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  1. Understanding by Design ‘the big ideas’

  2. Goals • Gain an understanding of the UbD framework • Essential Questions • Knowledge • Skills • Make connections to Curriculum Connector work • Consider implications for curriculum revision Curriculum Coordinator Meeting

  3. Why teach/design curriculum for understanding? • Why should we do this work? • Why is this work important?

  4. How do you know if someone understands? What is understanding?

  5. Understanding means: • to make sense of what you know, • to be able to know why it’s so, • and to use it in various situations and contexts. Grant Wiggins

  6. How do you know if someone understands? Curriculum Coordinator Meeting

  7. Assessment of Understanding You really understand it when you can: • explain, connect, systematize, predict it • show its meaning, importance • apply or adapt it to novel situations • see it as one plausible perspective among others, question its assumptions • see it as its author/speaker saw it • avoid and point out common misconceptions, biases, or simplistic views

  8. Is This a Good Plan? • Analyze the Pioneer Plan on page 1. • As a pair, discuss the following: • What are the strengths of the unit? • What are the problems?

  9. 3 Stages of “Backward” Design • Identify • desired • results. 2. Determine acceptable evidence. 3. Plan learning experiences & instruction. Page 2

  10. Why “backward”? • Stages are logical but go against habits • We’re used to jumping to lesson & activity ideas - before clarifying our performance goals for students • Thinking through the assessments upfront, ensures greater alignment of goals & means, and that teaching is focused on desired results

  11. Standard(s): Understandings Essential Questions s t a What are the big ideas? g e 1 Assessment Evidence Performance T ask(s): Other Evidence: s t a What’s the evidence? g e 2 • Derive the implied learning from Stages 1 & 2 Learning Activities s t a How will we get there? g e 3 The “big ideas” of each stage: • Unpack the content standards and ‘content’,focus on big ideas • Analyze multiple sources of evidence, aligned with Stage 1 Page 3

  12. Template as a Tool • Stage 1- Desired Results • Established Goals • Understandings • Essential Questions • Knowledge and Skills • Stage 2- Assessment Evidence • Performance Tasks and Other Evidence • Stage 3- Learning Plan • Learning Activities Page 3

  13. ! Not necessary to fill in the template “in order” • Many ‘doorways’ into successful design – you can start with... • Content standards • Performance goals • A key resource • A required assessment • A big idea, often misunderstood • An important skill or process • An existing unit or lesson to edit

  14. ! Misconception Alert:the work is non-linear • It doesn’t matter where you start as long as the final design is coherent (all elements aligned) • Clarifying one element or Stage often forces changes to another element or Stage

  15. Prairie Plan-What’s Missing? • Turn to page 4. • Knowing what you know about backwards mapping, what do you notice about the unit as it was planned? • What components were not addressed? • Compare with the revised UbDplan (pgs.5&7). • What stands out? • How does this plan support student learning/ understanding?

  16. Examining the Shift • Check out a completed unit plan (left side of folder). • What do you notice? • What stands out about the design? The content? The alignment?

  17. Consider Design Questions • Page 8 . • Read through the design questions in each stage of the template. • How does this approach compare with the way your units are currently designed?

  18. 3 Stages of “Backward” Design • Identify • desired • results. 2. Determine acceptable evidence. 3. Plan learning experiences & instruction.

  19. Stage 1 – Identify desired results. G Key: Focus on Big ideas • Established Goals • Enduring Understandings: What specific insights about big ideas do we want students to leave with? • What essential questions will frame the teaching and learning, pointing toward key issues and ideas, and suggest meaningful and provocative inquiry into content? • Knowledge- What should students know? • Skills- what should students be able to do? U Q K S Page 9

  20. The “big idea” of Stage 1: There is a clear focus in the unit on the big ideas Implications: • Organize content around key concepts • Show how the big ideas offer a purpose and rationale for the student • You will need to “unpack” Content standards in many cases to make the implied, big ideas clear

  21. Big Ideas in Literacy: Examples • Rational persuasion (vs. manipulation) • audience and purpose in writing • A story, as opposed to merely a list of events linked by “and then…” • reading between the lines • writing as revision • a non-rhyming poem vs. prose • fiction as a window into truth • A critical yet empathetic reader • A writer’s voice

  22. Some questions for identifying truly “big ideas” • Does it have many layers and nuances, not obvious to the naïve or inexperienced person? • Can it yield great depth and breadth of insight into the subject? Can it be used throughout K-12? • Do you have to dig deep to really understand its subtle meanings and implications even if anyone can have a surface grasp of it? • Is it (therefore) prone to misunderstanding as well as disagreement? • Are you likely to change your mind about its meaning and importance over a lifetime? • Does it reflect the core ideas as judged by experts?

  23. You’ve got to go below the surface...

  24. to uncover the really ‘big ideas.’

  25. Big Ideas in Curriculum Work • Teachers must understand and identify the big ideas. • Big ideas pervade all aspects of unit design. • Correct identification of big ideas leads to proper alignment of unit plan.

