Big ideas and essential questions
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Big Ideas and Essential Questions. February 15, 2008. Today’s Learning Goals. Why big ideas and essential questions are crucial for student learning? What are the criteria for big ideas and essential questions?

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Big ideas and essential questions

Big Ideas and Essential Questions

February 15, 2008


Today s learning goals

Today’s Learning Goals

  • Why big ideas and essential questions are crucial for student learning?

  • What are the criteria for big ideas and essential questions?

  • Time to work in your content area to evaluate your big ideas and essential questions and make any revisions or refinements.


Organization

Organization

  • How we will treat one another?

  • Please use cell phones, e-mail, and blackberries during breaks or outside of the room if it is an emergency.

  • Engage in the learning and discussions with your colleagues for continued life long learning and critical thinking. Focus discussions during activities and collaboration time on the task.

  • Finding partners for later activities:

    • Clock discussions

    • Table partner

    • Table family


Agenda

Agenda

7:30 – 8:00 Coffee

8-9:15 - Why big ideas and essential questions and what are they?

9:15 – 10:30 - Department or grade level collaboration time

10:30 – 10:50 - Wrap up


District initiatives where have we been and where are we going

District initiatives – Where have we been and where are we going?

1st – Identify standards and performance indicators to be assessed in each unit (two years)

2nd – Refine big ideas and essential questions

3rd – Focus on assessments aligned to the standards as a means to monitor student achievement and guide instruction.

4th – Identify knowledge and skills


Dvd moving forward with understanding by design

DVD: Moving Forward with Understanding by Design

UbD : The Experts and Practitioners Speak

“What are the Challenges” (3:44)

Classroom Examples (Return to main menu)

Chose appropriate level (6-9 minutes)

Reflective questions: Talk to your partner

  • To what extent do you agree with the assertions the expert made in the video?

  • To what extent do you disagree?

  • Discuss how the principles demonstrated are being used in your respective schools.


Why big ideas and essential questions are crucial for pioneer students

Why big ideas and essential questions are crucial for Pioneer students

  • Marzano – guaranteed and viable curriculum #1 for school improvement and student achievement.

  • Big ideas and essential questions guide feedback so students can make progress toward a key learning goal and we know that feedback increases student achievement by 32%.

  • Big ideas and essential questions allow for focus on content that is relevant and applicable to real life in order to achieve motivation and engagement.


Big ideas and essential questions allow 21 st century learners to be successful

Big ideas and essential questions allow 21st century learners to be successful

Core subjects – content linked to meaningful application

Thinking and learning skills – Critical thinking, problem solving, creativity & innovation, communication & information , collaboration

Life skills- leadership, self direction & responsibilities, accountability, ethics, adaptability

Technology Literacy – access the world, information as your finger tip

21st Century Content – global, entrepreneurship, civic awareness, financial economic business literacy, health and wellness


Big ideas and essential questions

Why are we focusing on big ideas and essential questions? Students link all learning experiences to key concepts derived from real life applications.

  • Not all standards are created equal.

  • Learning without practical and meaningful application is quickly forgotten.

  • Understanding occurs when individuals seek answers to important questions and make connections.


Essential questions for today

Essential Questions for Today

1. How does linking knowledge and skills to a greater purpose impact deep understanding of concepts?

2. How do the mandates of accountability both support and challenge the focus of learning away from larger concepts towards details?

3. How do you find a balance between accountability and creative problem solving focused on big ideas and application of concepts?

  • Activity: Discuss answers to these questions with your 12:00 date.


Big ideas and essential questions

Curriculum design requires us to make choices about what is essential now to help our learners for their future.


Big ideas and essential questions

Since knowledge is infinite……

focus on which concepts and skills will be needed in the 21st century if students are to become marketable, global citizens is essential.


Advanced big ideas 101

Advanced “Big Ideas” 101

“ A big idea offers a conceptual framework allowing the learner to explore answers to the essential questions involving a unit of study.”

- Grant Wiggins


How to identify the big idea

How to identify the big idea

Big ideas are typically revealed through:

  • Focusing themes

  • On going debates and issues

  • Insightful perspectives

  • Underlying assumptions

  • Paradox/problems/challenges

  • Organizing theory

  • Overarching principle

  • Provocative questions

  • Processes- problem solving, decision making


Some big ideas by type

Some “Big Ideas” by Type


From concept to big idea

From concept to  Big Idea


Big idea check

Big idea check….

  • Does it have many layers not obvious to the inexperienced learner?

  • Does one have to dig deep to truly understand its meaning or implications?

  • Is it prone to disagreement?

  • Might you change your mind about it over time?

  • Does it reflect the core ideas as judged by experts?


