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Extra info for Applying Standards-Based Constructivism: Elementary
The Components of the Two-Step 23 Exploratory Phase: Here is how the teacher can prepare students for the discovery phase through exploration: The teacher is about to begin a two-week unit on waterways and state history. Using an idea suggested by Heidi Hayes Jacobs of NCREST, six weeks prior to the start of the unit the teacher placed a bin at the front of the room and asked students to bring to class either of the following: ¨ Any relic or souvenir with a connection to a local waterway that they, or their parents, might be able to locate ¨ Newspapers, magazines, promotional brochures, internet articles, or pictures re- flecting any event or information relating to a waterway in the state The exploratory phase has begun.
Task Authenticity: A well-designed discovery phase focuses students on a task that simulates a real world context as closely as possible and has an audience beyond the teacher for a grade whenever possible. ¨ Tasks That Require Students to Think: A well-designed discovery phase challenges students to evaluate, synthesize, analyze, and apply a variety of thinking skills. Extensive research supports the notion of a discovery phase that motivates students to learn through engagement in an authentic task.
Discovery phases could also include menu planning for a class picnic, reenactment of Socrates’ trial or of “The Three Bears,” a science inquiry, a concert, a skit about Thanksgiving for an assembly, or student-created word math problems to be solved by classmates. Each of these examples of a discovery phase requires a different exploratory phase to prepare students for their journey into discovery. Reality Check Question Do you have lesson examples of the exploratory phase? For answers to this question, see ¨ The section containing a lesson on Harriet Tubman (in this chapter) The Components of the Two-Step 15 ¨ The lesson on waterways and state history (in this chapter) ¨ Appendix A for additional lessons Here are two examples.