Saturday, July 4, 2015

Once more onto the breach, dear friends, once more...

I have had a couple of request for my lesson plan format, and as I am about to embark on writing grades three through five, I suspect my postings will be limited for a while.  Our legacy curriculum was already based on the 5E model.  Happily, this integrates with Understanding by Design (UbD) fairly easily.  Keep in mind that UbD is more of a curriculum design framework rather than a just a lesson plan template.

During stage 1, we spend a lot of time unpacking the standards and making sure we understand exactly what students are asked to know and be able to do.  This process was made significantly easier by the addition of the NGSS evidence statements.  These really clarified what the writers had in mind and doubtless signal what and how students will be assessed.

Now, I will say the release of these statements drove me mad.  They came out on the day we wrapped up grades K-2.  A quick analysis of what we wrote showed that we were close, but some work will need to be done after our field test next year.

Back to stage 1.  These evidence statements will be converted to "I can" statements.  For my purposes, I define these as a restatement of the evidence statements in student friendly language.   A task I am dreading when it comes to my rewrite of Kindergarten.

  • I can push
  • I can pull

These might be the limits given the reading ability of most Kindergarten students.  I have seen some "I can" statements based on the NGSS.  These, however, are a restatement of the performance expectations.  These are far too coarse for my purposes.

Once we understand the standards, it is time to move on to stage 2.  This is the assessment development portion.  Here is where we dip into problem based learning and develop a performance based assessment.  For our units, these problems are locally relevant and attempt to tie as many of the "I can" statements together as possible.  These are also the basis for our storylines.

I am of a firm believe that a good curriculum should tell a story across each lesson.  It is our goal that at some point during the lesson, students are asked to apply what they have learned to the problem in the unit.  By the end, these individual applications become the basis for a final iteration of their original solution. Whatever does not fit into this performance assessment is assessed through more traditional means using our learning management system's assessment engine.

The assessments form the bookends of the curriculum.  For each unit there is a pre-performance assessment.  Here students are given the opportunity to solve the problem with whatever background knowledge they bring to the unit.  By the end, their new iteration is a measure of how much they have grown across one unit of study.  An important feature in our new era of teacher accountability.

At stage 3, we carve individual lessons plans.  Just so we are on the same page, a lesson is not necessarily built on a specific amount of time.  It is built on whatever it takes for students to accomplish the "I can" statement (formerly known as an objective).

The next page shows the lesson plan format we are using and was discussed above.  I look forward to your questions and suggestions. 


For NGSS use the specific coding you were given.  Copy and paste.  USE HYPHENS IN PLACE OF BULLETS
Look for opportunities to integrate CCR and P21 as well. 

Description: Gives the teacher a brief summary of what the lesson is about and what students will be doing.  Finishes with estimated time to implement the lesson expressed in number of 60 minute classes.(Two-60 minute classes) 

Stage 1- Desired Results

Essential Question: Avoid yes or no questions or those with a “Google-able” Answer.  Should drive instruction during the lesson.  Conveys the big idea to the teacher.
Enduring Understandings: 
Students will understand that: 
-What specific understandings should students have after the lesson?  There can be multiple items.  USE HYPHENS IN PLACE OF BULLETS
Objective:  STUDENT FRIENDLY LANGUAGE which starts with “I can”

Stage 2- Assessment Evidence

Assessment Type
What tool will teachers use to collect the evidence that students have mastered the “I can…”? 
What is the evidence of mastery?
What should a teacher observe during the lesson in order to make modifications along the way?
What specific evidence should guide teachers to making modifications?

Stage 3- Plan
Lesson Background:
What would be helpful for the teacher to understand about the content of this lesson? Include link
Lesson Prep:
What will a teacher need to prepare before the lesson?  This is copied to the Advanced Preparation section of the previous lesson.  USE HYPHENS IN PLACE OF BULLETS

For the teacher:
 What materials will the teacher need?  Include the physical and digital assets.
For each group of students
Group work is essential to 21st century skills. Groups should be no larger than 3-4 students.
Materials kits will be built for a max class size of 32 (8 groups of 4).
For each individual student:
What materials will students need?

Lesson Planner with Differentiation:
Brief Description
How will you capture students attention and focus them on the “I can..”?
What do students already know (or think they know) about the phenomena?
Have students make a claim when appropriate. USE HYPHENS IN PLACE OF BULLETS

Each stage should be written with enough detail to guide instruction, but IT IS NOT A SCRIPT.  Be sure to include suggested questions to assist teachers in guiding discussions.  Highlight critical points in the lesson if a teacher must absolutely follow the lesson or else a teachable moment may be lost. 
How will students interact with the phenomena? What evidence will they collect to support their claim? USE HYPHENS IN PLACE OF BULLETS
How will students explain the evidence?  How will they express their understanding?  In science, students should not be limited to only written explanations.  USE HYPHENS IN PLACE OF BULLETS
How does understanding the phenomena help students solve the problem? USE HYPHENS IN PLACE OF BULLETS
What tool will teachers use to collect the evidence that students have mastered the “I can…”?  (Summative Assessment) USE HYPHENS IN PLACE OF BULLETS

Advanced Preparation for Next Lesson:

Will be pasted in from the Lesson Prep section of the next lesson. Complete after finalizing next lesson.