structures (which they have had for three years in a row) focus on summaries and finally choice in their presentation tool.
CONVERSATIONS: I worked with our literacy coach, Heather, and we discussed how I wanted to dig deeper in the craft of writing. I wanted to have my group of writers think deeper than just repeating the answers to their 4 questions. This is where I labeled the term vertical vs horizontal thinking. I wanted my writers to look across the research. The link to how this was accomplished is here.
|Ryan says it all....I am thankful for his honesty.|
Also he made a pocket book out of envelopes. His research
was inside the pockets. Super creative.
INTERVIEW WITH MY WRITERS in ROOM 234 I shared the comments from last week blog's post with my class, and they were excited that so many teachers had questions about this process. I asked them to share their thoughts:.
EF: horizontal means we look at all of our research and see how it is similar/connects
BV: you have to dig deeper in your research because you want more than one piece of evidence
AD: I want to advance my learning, so I asked more advanced questions
AM: thinking horizontal means not thinking about one question but thinking about all questions
HA: once you found facts that were similar you wrote the facts in your own words
RS: as a writer you had to choose the best structure which includes sidebar, timeline, index, maps, glossary, photos with captions
LS: have to organize your thinking (chronological order) so the facts make sense
FINAL THOUGHTS: As I read through their books, their writing was stronger because they saw connections between their research. Their thinking was deeper because they connected data and built their own graphs, charts or timelines. They didn't just "copy and paste" from the internet. They showed higher level thinking in the craft of writing their research.
|Students loved learning about sidebars and creating their own model.|
JB's dad is an engineer and JB chose his topic because he wanted
to learn more about his dad's career.
I feel a sense of gratitude for my Celebration Community. All week I had a smile on my face as I thought about this blog and writing it. I am so thankful for my writers, and our conversations as we processed the importance of horizontal thinking.