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Copy of Backwards Planning and Design

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Edie McDowell

on 21 August 2013

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Transcript of Copy of Backwards Planning and Design

Backward design begins with the end in mind:
1. What enduring understandings do I want my students to develop? 2. How will my students demonstrate their understanding when the unit is completed?
3. How will I ensure that students have the skills and understand the concepts required on the summative assessment?
Backwards Planning
& Design

Teachers are designers; we need to ask and answer the following questions before we move to the actual day-to-day lessons:

What is essential to know and be able to do? (Essential Learning Skills)
What Common Core objectives support these Essential Learning Skills within the context of this subject or thematic unit?

Basic steps to the backward design planning process:
Step 1: Decide on the themes, enduring understandings and essential questions for the unit.

Step 2: Design a summative for the end of the unit.

Step 3: Align the unit with the Common Core and North Carolina State Standards and choose outcomes, strategies and best practices to teach them.


Common Core State Standards

North Carolina Essential Standards

Step 5: Weave back and forth across the curriculum map to make revisions and refinements
Step 4: Choose resources to create a rich and engaging multi-genre thematically-linked unit.
Backward Design shifts us into thinking about theme-driven units with real-life application in problem-solving employing higher order thinking skills. This allows us to take a multi-genre, multi-disciplinary approach to creating projects and lessons and requires us to use a variety of resources, methods, and applications to gain multiple perspectives on the questions associated with the theme.
Essential Questions help students take an inquiry approach toward the various learning experiences you will design.
Open-ended questions that resist a simple or single right answer
Deliberately thought-provoking, counterintuitive, and/or controversial
Require students to draw upon content knowledge and personal experience
Can be revisited throughout the unit to engage students in evolving dialogue and debate
Lead to other essential questions posed by students
Essential Questions are:
Summative Assessment

The summative assessment is the culminating task that will require students to draw upon the skills and concepts they have developed throughout the unit in order to demonstrate their understanding.
How will the summative assessment require students to demonstrate their understanding and their ability to apply essential skills and concepts?

How can I incorporate/integrate the essential question(s) in the summative assessment to check for each student’s understanding?

How will I communicate the components/elements of this summative assessment to the students at the beginningof the unit so students will know what will be expected and required?

How will I communicate the criteria for a successfully completed performance assessment?

What role can students play to help shape the summative task that they will complete?

Identifying the Learning Outcomes & Instructional Strategies

Identify the specific skills and concepts required to successfully complete the summative assessment.

"What will students need to know and be able to do so that when they get to the summative assessment, they will be able to successfully apply the these skills and concepts?" Answering this question requires a careful task analysis of the summative assessment to determine the embedded skills and concepts that are a part of the task requirements.
Once these skills and concepts are identified, it then becomes possible to design lessons that incorporate instructional strategies and best practices to explicitly teach these skills and concepts.

Knowing what the summative assessment will require of students is necessary before we can identify
the scaffolding they will require to be successful.

Explicitly targeting specific outcomes means designing embedded mini-lessons throughout the unit that help students to practice and learn to apply the skills and concepts.
These mini-lessons should include modeling (both
), providing opportunities for guided practice, and structuring tasks that require the independent application of these skills and concepts.
Learning Styles


Multiple Intelligences

21st Century Literacy


Essential Learning Skills

Goals and Reflections

Portfolio Assessment

Curriculum maps are valuable planning tools for teachers, helping them to begin with the end in mind and chart a course for the year. Typically, annual curriculum maps are organized by month or marking period and provide an overview of:
the enduring understandings and overarching goals
the standards-based essential skills and concepts
the methods of assessment that the teacher and students will be working on throughout the year (e.g., major writing assignments, projects, performances)
& the major content resources, including differentiated materials, processes, and products

Curriculum Mapping

Common Core Standards:



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