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  1. UbD Enduring Understandings & Essential Questions Stage 1 Dr. Robert Mayes University of Wyoming Science and Mathematics Teaching Center rmayes2@uwyo.edu

  2. Caution: Assessing for understanding is not as easy as it appears • Minds of Our Own • Thin Air • http://www.learner.org/resources/series26.html

  3. Evidence of Understanding • Think like an assessor • Conventional Design • Stage 1 Stage 3 Stage 2 • Assessor (Backward) Design • Stage 1 Stage 2 Stage 3 • Stage 1: Desired results – enduring idea • Stage 2: Evidence – assessment tasks • Stage 3: Learning Plan - activity

  4. Stage 1: Desired Results – 4 categories • Established Goals (G) • National, state, local, professional standards, program objectives, learner outcomes • Enduring Understandings (U) • What we want students to come to understand about the big ideas • Essential Questions (Q) • Open-ended provocative questions designed to guide student inquiry and focus on uncovering big ideas • Knowledge and Skills (KS) • Discrete objectives students are to know and be able to do

  5. Desired Results • Design Elements Overview – Handout (GUQKS) • Structure of Knowledge – Activity (KSU)

  6. Identifying Enduring Understandings (Activity – KSU) • Background: field of possible content, topics, skills and resources • Cannot address all so obligated to make choices Worth being familiar with Important to know and do Enduring Understanding

  7. Identifying EnduringUnderstandings • Worth Being Familiar With (Largest Ring) • Expose to broad brush knowledge but do not require mastery • Assess through quizzes and tests

  8. Identifying Enduring Understandings • Important to Know and Do (Middle Ring) • Important knowledge: facts, concepts and principles • Important skills: processes, strategies and methods • Mastery by students is prerequisite for success in accomplishing key performances (understanding) • Enduring Understanding (Smallest Ring) • Anchor unit and establish rationale for it • Big Ideas – Why is this worth studying? • Assessed by Performance

  9. Essential Questions • Staying focused on enduring understandings is accomplished by: • Framing goals in terms of essential questions • Specifying the desired understandings • Specifying key performance tasks • Write-out: What is an essential question? • Students take turns providing their interpretation of the above question from reading Chapter 5 by writing a word or phase on the board. Students cannot talk, but they can write responses to other students’ input.

  10. Essential Questions • Provocative questions and big ideas lead to engaging students in inquiry, uncovering ideas, and developing understanding • Avoids activity-orientation or coverage orientation of teaching • Standards make mistake of framing core content as factlike sentences rather than revealing them to be summary insights derived from questions and inquires

  11. Essential Question Characteristics • Cause genuine and relevant inquiry into big ideas and core content • Provoke deep thought, lively discussion, sustained inquiry, and new understanding; lead to new questions • Require students to consider alternatives, weigh evidence, support their ideas, and justify answers • Stimulate vital, ongoing rethinking of big ideas, assumptions, and prior lessons • Spark meaningful connections with prior learning and personal experiences • Naturally recur, creating opportunities for transfer to other situations and subjects

  12. Essential Questions - different levels of specificity • Overarching: more abstract or general understandings that are transferable, broader in scope so involve generalizations that transcend the unit forming bridges to other units and courses • Topical: topic specific insights, generalizations derived from the specific content knowledge and skills of the unit

  13. Essential Questions - 4 types Need overarching to ensure transfer Need topical to avoid aimless drifting discussions Need open questions to promote intellectual freedom and questioning authority

  14. CreatingEssential Questions • Convert declarative statements to questions - Jeopardy Approach • Standards - declarative to interrogative • Enduring ideas • Use 6 facets of understanding to generate questions

  15. 6 Facets of Understanding • Explanation • Interpretation • Application • Perspective • Empathy • Self-Knowledge

  16. Insight vs. Performance Conundrum of Insight vs. Performance • Performance Ability: revealed in Explain, Interpret, and Apply Facets of Understanding • Insight: revealed in Perspective, Empathy, and Self-knowledge facets of Understanding • Insight – basis of discovery: perceive essence of problem, but may have difficulty articulating it • Performance - articulation and accuracy of formalized knowledge is often overvalued by assessor • Communication of idea, clarity, and justification are part of understanding

  17. Essential Questions from Skills • Important understandings are often implicit or embedded in skill development • High level use of skill involves innovation, judgment, and efficiency • Genuine Performance requires making choices from repertoire of skills to solve challenging problems • To be skillful is to work purposefully and strategically, requires understanding of key principles at work

  18. Filter for Essential Questions &Enduring Understandings • To what extent are the outcome statements: • enduring and transferable big ideas, having value beyond the classroom? (intellectual linchpin) • big ideas and core processes at the heart of the discipline? (authentic learning, active constructor) • abstract, counterintuitive, often misunderstood, require uncovering? • big ideas embedded in facts, skills, and activities? • Activity: EQ and EU Sieve (QU) • Activity: Drafting Essential Questions (Q)

  19. Dr. Robert Mayes University of Wyoming Science and Mathematics Teaching Center rmayes2@uwyo.edu