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Gwinnett County Public Schools

Background and Prior Knowledge

Frequent Use Strategy

The Background and Prior Knowledge strategy builds upon and deepens students’ understanding by identifying, activating, and leveraging students’ background and prior knowledge.

Teachers create opportunities for students to make personal connections to learning, sparking curiosity and the need to learn a new skill. They identify and explicitly teach background knowledge required for understanding of new learning, correcting misconceptions when needed. Students reflect on, wonder, question, and apply their knowledge and prior experiences. They make connections to new learning with existing schema, and they anchor their learning in curiosity, wonderings, or challenges.

Background and Prior Knowledge is not teacher centered. It is critical when students’ knowledge and skills can support or are a prerequisite for learning the AKS. It also mitigates the potential of misunderstanding or learning gaps interfering with students’ new learning.

References

Look Fors

The Teacher will…

  • identify, activate, & leverage students’ prior knowledge, correcting misconceptions as needed.
  • create opportunities for students to make personal connections to learning sparking curiosity & the need to learn.
  • identify & explicitly teach background knowledge required for understanding of new learning.

The Students will…

  • reflect on, wonder, question, & apply their knowledge & prior experiences.
  • make connections to new learning with existing schema.
  • anchor learning in curiosity, wonderings, or challenges.
  • engage in concrete hands-on experiences.
  • correct misconceptions & learning gaps.

 

Model Lessons (Background and Prior Knowledge)

Photosynthesis and Cellular Respiration

Students will develop a claim, supported by evidence, to justify an argument regarding the interdependence of photosynthesis and cellular respiration.

Analyzing Data: Bugs, Giraffes, Elephants, and More

Students will analyze line plots to justify the data that is represented

All QPTS Tools

For any questions with this guide or its content, please call Instructional Support at (678) 301-6804.