Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Depth of Knowledge, Assessments and Power Standards

Our quarter 4 focus for curriculum meetings focused on Webb's Depth of Knowledge, power standards and tying both into appropriate assessments.  I found several fabulous graphics and a Vimeo to get our staff started.  Click below for the traditional Depth of Knowledge chart.

I really like Karen Hess's Depth of Knowledge explanation. Click the link below to view.

Here is a fabulous DOK English Language Arts video that covers ALL Depth of Knowledge levels.

In our math team meetings, we used the following Ted Talk to discuss the importance of digging deeper utilizing real life activities to approach Levels 3 & 4 Depth of Knowledge.

Jen at Hello Literacy has a fabulous activity with Depth of Knowledge and a ready to go classroom bulletin board focusing on DOK.  Teachers K-12 will each be bringing in a final product or assessment that they use with their students. Instead of using the DOK circle graph, we used the words as a sort and springboard for dialogue.

It was fantastic to modify the activity and not use the circle because the dialogue consensus was that many of these verbs fall into different "Depths" of Knowledge depending on what is written after the verb. Teachers decided that the circle graph needs dotted lines for fluidity.

To tie Depth of Knowledge in with projects, the following {LINK} will guide you to a document that takes DOK and gives you project suggestions.  It is a fabulous springboard!

I am super excited about how the slide below turned out.  Our goal is to tie curriculum, power standards, instruction, summative and formative assessments together so they are interrelated and ongoing toward mastery of crucial concepts at each grade level. 

 The CCSS have been a little overwhelming.  Teachers make the mistake of  wanting to focus on ALL standards for mastery, and that is not possible.  If we develop power standards~ the most crucial to revisit often and always that will staircase to the next  grade level~we can streamline and plant roots of literacy that will grow.

A nice resource to help focus on power standards is Achieve the Core.
It has a nice outline of focus areas for English Language Arts and Math.

The dialogue was amazing and teachers determined that they needed time to dig deeper and rewrite formative and summative assessments to target DOK levels.

Teachers asked for time to establish their power standards and work within grade levels to ensure there are no gaps.  They also asked for time to write common rubrics!

Our school district is truly comprised of teachers who continually work to better their instruction.  Professional Development opportunities for collaboration have supported continuity.  Yahoo!


  1. I have a Cognitive Rigor Blog devoted exclusively to Depth of Knowledge, Bloom's Taxonomy, and Cognitive Rigor. See

    You will be particularly interested in seeing our take on the DOK chart:

  2. John~ You have a wonderful blog! We, too, have found that the diagram needs tweaking. The Depth of Knowledge depends more on what comes after the verb than the verb itself. I think the bottom line is: Do we have enough DOK 3 & 4 activities to extend learning? If not, then we focus on those areas. Thanks for connecting with me!