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Deeper Learning Digest: Incorporating Deeper Learning for Student Success

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October 30, 2015 04:59 pm

deeper learning

The ‘Deeper Learning Digest’ is a bi-weekly roundup of articles, blog posts, and other content around deeper learning.

eSchool News featured the story of Kelly Grotrian, a social studies teacher in East Brunswick, New Jersey, and how she enabled her students to learn more deeply using video content. Grotrian discusses how she was showing relevant, primary source accounts via video, and yet her students were distracted and disengaged with the material. Using the standard document-based question activity (DBQ), where students are given an essay prompt and must use the given documents and their knowledge to support a response, Grotrian created her very own “VBQ” or video-based question activity.  The novelty of the idea, which translated into a series of videos accompanied by critical thinking and higher-level questions, is that students are in control of their own learning. After completing the activity, one of her students said: “I really enjoyed this activity because this is one of the first experiences where we have control over our learning and it suits well because everyone has a different pace.”

In Tennessee, state education officials are focusing on comprehension to improve reading scores. “This is not about whether students can read and write. It’s about understanding. At its most basic, comprehension is being able to identify the setting or the main character of a story,” says the story on Nashville Public Radio. It is this deeper level where Tennessee’s students are struggling. Education Commissioner Candice McQueen discussed that there are multiple levels of comprehension to get more in-depth, and that this should begin even as students are just starting to sound out words. “Even when you’re teaching decoding and a student may not be able to read yet, you’re definitely reading to them. You’re helping them access what they can read,” she says. “And you’re having an opportunity to do listening comprehension, which starts building those skills at an early age.”

A piece on edutopia discusses bringing deeper learning experiences into classrooms and school learning. The article prompts readers to think about a time when they were immersed in a deeper learning experience, consider the qualities of the experience that made the learning memorable, and to think of ways to encourage this style of learning, which happens outside of school for many people, into the class. With the mentality that designing curriculum is the point when teachers can be innovative and create memorable and profound opportunities for their students, the article gives four ideas to aid in the designing of deeper learning experiences for students. Check them out here.

On Education Week’s Learning Deeply blog, Adam Carter, chief academic officer for Summit Public Schools explores how Summit Public Schools achieve their mission of “preparing a diverse student population for success in a four-year university, and to be thoughtful, contributing members of society.” Carter discusses how they get their students ready for success in college, using what they have outlined as the primary drivers of college readiness (pictured below). Carter dives deeper into one of the drivers, “Habits of Success,” defining what this means and why it matters. “Habits of Success are really important–as educators, parents, and community members, we know that they are the invisible thread that ties together the fabric of relationships and organizations–they are bound intimately with motivation and achievement. They count, but we don’t yet count them. We should.” Read more:


Visit the Deeper Learning website  to learn more. Make sure to add High School Soup to your RSS feed and follow @deeperlearning on Twitter to stay up-to-date on all deeper learning news.

Deeper Learning Digest

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