  26. Still More on Big Ideas… • Manifest themselves in different forms. • Concept- Genre • Theme- Saving for a rainy day • Issue or Debate- Nature vs. nurture • Problems or Challenges- Maximize shipping volume • Processes- Problem solving • Theories- The Atkins Diet • Paradoxes- Fighting for Peace • Assumptions or Perspectives- Terrorist vs. freedom fighter

  27. “Big Ideas”- typically revealed via • Core concepts • Focusing themes • On-going debates/issues • Insightful perspectives • Illuminating paradox/problem • Organizing theory • Overarching principle • Underlying assumption • (Key questions) • (Insightful inferences from facts) Q

  28. Essential Questions • Concept Attainment • Define the characteristics on an essential question.

  29. Q Sample Essential Questions: • Who are my true friends - and how do I know for sure? • How “rational” is the market? • Does a good read differ from a ‘great book’? Why are some books fads, and others classics? • To what extent is geography destiny? • Should an axiom be obvious? • How different is a scientific theory from a plausible belief? • What is the government’s proper role?

  30. Essential Questions • Have no simple “right” answer; they are meant to be argued.- Does art reflect culture or help shape it? • Are designed to provoke and sustaining student inquiry- Is the Internet dangerous for kids? • Often address the most historically important issues, problems and debates.- Nature or nurture? • Raise other important questions.- Do only the strong survive-what do we mean by strong? • Recur.-What makes a great book? • Stimulate rethinking- What IS a friend? Page 12

  31. Essential Questions • More examples to further your understanding (page 13). • Two types: • overarching/broad • topical-specific to a particular unit of study

  32. Knowledge and Skills • Knowledge-what we want students to know. • Skills-what we want students to be able to do. Page 16

  33. 3 Stages of “Backward” Design 1. Identify desired results. 2. Determine acceptable evidence. 3. Plan learning experiences & instruction.

  34. Stage Two- Evidence • Consider the assessment evidence needed to determine the extent to which students have achieved the desired results • Goal- obtain valid, reliable, credible, and useful evidence • Performance Tasks and Rubrics • Other Evidence • Self-Assessment

  35. The big idea for Stage 2 The evidence should be credible & helpful. Implications: the assessments should – • Be grounded in real-world applications, supplemented as needed by more traditional school evidence • Provide useful feedback to the learner, be transparent, and minimize secrecy • Be valid, reliable - aligned with the desired results of Stage 1 (and fair) Page 17

  36. Just because the student “knows it” … Evidence of understanding is a greater challenge than evidence that the student knows a correct or valid answer • Understanding is inferred, not seen • It can only be inferred if we see evidence that the student knows why (it works), so what? (why it matters), how (to apply it) – not just knowing that specific inference

  37. Key understandings about assessment • The only way to assess for understanding is via contextualized performance - “applying” in the broadest sense our knowledge and skill, wisely and effectively • Performance is more than the sum of the drills: using only conventional quizzes and tests is insufficient and as misleading as relying only on sideline drills to judge athletic performance ability

  38. Assessor vs. What would be sufficient & revealing evidence of understanding? What performance tasks must anchor the unit and focus the instructional work? How will I be able to distinguish between those who really understand and those who don’t (though they may seem to)? Against what criteria will I distinguish work? What misunderstandings are likely? How will I check for those? Activity Designer What would be interesting & engaging activities on this topic? What resources and materials are available on this topic? What will students be doing in and out of class? What assignments will be given? How will I give students a grade (and justify it to their parents) ? Did the activities work? Why or why not? Thinking like an … Page 17

  39. Curricular Priorities and Assessment Methods • Assessment Methods • Traditional • quizzes and tests • Paper and pencil • Selected-response • Constructed response worth being familiar with important to know and do Big Ideas and Enduring Understandings • Performance task • and projects • Complex • Open-ended • Authentic Page 18

  40. A Balanced Assessment Model Continuum of Assessment Methods Observation and dialogue Academic prompt Performance task/project Normal checks for understanding Test/quiz Page 18

  41. 3 Stages of “Backward” Design • Identify • desired • results. 2. Determine acceptable evidence. 3. Plan learning experiences & instruction.

  42. E F F E C T I V E E N GAGING and Stage 3 big idea: Page 19

  43. L Think of your obligations via W. H. E. R. E. T. O. W H • “Where are we headed?” (the student’s Q!) • How will the student be ‘hooked’? • What opportunities will there be to be equipped, and to experience and explore key ideas? • What will provide opportunities to rethink, rehearse, refine, and revise? • How will students evaluate their work? • How will the work be tailored to individual needs, interests, styles? • How will the work be organized for maximal engagement and effectiveness? E R E T O Page 19

  44. Questions? Curriculum Coordinator Meeting

  45. Resources • http://jaymctighe.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/UbD-Websites-3.3.12.pdf