Thursday, December 1, 2011

HHS Teachers Incorporating Larry Bell’s 12 Powerful Words

Hanford High School staff recently received professional development on Larry Bell’s 12 Powerful Words. Bell was a high school teacher at a school with more than 3,000 students and 36 different languages. He has been recognized for his innovative classroom strategies that allowed his students to excel.

The 12 powerful words can help students in several ways. First, these are higher order thinking skill words. They cause all students to think at the highest level possible. By asking teachers to model these 12 powerful words in daily conversation, questioning, and on tests and quizzes, all students will be exposed to them all year long so they are not intimidated by them when they appear on their STAR exams in the Spring. These are “power verbs” because they empower students with knowledge and confidence.

We encourage you to incorporate these words in your conversations with your students. Total immersion of these words will allow our students to continue to succeed.
  • Trace– List in steps 
  • Support– Back up with details
  • Analyze– Break Apart 
  • Explain– Tell how 
  • Infer– Read between the lines 
  • Summarize– Give in short version 
  • Evaluate– Judge 
  • Compare– All the ways they are alike 
  • Formulate– Create 
  • Contrast– All the ways they are different