Tuesday, October 22, 2013

TEI Tuesday Tip for 10/22

Getting into the Groove with the Venn Diagram!

Take a look at the "drag and drop" TEI question from a 4th grade reading sample. The popular Venn diagrams that we see in TEI questions like the one pictured here, have been around since their origination in the late 1800's by mathematician, John Venn.

What makes these graphic organizers a powerful teaching and learning tool? The Venn diagram is a graphic organizer that represents the relationship between concepts, words and ideas. One of the characteristics of effective vocabulary instruction includes the use of linguistic and nonlinguistic representations. The Venn diagram challenges the student to consider similarities and differences when placing words/phrases in the appropriate circle(s). With practice, students learn to use a higher level of cognition to make connections between words placed on the diagram.

How do we train our students to become proficient at "dragging and dropping"? The reading SOLs require students to compare and contrast early on in order to demonstrate comprehension. Using a Venn diagram where students identify the similarities and differences, or having students create their own Venn diagrams, will help to build the critical thinking skills needed for thoughtfully engaged instruction.

Let's take a look at some creative ways to get  your students "doing TEI" with all kinds of Venn diagrams!
1. Hula Hoop Venn: Use inexpensive hula hoops on the floor and index cards or recycle old folders, to "drag and drop" comparisons into the Venn.

2. Whiteboard: Draw a Venn diagram on your whiteboard (or chalkboard). Use post its, index cards or recycled old folders. 
3.  Document Camera: The little post it notes work nicely with this. Print off a copy of a Venn diagram and place the post it notes under the document camera. Students can get a nice view of the diagram with a document camera.
Document Camera and Post It Notes
Document Camera with Post It Notes

4.  Interactive Venn Diagrams Online: There are now more options for creating Venn Diagrams online. Here are a few I find easy to use and engaging!
Read, Write, Think, Interactive Venn Diagram
Class Tools Venn Templates
Interactivate Shape Sorter
Teacher Led, Multiples Venn
Fuel the Brain, Venn Interactives
Cyberchase, Logic Zoo

5. Computer Software: My favorite for dragging and dropping is ActivInspire. Here is a template that you could modify for using to create Venn Diagrams.
Tei Tuesday Venn Flipchart

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