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Backward Planning. Center for the Education and Study of Diverse Populations. Essential Question:. How do we plan engaging, authentic teaching and learning that is meaningful to our students?. Guiding Question:.

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Backward planning

Backward Planning

Center for the Education and Study of Diverse Populations

Essential question
Essential Question:

How do we plan engaging, authentic teaching and learning that is meaningful to our students?

Guiding question
Guiding Question:

How does high stakes testing, AMOs, meeting the needs of our EPSS influence what we have been doing as we plan teaching and learning?

Ten common principles
Ten Common Principles

  • Focus on students using their minds well

  • Less is more (limited # of essential knowledge & skills)

  • All students achieve in their own time and way

  • Learning is personalized

  • Student as worker, teacher as coach

  • Students demonstrate mastery through performance

  • Tone of decency with high expectation

  • Staff as generalists

  • Commitment to change

  • Honor democratic diversity

Overview of backward planning
Overview of Backward Planning

1. Where do we want students to go?

2. How will we know they know?

3. How will we help them get there?

Historically how did we decide what to teach
Historically, how did we decide what to teach?

Pair Share with a person you are sitting beside

Group Share

Your ideas1
Your Ideas students?

Concepts students?

How can teachers take what we find is relevant and meaningful to our students and use the required concepts for teaching and learning?

Your ideas2
Your Ideas: students?

Concepts students?

  • Broad

  • Universal

  • Timeless

Examples: students?

  • Beauty

  • Change

  • Courage

  • Freedom

  • Patterns

  • Happiness

  • Rights/Responsibilities

Engaging relevance
Engaging Relevance students?

  • How do you connect topics to student relevance?

Your ideas3
Your Ideas: students?

Essential questions
Essential Questions students?

  • What do you think they are?

    Share in double pair-share groups.

Your ideas4
Your Ideas: students?

Essential questions1
Essential Questions students?

  • Address the essence of what you want to teach

  • Concept based

  • Require rigorous thinking

  • Are open ended

  • Generate personalized interest

  • Reflect the REAL WORLD of students

Example: students?

How is the quality of the water where I live affected by what I do in my environment?

Your examples
Your Examples: students?

Guiding questions
Guiding Questions students?

  • Provide part of the answer to the essential question

  • Are student focused

  • Can provide the topic for learning sections

  • Require students to acquire knowledge, skills and understanding

Examples: students?

  • Where does our water come from?

  • What do I do that is good for water?

  • What can each of us do to support our water system?

Standards based design
Standards Based Design students?

Select grade level benchmarks connected to the :


*Essential question

*Guiding questions

These are the big ideas which we call essential learnings or learning targets.

Performance standards
Performance Standards students?

  • Under each Benchmark are the performances your students can use for practice to hit the learning targets.

Assessment students?

  • Based on the learning targets and relevant performances, how do you know they know?

  • Discuss in groups

Your ideas5
Your Ideas: students?

Examples: students?

  • Use real settings

  • Require students to address an audience

  • Base the purpose on the audience

  • Allow students to personalize the task

  • Students know the task, the learning target and criteria in advance

Authentic assessments
Authentic Assessments students?

  • Are realistic

  • Require thinking

  • Ask students to DO learning

  • Are complex

  • Take advantage of learning opportunities

So how do you get there
So how do you get there? students?

  • Discuss in groups

Your ideas6
Your ideas: students?

Possibilities: students?

  • Based on the performance standards, decide what significant tasks will support learning of your students

  • Plan opportunities to practice

  • Decide how to asses progress (pencil and paper tests, mini-demonstrations, observations, self assessment, group assessment, written responses, etc.)

Where do we go from here
Where do we go from here? students?

Action plan

Lesson plan template

Time for planning





You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make them drink. If the horse becomes thirsty, however, he will eat sand from your hand.