Friday, July 27, 2012

Conocimiento previo/Prior knowledge: Just how important is it?

Earlier this week, I walked into my girls' room to find the scene pictured above.  Before you presume that they were reenacting a story from 48 Hours Mystery, let me provide some additional information.  You see, both of my girls are and have always been tummy sleepers (since they were capable of rolling over as infants).  So, when they are playing with dolls and it is time for them to go bed, of course they will sleep on their tummies too!

There is something about this picture that just makes me laugh every time I see it!  Of course, I am always amazed by how what I saw for years in the classroom is now reflected by my own little ones and I get to witness it up close every day.

What does this picture tell me?
We all make sense of our world by the experiences we have had up to the present time.  

So, as educators, no matter how awesome our standards are (Common Core, TEKS, whatever), if we don't understand the prior knowledge our kids bring to the classroom, we will be making lots of incorrect assumptions and our teaching will inevitably come up short.

Next week, I will be featuring several strategies for accessing students' prior knowledge from a resource called Stra-tiques that is produced by EL Saber Enterprises.  Of course, I don't want to just tell you about the resource without giving one away so stay tuned on Monday, July 30th for how you can win your very own copy of Stra-tiques to use with your students.

In the meantime, be thinking about the strategies you enjoy using to find out what your students already know.  I can't wait to learn more ideas from you!

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