Big idea jeopardy

Big Idea Jeopardy

Jeopardy.ppt


Unwrapping the standards as a strategy for identifying big ideas and core tasks

Unwrapping the Standards as a strategy for identifying big ideas and core tasks.

Looking at key nouns and verbs helps to

identify key learning which can than be

taught in the context of big ideas and

essential questions.


Unwrapping the standard

Unwrapping the standard

Standard:

Comprehend and interpret information from a variety of graphic displays including diagrams, charts, and graphs.

Big Idea:

Graphic displays of information enhances comprehension and interpretation of information.


Unwrapping the standard1

Standards

Relatedata and facts from informational texts to prior information and experience with assistance.

Identify and interpret facts taken from maps, graphs, charts, and other visuals, with assistance.

Big Idea

Prior experiences can impact the degree to which we relate to and interpret visual representations.

Unwrapping the standard


Unwrapping the standards you try it

“Unwrapping the standards”You try it.

Activity: Unpack this standard with your table partner by:

1. Finding the nouns and verbs

2. Write big ideas

Standard(Possible examples on next slide)

Students interpret, analyze, and evaluate informational text in order to extend understanding and appreciation . (ELA 11)


Possible examples

Possible examples

Students interpret, analyze, and evaluate informational text in order to extend understanding and appreciation .

Big ideas; We interpret information and draw conclusions both from what we read and experience in life.

Knowing the difference between fact and opinion and inferences can help you become more discerning.


Advanced essential questions 101

Advanced Essential Questions 101

“An essential question is – well, essential: important, vital, at the heart of the matter – the essence of the issue.” - Grant Wiggins

A question is essential when it: 

  • Causes genuine INQUIRY into the big ideas and core content

  • ARGUABLE: provokes deep thought, lively discussion, sustained inquiry, and new understanding as well as more questions

  • Requires students to CONSIDER alternatives, WEIGH evidence, SUPPORT their ideas, and JUSTIFY their answers

  • Stimulates vital, on-going rethinking of big ideas and assumptions

  • Sparks meaningful CONNECTIONS with prior learning and personal experiences


Big ideas and essential questions

Essential

What traits and characteristics determine a classification?

Where do artists get their ideas?

What determines value?

What distinguishes a fluent foreigner from a native speaker?

How does where we live influence how we live?

Not Essential

How many legs does a spider have?

Did nature influence Monet?

How many dimes in a dollar?

What is the meaning of the Greek term technology from its Greek root “techne”?

Why were settlements developed around lakes and rivers?


Big ideas and essential questions

Big Ideas

We interpret information and draw conclusions both from what we read and experience in life.

Knowing the difference between fact and opinion and inferences can help you become more discerning.

Essential questions

How do you determine if a main idea is believable?

How can we decide if what we read is true or accurate?

Facts, opinion and inferences, why do they matter?

Revisit unpacking standards to big ideas AND essential questions.

Students interpret, analyze, and evaluateinformational text in order to extend understanding and appreciation.


Big ideas and essential questions

Big Ideas

Graphic displays of information supports comprehension and interpretation of information.

Prior experiences can impact the degree to which we relate to and interpret visual representations.

Essential questions

How can information be represented through visual displays?

How do some types of visuals better represent information than others?

What knowledge do I need to bring to the information in order to make meaning and sense of the concepts?

Revisit unpacking standards to big ideas AND essential questions.

Relatedata and facts from informational texts to prior information and experience with assistance.


Essential or not activity

Essential or not?????Activity

Essential or NOT.doc

  • Find your 3 o’clock partner and complete this page.


Answer key

Answer key

Essential or NOT answer key


Collaboration time and tools

Collaboration Time and Tools

Locate the following tools in your packet

  • Tips for Essential Questions

  • Essential question starter based on the six facets of understanding

  • Rubric for big ideas and essential questions

    Directions

  • Identify the map you will work on

  • Log on to Rubicon Atlas

    • review your questions

    • make changes as necessary

      Report back at 10:30 for a wrap up

  • Bring specific examples of big ideas and essential questions you changed to share.

  • Bring ideas and questions that you struggled with and would like to collaborate with your colleagues.


Resources

Resources

Here are some samples:

  • http://www.authenticeducation.org/bigideas/resource_carousel_list.lasso

  • See also Rubicon Atlas

    ELA - 6th, 9th

    Math - 3rd, 6th

    Science - 3rd, 6th

    Social Studies - 3rd, 8th, Collaboration Global History/Geography II


Big ideas and essential questions

Final Reflection : Complete UBD Report Card: Self Reflection ChecklistNow ask: “What is MY next step for implementation?”Set goals – personal, department, grade level.

10:50-11:30 Lunch on your own

11:30 – 2:30 Break out sessions

Thank you and have a great afternoon


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