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Identifying Similarities & Differences. Sanborn Central Nov. 2007. Expectations. Key Understandings. The “Core” to all learning (Robert Marzano, 2001) Highly Robust engaging students in the learning process Leads to deeper student understanding Restructure understanding of content

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key understandings


Key Understandings
  • The “Core” to all learning (Robert Marzano, 2001)
  • Highly Robust
      • engaging students in the learning process
  • Leads to deeper student understanding
      • Restructure understanding of content
      • Make new connections with things they already know
      • Clear up misunderstandings
  • Research indicates that there are four different forms of this activity that are highly effective.
how can we use this strategy to improve student achievement
How can we use this strategy to improve student achievement?
  • Model
    • presenting explicit guidance in identifying similarities and differences
  • Guided & Independent practice
    • Stimulates divergent thinking
  • Reflection - Represent similarities and differences in graphic or symbolic form
    • Nonlinguistic Representation
additional classroom keys
Additional Classroom Keys
  • Multiple Exposure is KEY to deep understanding, to remembering, & to using information
  • Shift in modalities
      • Attention span = 1 minute per 1 year of age???
      • 20 minutes (max. amount of attention span)
      • Don’t change topics – change HOW you work with the topic
  • Reflection
    • 20/2/20 rule
      • Re-explain & relate to prior knowledge within 20 minutes
      • Review &apply within 2 days
      • Reflect & re-apply within 20 days
highly effective forms to identify similarities and differences


Creating metaphors

Creating analogies


highly effective “forms” to identify similarities and differences

For example,

Recognize and compare the following plane and solid geometric figures: square, rectangle, triangle, . . .

SD Standard: 3.G.1.1



The identification of important characteristics is the key to effective comparison.

It is these characteristics that are then used as the basis to identify similarities and differences.-Marzano,2001

graphic organizers for comparing


Items to be compared









Venn Diagram




Comparison Matrix

Graphic Organizers for Comparing

-most useful when comparing only two items

-more useful to provide a greater number of details


For example,


animals without a backbone or spinal column


animals with a backbone or spinal column


The process of grouping things that are alike into categories on the basis of their characteristics.

It is critical to identify the rules that govern class or category membership.


graphic organizers for classification
Graphic Organizers for Classification Table.doc

Place Categories in column headings

-most useful when all categories are equal in generality

-more useful when all categories are not equal in generality

frayer model
Frayer Model
  • Define a concept using attributes
  • Model how concept differs from similar concepts
  • Guided Practice
    • Provide examples and discuss why these fit
    • Provide non-examples and discuss why these don’t fit
  • Independent Practice
    • provide examples and non-examples for students to examine/sort/categorize
creating metaphors

Creating Metaphors

For example,

Love is a rose.

The two items in a metaphor are connected by an abstract or non-literal relationship.


graphic organizer for metaphors
Graphic Organizer for Metaphors

Literal Pattern 1

Element 1

Literal Pattern 2

Element 2


It depicts that two elements have somewhat different literal patterns, but they share a common abstract pattern.

creating analogies


Carpenter is to hammer as painter is to brush.

Hot is to cold as night is to day.

Oxygen is to humans as carbon dioxide is to plants.

Core is to earth as nucleus is to atom.

Creating Analogies

Analogies help us to see how seemingly dissimilar things are similar.

They increase our understanding of new information (most complex).


graphic organizers for analogies
Graphic Organizers for Analogies

Is to


Is to

create digital graphic organizers
Create Digital Graphic Organizers
  • Build charts & diagrams with software
    • Word
    • Publisher
    • PowerPoint
    • Inspiration
    • Excel
virtual tools
Virtual Tools
  • Visual Ranking Tool
  • Seeing Reason Tool
  • Online science/math simulations, games, etc.
performance task
Performance Task
  • Teachers will design, implement, collect evidence, and reflect upon a lesson that utilizes the strategy “Identifying Similarities and Differences”.
  • Assignment for next month
    • Design & implement
    • Collect evidence (student work)
    • Bring that evidence
esa3 teacher resources
ESA3 Teacher Resources
  • Technology Resources for Marzano’s Instructional Strategies