January 2015

A picture is worth more than a thousand words!

Dr. Karin Hess


{ part 1 of 2 }


A (video) picture is worth more than a thousand words!


Those of you who have attended my workshops and presentations in the past few years are very familiar with my use of video to illustrate RIGOR in ACTION through teacher questioning and what I call “strategic scaffolding strategies” to increase student engagement. Sadly, we do not hear enough about strategies for sustaining student engagement when people write and talk about increasing rigor in our classrooms.  I say you cannot do one – rigor - without paying close attention to the other - engagement.


Many of the video clips that I use are posted on “the Teaching Channel,” which is a wonderful (and free) resource available to educators and the general public.  The teaching channel videos were not originally developed for the purpose of illustrating ways to infuse rigor; however I have spent many hours locating some strong examples of how skilled teachers might “shift” from one (DOK) level of questioning to another while providing strategic supports that encourage and sustain meaningful discourse and deeper learning for ALL students. I’ve even had many administrators tell me that after seeing a video used in my workshop, they have shared it with their parents or School Boards to start a rich discussion. In this blog, I’m sharing a few of my favorites. Next month, I’ll share a few more videos that model how some teachers refine their questioning for increased engagement and even lead to DOK 4-type learning tasks .


Selected Teaching Channel Videos

Some of Karin’s favorites for DEEPER Depth-of-Knowledge discussions


www.teachingchannel.org  - Selected lesson links for “DOK” discussions (with a few of my facilitator notes). I’ve also added some side notes related to Hillocks (Teaching Argument Writing, 2011) argument types: facts-based, judgment-based, or policy based arguments (across content areas).


  • (gr 8 – use at any grade or content area ) My favorite No:  Learning from Mistakes –(6 minutes) math warm-up using index cards, do a (DOK 1-routine) problem, teacher sorts to see the percent of correct, selects the best “not correct” answer (because there is something also good about it), and uses it formatively to draw out what students know/notice to begin the lesson (students provide examples and explanations – DOK 2). “What does this person not understand yet?” “Can someone convince me?” (question can lead to constructing an argument in math – DOK 3) https://www.teachingchannel.org/videos/class-warm-up-routine?fd=1


Karin’s Facilitator notes: I sometimes use clip this to introduce my Student Work Analysis protocol, or when looking at student work samples that are “almost” proficient. Strategic scaffolding strategies used by this teacher: recopy work so it can be any student; a climate/feeling that we learn from mistakes and we all make them; more than one student had trouble with it; there is good in all work – stat with the positive; it is the “favorite” implies that it has value. Side note: The “convince me” prompt is what Hillocks (Teaching Argument Writing, 2011) might call an argument of “fact” – using examples, calculations, diagrams, and/or models AND WORDS to support a mathematical argument.


(... unto part 2)




- Dr. DoK  

Karin Hess, Ed.D, is a recognized international leader in developing practical approaches for using cognitive rigor and learning progressions as the foundation for formative, interim, and performance assessments.



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© since July 2014 Karin Hess, Ed.D.