Tuesday, July 9, 2013

US History Photostory by Paul Williams and Billy Thomas

What happens when UbD meets tracking (homogeneous grouping)?

This is a tough question that Billy has posted as Maury River MS prepares to move into homogeneous grouping of students, so I am going to put this out for all of you to think about.  We still have the common goal of deeper understanding for any student, no matter what the ability level of the student.  The amount of scaffolding needed to get the student to that "deep end of the pool." 

Billy correctly identifies that somewhere in the UbD framework there needs to be an assessment as to where the student currently resides academically so a starting place can be defined, because even within those "homogeneous" groups you are going to have learners with different holes in conceptual knowledge and/or thinking and processing skills. 

So I think as you are assessing "what students need to be able to do and understand" you have to look, not only at the ending outcomes of the unit of study, but look at how to do a pre-assessment activity that can assess whether or not they have the prerequisite skills they need to do the first couple of activities in the unit.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Understanding by Design

Please let me first say I am wondering if I am understanding as I only see my own posts posted.  Perhaps I am not doing something right.

On to UbD.  I am still try to wrap my head around it.  I thought all teachers started by designing backwards ~ having your end goal(s) what you think about first.  From your end goals, then you can start to work your way to the goals.

I think teachers play a twofold role.  I think they are both conveyors of content information, as well as, coaches of understanding.  I believe students need to have reached a certain level of information and then they can process the information.  How many of us have finished a class period with wow, what a tremendous class.  Of course we want students to be able to take what they learn and expand and run with it.  But they need  some basic information first.

I needed something more concrete than this article to look at so I googled Understanding by Design lesson plans.  Since I  am elementary, I concentrated on elementary lesson plans.  I wanted to compare what I might have in a lesson plan to a UbD lesson plan. I have included a few links below.

I was particularly interested in these lesson plans as they are on the same subjects as what I do with students - nonfiction vs fiction, different types of print, reading informational text, and research.


Writing a UbD lesson plan:


Many different links on this page to UbD lesson plans



It is sad but true that my boys know so much more about technology than I do!  I must say Will was very receptive tonight when I asked him a couple of questions.  We were discussing various things on our way back from my father-in-law's in Waynesboro.  Will said, "Mom, have you ever used Prezi?"  Well, I had not even heard of it.  "It is really cool.  My professors are pretty impressed with what we can accomplish with it."

So when we got home, we went into the bedroom got on the computer and he showed me Prezi.  I have attached a link to an education one that was done.


It allows for a question or topic to pop up, time to answer, and then the answer will eventually come.  Perhaps you can do some of this on powerpoint as well and I am just not accomplished enough.  However, thanks to this course I have a feeling I will play around quite a bit this summer with pp and hopefully eventually venture into Prezi.

As Will said, "Mom your kids would REALLY love this and they would think you were really cool to be able to do it."


TurnItIn.com is the website I spoke about in class today.  My boys had to use it at RCHS and in college.  They submitted both electronic and paper versions of a paper.  The teacher/professor would then submit it to the website.  I think it underlines anything in red that is plagiarized and sites the source.  I did check the website and there is a fee.  Perhaps the school pay the fee?

Teaching with Technology: Understanding by Design

Teaching with Technology: Understanding by Design: This course will make use of a curriculum writing framework created by Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe (1999) called Understanding by Design...
I am a true believer of the backwards design model

Teaching with Technology: Test Post

Teaching with Technology: Test Post: Test post to blog--Teaching with Technology.
I hope this is the way to post here.