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Benjamin Bloom is known for developing the taxonomy of higher level thinking questions.

The taxonomy provides categories of thinking skills that help educators forumulate questions. The taxonomy begins with the lowest level thinking skill and moves to the highest level of thinking skill. The six thinking skills from lowest level to highest level are Knowledge Comprehension

Application Analysis

Synthesis Evaluation To really understand what this means, let's takeGoldilocks and the 3 Bears to apply Bloom's taxonomy to. Knowledge Who was the biggest bear? What food was too hot? Comprehension Why didn't the bears eat the porridge? Why did the bears leave their house? Application List the sequence of events in the story. Draw 3 pictures showing the beginning, middle and ending of the story. Analysis Why do you think Goldilocks went for a sleep? How would you feel if you were Baby Bear? What kind of person do you think Goldilocks is and why? Synthesis How could you re-write this story with a city setting? Write a set of rules to prevent what happened in the story. Evaluation Write a review for the story and specify the type of audience that would enjoy this book. Why has this story been told over and over again throughout the years? Act out a mock court case as though the bears are taking Goldilocks to court. Bloom's taxonomy helps you to ask questions that make learners think. Always remember that higher level thinking occurs with higher level questioning. Here are the types of activities to support each of the categories in Bloom's Taxonomy: Knowledge

Label List Name state Outline Define Locate


Identify Recite Comprenension Discuss Explain Provide proof of Provide an outline Diagram Make a poster Make a collage Make a cartoon strip

Answer who, what, when, where,why questions Application Report Construct Solve Illustrate Construct

Design Analysis Sort Analyze Investigate Classify Survey Debate Graph

Compare Synthesis Invent Examine Design Formulate Hypothesize Re-tell differently Report Develop a game Song Experiment

Generate Compose Evaluation

Solve Justify Self evaluate Conclude Do an editorial Weight the pros/cons Mock trial Group discussion Justify Judge Critcize Appraise Judge

Recommendation backed with informed opinions Why do you think.... The more you move toward higher level questioning techniques, the easier it gets. Remind yourself to ask open ended questions, ask questions that stimulate 'why do you think' type answers. The goal is to get them thinking, what color of hat was he wearing is a low level thinking question, why do you think he wore that color is better. Always look to questioning and activities that make learners think. Bloom's taxonomy provides an excellent framework to help with this.

Brainstorming is an excellent teaching strategy to generate ideas on a given topic. Brainstorming helps promote thinking skills. When students are asked to think of all things related to a concept, they are really being asked to stretch their thinking skills. All to often, a child with special learning needs will say they don't know. However, with the technique of brainstorming, the child says what comes to mind as it relates to the topic. Brainstorming promotes success for students with special needs as there is no one right answer. Let's say that the brainstorm topic is Weather, the students would state whatever comes to mind, which would most likely include words like: rain, hot, cold, temperature, seasons, mild, cloudy, stormy etc. Brainstorming is also a terrific idea to do for bell work (when you have just 5-10 minutes to fill just prior to the bell). Brainstorming is an excellent strategy to:

Use in the inclusional classroom Tap into prior knowledge Give all students a chance to express their ideas Eliminate fear of failures Show respect for each other Try something without fear Tap into individuality and creativity Eliminate the fear of risk taking

Here are some basic rules to follow when conducting a brainstorm in the classroom with a small or whole group of students: 1. There are no wrong answers 2. 3. Try to get as many ideas as possible Record all ideas

4. Do not express your evaluation on any idea presented Prior to starting a new topic or concept, the brainstorm session will provide teachers with a great deal of information regarding what the student may or may not know. Here is a list of brainstorming ideas to get you started:

What are all the things you can do with a ball? (marble, stick, book, elastic, apple, etc.) How many things are white? blue? green? etc. What are all the methods of travel? How many types of insects, animals, flowers, trees do you know? How many ways can you describe the way something is said? (whispered, shreiked, bellowed, yelled, retorted etc. How many things can you think of that are sweet? salty? sour? bitter? etc. How many ways can you describe the ocean? mountains? etc. What if there were no cars? rain? butterflies, cigarettes? What if all cars were yellow? What if you were caught in a tornado? What if it never stopped raining? What if the school day was only half days? went all year?

Once the brainstorming activity is done, you have a great deal of information on where to take the topic next. Or, if the brainstorming activity is done as bell work, link it to a current theme or topic to enhance knowledge. You can also categorize/classify the student's answers once the brainstorm is done or separate it out and let students work in groups on each of the sub topics. Share this strategy with parents who have children who are insecure about sharing, the more they brainstorm, the better they get at it and thus enhancing their thinking skills.