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Examining Similarities & Differences : Classroom Techniques to Help Students Deepen Their Understanding

Do your students know how to make meaningful comparisons? Academic standards call for increased rigor, but simply raising complexity is not enough. Students must also be able to examine similarities and differences within the critical content they are learning. They need to know how to use comparisons, classifications, metaphors, and analogies to generalize, draw conclusions, and refine schema, ultimately deepening their understanding of the content. Examining Similarities & Differences: Classroom Techniques to Help Students Deepen Their Understanding explores explicit techniques for mastering a crucial strategy of instructional practice: teaching students to examine similarities and differences. It includes: Explicit steps for implementation Recommendations for monitoring if students are able to autonomously examine similarities and differences Adaptations for students who struggle, have special needs, or excel in learning Examples and nonexamples from classroom practice Common mistakes and ways to avoid them The Essentials for Achieving Rigor series of instructional guides helps educators become highly skilled at implementing, monitoring, and adapting instruction. Put it to practical use immediately, adopting day-to-day examples as models for application in your own classroom.
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About the Author

Connie Scoles West, BSEd, MEd, spent her career in K-12 education as a classroom teacher and administrator in Cincinnati, Ohio, before joining Learning Sciences International as an independent staff developer in 2012. Connie brings expertise to her work from years of experience in a broad spectrum of leadership roles, including gifted education, mentoring, instructional coaching, school improvement, curriculum, professional development, and teacher evaluation. She has presented at numerous conferences on topics in literacy, mathematics, coaching, and curriculum and instruction. Connie earned her bachelor's and master's degrees in education from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Robert J. Marzano, PhD, is a nationally recognized education researcher, speaker, trainer, and author of more than 30 books and 150 articles on topics such as instruction, assessment, writing and implementing standards, cognition, effective leadership, and school intervention. His practical translations of the most current research and theory into classroom strategies are widely practiced internationally by both teachers and administrators.


"I am already thinking about how I can structure some of my lessons around the explanations and examples in Examining Similarities & Differences to deepen my students' understanding of a concept." -- Kristi Bundy "2014 Nebraska Teacher of the Year" "The graphic organizers in Examining Similarities & Differences were very helpful, and I like that the author visits potential roadblocks at the end of each chapter. As a reading specialist, I could easily see myself incorporating the presented ideas into content lessons." -- Jane Dearani Calnan "2014 New Hampshire Teacher of the Year finalist"

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