Friday, February 6, 2015

Differentiating Instruction using Bloom's Taxonomy

The concept of using Bloom's Taxonomy to differentiate instruction is not new. I have used this strategy for years but could it be taken a step further? Is it something with practice have students use the verbs to write questions while reading or working on an activity to differentiate what they have learned during the lesson using their own verbs to answer the questions? For instance, a student or team could look at the reading and cross reference with the chart below to figure out what the author of the text is asking. They could look at the questions being asked and look for the verbs to see what the author is asking. Students with practice could look at the lists to comprise their own questions and form their own understandings. I used this while completing some doctorate coursework and did the former but not the latter. What do you think? The article and chart below are in Teach Thought. How do you use Bloom's taxonomy in the classroom? If not, why not? The article below is currently on

     Bloom’s Taxonomy’s verbs–also know as power verbs or thinking verbs–are extraordinarily powerful instructional planning tools.
In fact, next to the concept of backwards-design and power standards, they are likely the most useful tool a teacher-as-learning-designer has access to. Why?
They can be used for curriculum mapping, assessment design, lesson planning, personalizing and differentiating learning, and almost any other “thing” a teacher–or student–has to do.
For example, if a standard asks students to infer and demonstrate an author’s position using evidence from the text, there’s a lot built into that kind of task. First a student has to be able to define what an “author’s position” is and what “evidence from the text” means (Knowledge-level). They’ll then need to be able to summarize that same text (Understanding-level), interpret and infer any arguments or positions (Analysis-level), evaluate inherent claims (Evaluation-level), and then write (Creation-level) a response that demonstrates their thinking.
Though the chart below reads left to right, it’s ideal to imagine it as a kind of incline, with Knowledge at the bottom, and Create at the top. You may not always need this kind of tool to “unpack” standards and identify a possible learning sequence, but it also works ideally as an assessment design tool. If students can consistently work with the topic in the columns to the right–designing, recommending, differentiating, comparing and contrasting, and so on, then they likely have a firm grasp on the material.
While we’ve shared Bloom’s Taxonomy posters posters before, the simplicity and clean design of the chart format make it a bit more functional–even useful to hand to the students themselves as a hole-punch-and-keep-it-in-your-journal-for-the-year kind of resource. It also makes a powerful self-directed learning tool. Start at the left, and, roughly, move right.
249 Bloom’s Taxonomy Verbs For Critical Thinking