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Understanding by Design

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  1. Understanding by Design Backward Design McTighe & Wiggins

  2. GOALS • To understand the “big idea” of planning through Backward Design by McTighe & Wiggins • To explore the 3 steps of Backward Design • To apply the 3 steps to a unit of study in your program • To co-plan a unit for implementation

  3. WHERE ARE WE?How do we make sense of it all?

  4. PUTTING THE PIECES TOGETHER • SMART Goals • The SEF • System Assessments • Literacy • Numeracy • Technology • Assessment For Leaning • ETC…

  5. Our Experience with Planning • Activity-Focused Teaching • Coverage-Focused Teaching • “Teach, test, and hope for the best!” • What are the explicit big ideas that are guiding our teaching? What is the plan for ensuring learning?

  6. WE ARE ALL DESIGNERS!Starting with the end in mind! • Where in our current reality do we already plan using Backward Design? • 3 Steps: 1) Identify Desired Results 2) Determine Assessment Evidence 3) Plan Learning Experiences

  7. The Heart of the Matter • “How do we make it more likely – by our design – that more students really understand what they are asked to learn?”

  8. To Understand Means …. • To make connections • To use, transfer and apply • To really get it • To explain, interpret, apply, see other perspectives, demonstrate empathy, think about one’s thinking • To focus on big ideas

  9. STEP 1 – PLANNING FOR THE DESIRED RESULTS • What do we expect our students to understand, know and do? (DuFour) • The 3 parts of step 1 include: • Enduring Understandings • Essential Questions • Knowledge/Skills

  10. LOGICALLY….. • If the desired result is for students to understand that … and consider the questions … • Then, you need evidence of the students’ ability to (K/S) … Then, the tasks to be assessed need to include … • Then, the learning activities need to help students to …

  11. ENDURING UNDERSTANDINGSStudents will understand that … • Involves the Big Ideas that give meaning and importance to facts • Can transfer to other topics and fields of study (connections) • Is usually not obvious and easily misunderstood

  12. ENDURING UNDERSTANDINGSStudents will understand that … • Justifies the use of a skill • Is a specific insight that is inferred from a topic of study • Big Idea – goes beyond discrete facts or skills to focus on larger concepts, principles or processes.

  13. TIPS • Use the response stem – Students will understand that … • Consider the questions in the arrow • See ONTARIO Revised Science Curriculum as excellent examples of Big Ideas

  14. EXAMPLE – GR. 3 SCIENCE • Strand:Understanding Life Systems • Topic:Growth & Changes in Plants • Big Idea:Plants are important to the planet • Enduring Understanding:Our choices and actions can help and/or harm the environment

  15. ESSENTIAL QUESTIONS • Have no simple “right” answer; they are meant to be argued • Are designed to provoke and sustain student inquiry, while focusing learning and final performances • Often address the conceptual foundation of a discipline

  16. ESSENTIAL QUESTIONS • Raise other important questions • Naturally and appropriately recur • Stimulate vital, ongoing, rethinking of big ideas, assumptions and prior lessons • No more than 2-3 questions should be created

  17. ESSENTIAL QUESTIONSExample – Gr. 3 Science • How do plants survive in harsh or changing environments? • How does conflict between humans and nature affect plants?

  18. KNOWLEDGE & SKILLS • K – Students will know ….. • S – Students will be able to ….. • What key knowledge and skills will students acquire as a result of this unit? • What should students be able to do as result of such knowledge and skill? • Cluster ON Curr. expectations

  19. LOGICALLY….. • If the desired result is for students to understand that … and consider the questions … • Then, you need evidence of the students’ ability to (K/S) … Then, the tasks to be assessed need to include … • Then, the learning activities need to help students to …

  20. STEP 2 - ASSESSMENT • Culminating Task – through what authentic performance task will students demonstrate the desired understandings? • Consider: explain, interpret, apply, see from different points of view, empathize with, reflect on

  21. CULMINATING TASK EXAMPLE – GR. 3 SCIENCE • In pairs, you will assume a role and present an oral report on how your point of view affects plants. • Roles: Home Builder, Nursery Owner, Biologist, Police, Naturalist (Ptbo. Green-Up), Doctor, City Council

  22. CULMINATING TASK EXAMPLE – GR. 3 SCIENCE • Develop levels 3-4 criteria for the culminating task

  23. STEP 2 - ASSESSMENT • Other Evidence: Write, Say and Do (Damien Cooper’s Work) • Know your Students: Plan for necessary accommodations and modifications

  24. LOGICALLY….. • If the desired result is for students to understand that … and consider the questions … • Then, you need evidence of the students’ ability to (K/S) … Then, the tasks to be assessed need to include … • Then, the learning activities need to help students to …

  25. STEP 3 – LEARNING EXPERIENCES • What do the students need to know and be able to do in preparation for the culminating task: • Determine starting point – KWL • Develop Teaching-Learning Cycle – What/How will I teach? • How will I differentiate? • How will I build in metacognition?

  26. OTHER • The unit is about 3-6 weeks in length as it is specific and precise. • Report card comments for a subject and language are done in advance of the unit. • You can now focus on the teaching-learning as the planning is done! • ENJOY!