Amarillo Independent School District
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Content-Process-Product

Content: The knowledge, understanding, and skills we want students to learn.

            During differentiation, we emphasize the methods that students use to access key content (e.g., independent reading, partner reading, text on tape, text with images, listening comprehension, online research, communication with experts, group demonstrations, and small group instruction) rather than change the content itself.  There are instances, however, when some students need to go back to prerequisite content in order to move ahead, when advanced learners need to move ahead before their classmates are ready to do so, and when student Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) direct the teacher to change the content itself.

Process: How students come to understand or make sense of the content.

            Real learning—of the sort that enables students to retain, apply, and transfer content—has to happen in students, not to them.  The word process is often use as a synonym for activities.  However, activities can be misaligned with content goals and fail to require students to think through, grapple with, or use essential knowledge, understanding, and skills.  Therefore, it is wise to substitute the term sense-making activities to emphasize that what we ask students to do in the name of learning or practice should help them “own” the content, see how it makes sense, and realize how it is useful in the world outside the classroom. 

Product: How students demonstrate what they have come to know, understand, and are able to do after an extended period of learning.

            A product is not something students generate in a single lesson or as a result of an activity or two.  Rather, it is rich culminating assessment that calls on students to apply and extend what they have learned over a period of time.  Tests have these characteristics when they present student with complex problems to solve or issues to address in ways that require understanding of key ideas, transfer of knowledge, and application of skills.  Effectively designed authentic assessments inevitably have these characteristics.

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