Sponge activities are called that way because they assume that none of the available for learning time should be wasted, and new knowledge has to be soaked up as if by a sponge. These activities may be conducted during the lesson, by the students who have accomplished their tasks and are waiting for their classmates, as a warm up or as a wrap up of a lesson.
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Anchor activities involve long-term assignments the learners work on during a unit or a semester. Anchor activities include the materials from the curriculum and work as independent projects the learners accomplish on their own. The goals of anchor activities are to match the objectives of the course. That way, even during the time free from classes the learners are engaged in studying important aspects of the course.
Compacting may be applied to a course or a curriculum. Using this technique a teacher targets the learners with high academic achievements who are asked to determine which parts of the curriculum content they are already good at, so that these aspects could be skipped during the learning process.
Tiered activities are held in the classrooms where there are students with mixed abilities. Tiered activities provide an educator with a way to teach a course to diverse students through a set of methods that allow all of the learners to be challenged accordingly with their abilities. During tiered activities, the tasks are eventually adjusted for the students with higher, medium, and lower abilities.
DOK refers to the depth of knowledge of a learner. DOK questions target the level at which a particular student is. That way, DOK questioning works through a set of questions checking various levels of knowledge starting with “do you remember … (some basic concept)?” and moving on to deeper levels of that concept such as its relationship with other concepts, its impact, or capacities.
Accountable talk is a technique featuring a dialogue or debate among students. During an accountable talk the learners demonstrate an ability to support their arguments, listen and comment on each other’s opinions, listen actively and respectfully, respond to an opponent’s arguments logically and in an organized manner, prove their positions.
Jigsaw is a complex teaching technique applying which the teacher breaks the class into groups and assigns different topics to various people. The students work on individual tasks to assemble a whole later, and then they find other students with the tasks of the same topics and work within groups unified by one subject. This technique enables active group work and collaboration.
Problem-based learning is also accomplished in small groups (fewer than ten people in a group). The groups are to collaborate in order to solve a problem that may have many solutions. An educator’s role is to supervise the group, provide guidance, maintain the students’ confidence, but not to direct the learners. The students are to be free to choose any solutions they feel are right and be autonomous problem solvers and decision makers.
Workshop model consists of such steps as a short session with a teacher where the material is explained, and the instructions are given, a session of independent work, and another short share session where the learners present the results, and some of them conclude about what they have learnt.
Cubing is called that way because this activity requires a learner to view their problem from many different angles as if looking at a three-dimensional object. In fact, cubing often employs an actual cube each side of which contains a task or a problem, to turning the cube the learner moves on to new activities.