Register
The Inspired Writer Blog

WriteSteps’ Guide to Depth of Knowledge: 5 Tips to Help Your Students

Aug 21

Written by: Suzanne Klein
8/21/2014 7:10 AM 

How do you know that the tasks your students complete will meet the rigorous standards of the Common Core? How do you know they’re reWebb's DOK Graphic by Tracy Watanabeaching the level of thinking required for Common Core assessments and college and career readiness? You know by using a frame of reference called Depth of Knowledge. While Depth of Knowledge (DOK) is not a new concept, it is a new way of labeling the level of thinking required by a question or assignment in the Common Core.

If you’ve noticed the exit questions included in some of our closure activities, or if you have heard of Bloom’s taxonomy, you are familiar with the fact that some activities require deeper levels of thinking. This is the basis for the Depth of Knowledge labeling. The CCSS ELA standards require students to produce at a Depth of Knowledge 3 and 4. On-demand activities and assessments will not include DOK 4 (Webb's Depth of Knowledge Graphic created by Tracy Watanabe)

A Breakdown of DOK1-4

DOK 1: The ability to process knowledge on a low level so that the knowledge can be reproduced or communicated.

DOK 2: Solve routine problems, like book learning. Students should demonstrate or use the information or concept. DOK 2 is based on conceptual knowledge.

DOK 3: Requires reasoning and developing a plan. Students analyze, explore relationships, and answer real world scenarios.

DOK 4: Requires extended thinking, investigation and synthesizing ideas into new concepts.

 

A detailed look at DOK1-4. You can download the full chart at http://www.stancoe.org/SCOE/iss/common_core/overview/overview_depth_of_knowledge/cognitive_rigor_matrix_reading_writing.pdf. Author: Karin K. Hess

 Example writing pieces for DOK1-4

DOK 1: What is the meaning of the word "advocate" in this passage?

DOK 2: What in the text shows that Abigail Adams is an advocate?

DOK 3: Read these two texts and compare Abigail and John Adams views on freedom and independence. Write about which of them is a greater advocate. Support your opinion with evidence from the texts.

DOK 4: Design and conduct an experiment or design a mathematical model to solve a situation. Connect common themes across texts from different cultures. Synthesize ideas into new concepts.

Writing is not simply mechanics. It is thinking and synthesizing.  Here are some tips I’ve learned that will help you prepare your students to write at the DOK3 and DOK4 levels:

1. Make sure your students are using sufficient evidence in their writing.

2. Be sure to include high level writing prompts when your students are writing.

3. Include Response to Text activities at a DOK 3.

4. Response to Text lessons must require “close reading.”

5. Your feedback/conferencing must push students to higher levels of thinking.

Every single Common Core standard is mapped to cognition across all subject areas, and the writing standards are mapped to DOK 3 and 4. If you want to get your students reading and thinking, writing is the way to do it. Strong writing skills will help your students reach those DOK3 and DOK4 levels across all subject areas.

Do you have any tips you’d like to share to help other teachers get their students thinking and writing at DOK3 and DOK4 levels? Please comment below!

 

 



 

