When discussing new content with students, have you ever
wished you could see what they were thinking? Using the latest
Tools from Intel Innovation in Education (www.intel.com/education/tools),
Priscilla Kelley has been able to see this in her class study of
Lord of the Flies. Thinking Tools are research-based and allow
students to visually construct and retain new information. During
their class study of Lord of the Flies, the Thinking Tool
Seeing Reason allowed students to create “maps” to
convey and exchange ideas, actively construct knowledge, and create
representations of what they had learned in the novel. During their
course of study, students modified their maps to show their growth
in understanding over time. This helped Priscilla to gauge student
understanding and also helped students direct their own learning.
of computers and location:
10-12 computers in
a computer lab
The unit must be extended
approximately a day longer than normal to allow for the extra
discussion time and map creation. Overall the study of Lord
of the Flies lasts approximately three weeks.
project supports standards based learning:
of the Flies is part of the normal assigned reading for English
IV students at Pelion High School. This novel is used to help meet
the SC Language Arts standards for high school.
technology is integrated:
The normal sequence of reading and discussing the novel
is unchanged. Periodically the class is brought to the computer
lab for approximately 30 minutes. Students work at one computer
in small groups of 2-3 students and discuss the complex relationships
that have developed in Lord of the Flies up to that day.
After determining the most important factors among the relationships
and events, students place those in the Seeing Reason map. Priscilla
is able to monitor the groups during class and later comment in
the tool about the student work. During the next lab visit, students
are able to read the comments, respond to the comments if necessary,
and make additions or corrections to their map. Group and class
discussions are enhanced because students are more easily able
to visualize the complex relationships that William Golding portrayed
in his novel.
How technology has changed the
way you teach:
There are several advantages of using the Intel Thinking
Tool – Seeing
Reason. The tool enables students to respond at a higher level of thinking
efficiently and to “see” how and what they think. Seeing Reason
further enables teaching through effective and efficient teacher responses.
1. Using the tool enabled students to work together and to question other’s
responses as well as their own. I observed students asking questions about
classification, cause-effect, and clarification. They also engaged in a high
degree of discussion, questioning and explaining and coming to a group decision.
2. The Thinking Tool enabled students to observe their thinking easily and
to make changes readily.
3. The Thinking Tool made it easy for me to respond – and to “bump” teacher
response up to the next level by asking a question that would lead student’s
thinking to another consideration, based on their mapping.
4. The overall process was valuable not only for the thinking and for observing
the thinking but also for the efficiency in getting thoughts down and changing
them. Doing this on paper with the additional comments and making changes would
have been “messy” to say the least; so much so that students probably
would have opted not to make changes as they worked on the first mapping.
5. Students worked very independently. I spent my time observing and was never
asked to assist. The students displayed a confidence in their ability to think
together. They answered each other’s questions with textual references,
explanations, and prior knowledge relevant to this novel.
6. Having a chance to come back to “tweak” or “overhaul” previous
thinking helped them realize that thinking over a period of time and leaving
an initial discussion without complete closure works better than just “putting
Priscilla Kelley (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Mike Edwards (email@example.com)