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Digital Differentiated Hexagonal Thinking

Pennsylvania Convention Center, 115C

Explore and create: Exploratory Creation lab
Preregistration Required
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Technology Integration Specialist
Smithtown Central School Distict
Michelle was a classroom teacher for over 25 years and is currently a Instructional Technology Integration Specialist in Smithtown, LI, NY. Michelle is the 2022, 2021 & 2017 BOCES Model Schools Technology Award Winner, a Google Certified Coach, Google Certified Trainer, & Kami Hero. She was a presenter at ISTE Live 22 & Kami Connect '22. She is also book Creator, Edpuzzle, Screencastify, Kahoot , BrainPop, Formative, Quizizz & Merge Certified.

Session description

Hexagonal thinking is where vocabulary terms, names or concepts are placed on hexagons and connected to build a web. Students explain the relationship between the connected terms. No two webs will be the same! Hexagonal thinking takes students beyond memorization of definitions and understanding the meaning and relevance of the terms.

Purpose & objective

Hexagonal thinking is where vocabulary terms, names or concepts are placed on hexagons. Students connect the hexagons to build a web. Students then explain WHY they connected those sides of the hexagons and the relationship between the terms. Hexagonal thinking takes students beyond memorization of terms and understanding the meaning & relevance of the terms. Participants will learn how to create digital hexagonal thinking using Google Slides, Jamboard, &/or Kami and how to modify the assignment to create different versions of the assignment to support all students regardless of their level and ability. Curriculum integration examples will be shown to model math, reading, social studies integration. Four different ways to modify the assignment will also be demonstrated to ensure student success. Participants will create their own template for their classrooms. Attendees will demonstrate success by creating their own hexagonal thinking activity as both a student and teacher.

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Content and activities: I will model what hexagonal thinking is, share a sample hexagonal thinking for participants to complete. Then I will focus on differentiating to create four modified versions of an assignment and the importance of differentiation. I will model how to use Google Slides, Kami, & Jamboard to create & differentiate hexagonal thinking. Participants will then receive a template to create their own for their classrooms.
Time: 5 min - Introduce hexagonal thinking
10 min - Participants complete a sample hexagonal thinking & peer share their creations
10 minutes - How to create / use the template for hexagonal thinking
20 minutes - Why & how to differentiate - provide examples of 4 versions of the template
15 minutes - Participants create their own
Process: I will model using a presentation. Participants will use their own devices to practice and have dialogue with peers to share their creations. I will then model as a whole group again. Participants will then create on their own on their own devices. “Door prizes” will be shared with attendees for participating.

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Supporting research

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Session specifications

Instructional design & delivery
Grade level:
Skill level:
Curriculum/district specialists, Professional developers, Teachers
Attendee devices:
Devices useful
Attendee device specification:
Smartphone: Android, iOS
Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Tablet: Android, iOS, Windows
Participant accounts, software and other materials:
Participants should be able to access Google Slides. Access to Jamboard & Kami & Formative would be helpful, but not required.
Subject area:
Social studies, Special education
ISTE Standards:
For Coaches:
Learning Designer
  • Collaborate with educators to design accessible and active digital learning environments that accommodate learner variability.
For Educators:
  • Use technology to create, adapt and personalize learning experiences that foster independent learning and accommodate learner differences and needs.
Related exhibitors:
Book Creator