Subscribe to this Blog
Search Blog
Quick Find
elementary writing (8)
professional development (8)
6 Traits (5)
Common Core (5)
technology (5)
writing (5)
CCSS (4)
Common Cores (4)
elementary writing program (4)
PARCC (4)
WriteSteps (4)
common core writing (3)
conferencing (3)
formative assessment (3)
Lucy Calkins (3)
Smarter Balanced (3)
ADD (2)
common conferencing challenges (2)
Common Core Standards (2)
conferencing tips for teachers (2)
curriculum directors (2)
Edtech (2)
Education (2)
effective writing instruction (2)
elementary conferences (2)
elementary teachers (2)
elementary writing instruction (2)
handwriting (2)
inspiration (2)
journaling (2)
K-5 (2)
K-5 writing (2)
keyboarding (2)
learning disabilities (2)
mentor texts (2)
principals (2)
quick writing exercise (2)
summative assessment (2)
teaching (2)
technology tools (2)
texting (2)
writing apps (2)
writing challenges (2)
writing exercises (2)
Writing Prompts (2)
Writing Workshop (2)
10 Leadership Truths for Curriculum Leaders (1)
2012 schedule (1)
3-2-1 Summarizer (1)
6 Traits of Quality Writing (1)
6 Traits Rubric (1)
animated video (1)
Ashton Kutcher (1)
assessing writing (1)
assessments (1)
back-to-school activity (1)
becoming a better teacher (1)
beginning the year (1)
benefits of handwriting (1)
blendedlearning (1)
blogging (1)
Bloom's Taxonomy (1)
brain research (1)
captivationstation (1)
CCSS ELA Standards (1)
challenges of teaching writing (1)
Chauncey Davis Elementary (1)
choice (1)
classroom activities (1)
classroom management resources (1)
classroom poster (1)
Classroom Posters (1)
Clever (1)
coaching (1)
college and career readiness (1)
Common Core tests (1)
Common Core Writing plans (1)
Common Core writing program (1)
conferencing video (1)
creating writing curriculum (1)
Crunch the Numbers (1)
curriculum creators (1)
Curriculum Leaders (1)
curriculum leadership (1)
Depth of Knowledge (1)
Developing a writing identity (1)
difference between formative and summative assessment (1)
digital tools (1)
disruptive classroom (1)
Donald Graves (1)
education infographic (1)
Education Innovation Summit (1)
ELA Conventions (1)
elementary writing conferences (1)
elementary writing lessons (1)
encourage students to write (1)
encourage writing (1)
ePals (1)
eWriteSteps (1)
failing teachers (1)
first week of school (1)
Flat Classroom projects (1)
formative assessment activities (1)
formative assessment data collection handout (1)
formative assessment tips (1)
formative years (1)
Found Poetry (1)
funding (1)
future of education (1)
get to know your classmates (1)
grammar skills (1)
graphic organizers (1)
guest blog (1)
iMovie (1)
improved teacher education (1)
improvement (1)
incorporating figurative language (1)
Infographic (1)
informative writing (1)
Inspirational Posters (1)
inspiring (1)
interactive white boards (1)
iPad (1)
keys to teaching writing (1)
kidblog (1)
leaders (1)
Leadership Truths (1)
learning (1)
Little Bird Tales (1)
LitWorld (1)
low-stakes writing (1)
modeled lessons (1)
NAEP (1)
NAESP (1)
National Assessment of Educational Progress (1)
National Poetry Month (1)
National Writing Project (1)
Newtown (1)
On-demand writing (1)
Opposite Poetry (1)
penmanship (1)
planning periods (1)
pocket literacy coach (1)
Poetry Book (1)
posters (1)
process writing (1)
publishing (1)
publishing writing (1)
Questions Teachers Have About Teaching Writing (1)
Questions Teachers Have About Writing (1)
ready to print (1)
revising (1)
role models (1)
Sandy Hook (1)
Sandy Hook Elementary (1)
SAT (1)
school culture (1)
school year planning (1)
scoring student writing (1)
self reflection checklist (1)
Self-Assessment (1)
setting tone (1)
Shel Silverstein (1)
six traits rubrics (1)
Smarter Balance (1)
StoryBird (1)
student feedback on writing (1)
student journals (1)
student writing (1)
student writing samples (1)
summarize writing (1)
summer (1)
Superhero (1)
Swivel (1)
Teacher Appreciation (1)
Teacher Appreciation Week (1)
teacher evaluation (1)
teacher improvement (1)
teacher tips (1)
TeacherFeature (1)
teachers (1)
TeacherStar (1)
teaching struggles (1)
teaching writing (1)
Technology Readiness Tool (1)
text-messaging (1)
text-speak (1)
thankful (1)
Thanksgiving (1)
The Flipped Classroom (1)
time limitations (1)
timed writing (1)
tips for teachers (1)
types of formative assessments (1)
Valentine's Day (1)
Valentine's Day classroom writing activities (1)
Valentine's Day writing ideas (1)
Valentine's Mad Lib (1)
video (1)
videos (1)
writer's workshop (1)
writersworkshop (1)
writing best practices (1)
writing conferencing tips (1)
writing foundation (1)
writing obstacles (1)
Writing prompts to deal with tragedy (1)
writing quizzes (1)
writing resources (1)
writing skills (1)
writing technology (1)
writing tips (1)
writing tips for teachers (1)
writing to learn (1)
written questions (1)