Element 9: Chunking Content Into Digestible Bites by Emily Johnson

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Element 9: Chunking Content Into Digestible Bites by Emily Johnson by Mind Map: Element 9: Chunking Content Into Digestible Bites by Emily Johnson

1. The most common assignment/unit I have found the need to "chunk material" is research papers. Most of my students struggle to tackle this content and develop a working understanding of this important skill.

1.1. Chunking this unit makes the overwhelming work of choosing a topic, beginning research, creating an outline, and practicing citation seem attainable to students.

1.1.1. We focus first on choosing the topic. Students are given three options.

1.1.2. Students then begin looking at given research pertaining to the topic they have chosen. I have found reputable resources for all three topics, and students are given access to the resources for each topic. Evernote is utilized to organize each category of research for each topic.

1.1.3. Students are then given an outline template.

1.1.3.1. In the outline we practice thesis and topic sentence development.

1.1.4. Within the outline template they have to determine where they will cite their sources and how they will use that information. The bulk of time discussing the writing process is spent here, as this is a difficult concept for most to grasp. We spend two class periods practicing paraphrasing, summarizing, and direct quotes with proper in text citation. They will use these in the body of their paper.

1.1.5. Students are then given two writing labs to put the outline and research together into an essay.

1.2. Encouraging to take ownership of their own timeline is key.

2. Chunking content works exactly as it sounds. The goal is to piece the material being taught into small segments that make it easier for students to develop a deeper understanding of the lesson.

2.1. Determining if the skills being taught are declarative vs procedural will be key in developing a proper strategy for introducing material.

3. Providing examples of finished products is necessary to chunking assignments. For example when writing an essay is broken down into each phase of the writing process students should have finished examples of graphic organizers for brainstorming, an outline, a rough draft, and a final draft. If citations are required there should be examples of that process and those citations as well.

4. Technology can be a great benefit to chunking assignments. Many tools are available to assist in this process.

4.1. Google docs can be used to present new material in chunks. The teacher can create a doc that is view only and slowly add information into a working doc.

4.2. A digital graphic organizer such as this one can be utilized to introduce more information in phases.

4.3. Students can be given access to links that discuss new material in small doses as well on platforms such as YouTube or in a learning program like Khan Academy.

5. Utilizing Preassessment Data

5.1. Preassessment offers an idea of where to begin chunking data for select groups of students. Some students may require smaller chunks while other students are ready for larger bits of new information.

5.2. One form of preassessment commonly used in my classroom is a baseline essay. Students are asked to respond to a given quote about a certain philosophy. This narrative helps indicate where they are with their writing ability and tells me how much I need to help students develop or refine this skill.

5.3. Other content classes may find they could use surveys or true/false questions.

6. References

6.1. Magana, S., & Marzano, R. J. (2014). Enhancing the Art & Science of Teaching With Technology. Bloomington, IN: Marzano Research.

6.2. Morin, Amanda. (n.d.) How to Break Up a Writing Assignment. (Understood.org.) Retrieved from https://www.understood.org/en/school-learning/learning-at-home/homework-study-skills/how-to-help-your-child-break-up-a-writing-assignment-into-chunks

7. You will want to work with your collaborative team when determining how you chunk assignments.

7.1. Occasionally a student with an IEP many have "assignment chunking" as an accommodation. It may be necessary to include that student's case manager in discussions regarding work for that particular student.