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Two-Column Notes

Date:11/ Name: Mike Smithmyer


Class/Subject: EDTL 2760

MR Title(s): Bring Learning Alive!

MR Source(s): Bower, B., Lobdell, J., and Owens, S. (2010). Preview assignment. Bring learning alive!
Methods to transform middle and high school social studies. Palo Alto, CA: Teachers Curriculum Institute,
pp. 22-26.
Page #

The Text Says

Notes (key concepts, direct quotes, etc.)


Reviewing for Previewing: Student recall

the key points of a previous unit or lesson
to make predictions about or connections
to the topic they will be studying.


Describe a situation in which someone

you know was accused of lying, even
though the person was telling the truth.


Provocative Propositions: Have students

respond to a provocative proposition. The
proposition should introduce a key theme
or concept that will be explored in the
upcoming lesson.

I Say
My notes, commentary
I find this one interesting, because it implies a
sort that these methods do not work unless you
start with them and stick with them. Without
engaging ways of learning the information
throughout the whole year, students will not be
able to recall key points and topics from past
lessons at all.
Some of these questions need to be taken
carefully. Students might have biases towards
someone like their friend who was accused of
lying. If students bring up something
controversial around the school and take sides
it could cause tension.
This reminds me almost exactly of essential
questions. Students are responding to an open
ended question that is up to them to interpret,
just like in a well- worded essential questions.


Responding to Music: Students record

their initial responses to music related to
the activity or lesson. They might describe
the tone, connect the lyrics to content
themes, or record their sensory responses.

Again, this another area where I think

educators should be careful. Listening to
content appropriate music can quickly get out
of hand and turn into listening to modern
regular music as a sort of background noise,
which in my experience tends to distract more
than it helps.

Connections to previous MR: This reading is very similar to the reading about essential questions (which
seems obvious, given that they are written by the same people). This article specifically focuses on
previewing assignments for the students benefit; to get them thinking deeper about a subject before
the lesson even starts. Essential questions allow a student to think deeply about the topic, but those
generally come after they have an understanding of the lesson, while preview assignments allow them
to draw connections and make inferences before hand.