Why Depth and Complexity?

For those of you that may not know, I have been fortunate enough to teach an accelerated second grade for three years. I took a break last year when I moved to a new school, but will be heading back to my passion of working with accelerated kiddos next year…and I couldn’t be more excited!

Recently, there has been a surge in using Depth and Complexity icons, and here’s why…if we are preparing our students for the future, we must teach them to think as their future selves will think.  Being “college ready” is our goal for all students as they graduate from high school, whether we follow the CCSS or not. Using the Depth and Complexity icons is a sure-fire way to assure this will happen.

Prepping our students by filling their toolboxes with ways to think deeper about topics will create in them diverse, complex thinkers who will, in turn, become natural problem solvers.

So, what exactly are we talking about here? The eleven icons developed by Sandra Kaplan and Bette Gould are thinking tools that can be applied to any subject or topic. Using the icons will allow students to become masters of the subject or topic. Often these icons are things that we as teachers incorporate into our lessons without even realizing we are doing it. 🙂 The best part is, once you teach your students how to implement these icons into their learning, it will become second nature.

The eleven icons are: 


How many of you just thought, “Aha! I teach these things already!”? 

While these icons were developed for GATE students to use, they are easily applicable to all learners, including primary students, and I plan to help you navigate through that journey.

Over the next few weeks, we will be digging deeper into these eleven icons so that you can build your toolkit, which will in turn, allow your students to build their toolkits (WIN! WIN!).

First up will be the Language of the Discipline, which is one of my favorites because it deals with content specific vocabulary, which is truly at the core of so much of our learning. (If you want to read more about content specific vocabulary, click here.)

In the meantime, if you would like to check out some of my favorite Depth and Complexity resources, follow these links:

Byrdseed (a true fave of mine!)
J Taylor Education (for cool resources)
My (newly created) Pinterest Board

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