A higher-level monster

AVID and Common Core are two of the best things happening in education right now. To put it concisely, Common Core is the “what” and AVID is the “how”–and one of the major unifying threads in this alliance is higher-level thinking.

“Rigorous” is another way of putting it, and whether you like the aesthetics of that word or not, rigor is what every school worth its salt is either pursuing or implementing within it courses.

Costa’s Levels of Questioning, which is used with rigorous teaching strategies, shows the difference between lower-level concepts and higher-level concepts. A student moves from gathering information to processing information–and then finally applying information.


It’s similar to Bloom’s Taxonomy. I find the house easier to use with junior high students, but word is that AVID is moving toward Bloom’s.

Recently, I had my students draw monsters and then create one Level 1, two Level 2, and three Level 3 questions concerning that monster. Here’s the one I created under my document camera.


The students loved it, and the exercise was extremely fun to teach. I love using strategies in the classroom that even the students know are beneficial.

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