Sunday, March 25, 2012

Daily Assignment #108: Building Capacity

A visual strategy I used to help my students understand how much effort it takes to build capacity was a cutout of a large rhombus.  At the top of the rhombus was the word Effort.  At the opposite end was the word Capacity.

When new content was introduced, whether it was learning how to read, learning borrowing or carrying, a piece of music, whatever it might have been, I would begin by putting a Popsicle stick, or anything that can represent a bar, at the bottom of the rhombus by CAPACITY.  I would explain that the stick was at the bottom because we were learning something new and had to put in a lot of EFFORT to build CAPACITY, which was represented by all the area above the stick.  As the students became more proficient with the material the stick would be moved upward to represent that they had built CAPACITY and the amount of EFFORT they needed was decreasing.

You can use this strategy with the whole class, a group or for individuals.  Keep the rhombus in a very visible place.  I found the students were very encouraged and motivated by the movement of the stick.

Before you use this strategy, you will need to:
  1. Name it.
  2. Explain the purpose, including defining the terms, CAPACITY and EFFORT.
  3. Show how it will work.
On another note, I will not have access to the internet until May 6th.  Please take this interlude to revisit previous Daily Assignment blogs.  You can also refer to my book:

Please share this blog with colleagues and friends.
Best Effort,


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