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Understanding by Design

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Rebecca John

on 21 February 2011

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Transcript of Understanding by Design

Backwards Design Unit Template Start with the end in mind Big ideas transferrable ideas same goals for all students Driven by standards Big Ideas Not discrete skills Examples: Unit on data: Data can be used to make decisions Data starts with a question Sample size affects reliability Atlas Units We are all alike and we are all different-grade 1 Water has a major role in changing the earth's surface-grade 3 Matter can have different properties and still be the same substance- grade 5 You try: AERO Social Studies:
By end of grade two:
Students will be able to describe various forms of institutions (e.g. family, school, church, clubs) and how the people in those organizations interact. AERO science:
By the end of grade five:
Students will be able to describe the stability and movement of patterns of stars, their seasonal appearance, and the relavant movement of planets around the background of stars Understanding by Design Developed by Jay McTighe and Grant Wiggins Why use it? Core Principles Deliberately teach and assess for understanding Your units are more coherent and all the lessons hang together better Beginning with the end in mind Focus on understanding as the goal of teaching Real World Assessments Backward designed units Use of essential questions to promote inquiry into understanding big ideas Instructional plan that allows for repeated practice and revision of authentic learning- students get in the game early Constructivist approach to learning Students are more successful at assessments because teachers are clear about learning expectations Identify Learning Outcomes Design Authentic Assessments Plan Learning Activities Focus on transfer of understandings Authentic use of understandings Incorporating 21st century skills Most important goals of the unit Deeper understandings Long term goals Our job is to teach for understanding Better than "mile-wide, inch-deep" curriculum thoughtful questions inquiry based should guide students to understanding the "big ideas" Recommended that you keep them posted somewhere in the room throughout the whole unit The objectives we usually think about Knowledge Skills This is where differentiation could be happening ESL/IEP students might have different skills/knowledge being worked on "Can you guess how old water is?"

"What if all the water in the world disappeared?"
-grade 3 Examples: Rather than writing a compare/contrast paragraph, they identify similarities and differences Instead of three digit by two digit multiplication, they are working on two digit by two digit Authentic- Realistic Relevant Making a podcast explaining good reading strategies to other 2nd graders Richly embedded in 21st century learning What we measure signals what we value Create a survey, select a sample size, and present your data to the class in an appropriate way so that we understand it Presented at the beginning of the unit so students know where they're going Create a healthy menu for our school cafeteria and a rationale for it Come up with 2-3 suggestions of what we should do to preserve the rainforest. Write a persuasive blog post convincing readers to take your suggestions. Quizzes Tests Homework Still can assess the skills and knowledge WHERETO W- Make it clear to students where we are going in the unit and why it is worth learning about What is the criteria they will be assessed with What are the expectations What are the essential questions H- hook the students E- Equip the students Long-term benefits of learning this Help students identify personal learning goals Choose learning activities that will help them interact with the content successfully We should not simply think of our jobs as "covering content" Helping them construct their own meaning Using critical thinking skills R- allow students opportunities to rethink and revise Plan in activities involving steps of the final assessment Give students chances to get lots of feedback before final assessment Give detailed, constructive feedback Allow for mistakes and allow students to make revisions Remember the goal is student learning E- self-evaluation and reflection The goal is to make students autonomous Teach them the criteria so they can evaluate themselves accurately Model reflection (think alouds) T- Instruction should be tailored to your specific students Differentiated activities for different readiness levels Variety of instructional strategies and activities to meet the needs of different learning styles Think about your specific students this year You may need to slow down or speed up Remember the goal is for ALL students to grasp the "Big ideas" Maintain high standards for all students O-Organize your learning plan to move students to independence and deeper levels of understanding Skills should be practiced in meaningful ways Help students see the point by seeing the bigger picture from early on Analogy of a coach and learning to play a game Observable Indicators Teacher and STUDENTS can all articulate the big ideas and essential questions Teacher allows students to revise and construct their own meaning Instruction is focused on student understaning of big ideas Teacher knows the content and pulls out the transferable and important understandings Many resources are used-not just the textbook Ongoing assessment with clear feedback to help students reach mastery Students know the goals and the criteria with which they will be assessed and use the rubrics to guide their work References:

Marzano, R. J. (Ed.). (2010). On excellence in teaching. Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press.

McTighe, J., & Brown, J. L. (2005). Differentiated instruction and educational standards: Is détente possible? Theory Into Practice, 44(3), 234–244.

McTighe, J., & Wiggins, G. (2004). Understanding by design: Professional development workbook. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.

McTighe, J., Seif, E., & Wiggins, G. (2004, September). You can teach for meaning. Educational Leadership, 62(1), 26–30.


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