Step 2 guides you in HOW TO help your learners to cope with the challenging task they have been offered  and HOW TO scaffold your learners activities/actions while building an algorithm for solving the challenging task they are offered.



So now you have a task (from step 1) you would like the students to tackle! What next?…FIRST - before you start - (recommended!) do the task yourself and see what steps you go through in order to complete the challenge. This trial run really helps and can turn up some surprises!

Write down all the steps/processes followed and make notes on;

  1. the skills (& knowledge) you expect the kids to be using while working on this task 
  2. the resources (or information) they will need/or be allowed to use or access
  3. skills or processes you'll need to directly teach students while working on/attempting the task
  4. the thinking skills they will need to use/be introduced to (click here for lists), (click here for an example). 
  5. where your kids are likely to get stuck (which is a good thing!)

Keep the list in a table format like this (with example of working through the analysis form).




Step 2 is divided into three SUB-STEPS which are described below.




SUB-STEP 2.1. Build a generic description of the task

Essentially this means generalising the problem. At first you won't be able to do this with your students (you'll just tell them) because they will need to learn how. Over time and with practice you will be able to transfer responsibility for this step to your students. 

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SUB-STEP 2.2. Introduce (or remind students about) thinking models to apply to the task

A first you will need to teach students the skills associated with the thinking model you've chosen to deal with the task and teach them how to apply it. Over time students will become familiar with and be able to apply a variety of thinking models and you will transfer to them the responsibility for choosing the model to apply.   

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SUB-STEP 2.3. Building the algorithms

Building algorithms means writing out the series of steps followed in order to complete the task, in essence making the steps in the students' thinking processes visible to them (and you). Over time this allows the students to become more able, agile and systematic thinkers.    

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I want to know more... 


SUB-STEP 2.1 Build a generic description of the task

When solving a non-typical problem/doing a challenging task one has to be able to abstract from the context the problem is wrapped in and to see this problem on a higher level – the level of a super system.
It allows you to switch from ‘comparing 4 famous people’ (specific task) to ‘compare and contrast’ (generic task)…. 
When you offer learners a challenging task, they start seeking the solution on the level of your context-wrapped problem. By building a generic description of the task you open your learners up to a new perspective on the problem and, thus, a new perspective on possible solutions.

 Possible procedure:

Support resources:


SUB-STEP 2.2. Introduce (or remind students about) thinking models for coping with this generic task/challenge



 Possible procedure:


SUB-STEP 2.3 (in progress)




# Edgar Lasevich 2012-02-14 16:59
At the generic level, I would split the complex tasks into elementary units. To my mind the level of "compare" is a bit too complex, as it does not really reveal the "kitchen" of the process. "Compare" itself consistes of (at least): make description (one or many elements), group descriptions, name each group (optional: match names and values), compare by filling in the comparative grid (so that all features (descriptions) are listed under the same names. I belive that this is a minimum level wich is intstrumentally applicable. It is also necessary to complete the table of possible "tasks" split into such elementary actions as an additional document.
# Edgar Lasevich 2012-02-14 17:08
For my liking the document is a little too long, and hard to overview. Do yoou think, for example, that initial table example can also be placed in final "example section" and just a link? Iif this framework is not obligatory and demonstrates a table, rather than the table and teachers are free to develop their own samples...
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