Source: Image of light bulb, Public Domain, http://pixabay.com/en/the-light-bulb-light-bulb-lighting-349400/
Welcome back for your second tutorial on evaluating lesson plans using Understanding by Design's framework. This is your Understanding by Designs planning II tutorial. Today we will dive into stage three of Understanding by Design. Remember in the previous tutorial we talked about stages one and two and evaluated the components of those in our lesson planning.
Today we will discuss stage three by answering this question. How do I evaluate my use of Understanding by Design stage three in my teaching? Remember stage three is creating a learning plan using those WHERE TO elements-- Where, Hook, Equip and Experience, Rethink, Evaluate, Tailor, and Organize. Our job is to encourage understanding and learning in many ways for our students.
When we evaluate our use of these concepts, we must make sure that we are using all of those WHERE TO elements. We also must evaluate our own use of assessment strategies. We can ask ourselves questions like, do we offer a variety of assessments for our students and all of our learners? Are all of our learners' needs being met throughout this lesson?
In order to really grasp the evaluation part of stage three, let's look at an actual lesson and stage three the learning plan of that lesson. And what we want to do is make sure that we're applying all of those WHERE TO elements to this lesson plan. So together, let's look through this lesson plan and then apply all of those WHERE TO elements.
This is a learning plan that we've used in previous tutorials, but I'll do a quick recap for you. Stage one is students assessing themselves and their knowledge of geometry, including perimeter and area, using the K and W steps of a KWL chart, what they Know and what they Want to know. Step two, presenting the formulas to our students for perimeter and area of basic geometric shapes. We will have them practice using these formulas in pairs. Maybe we'll write them on the board and have them solve those problems together.
Step three would be taking our students to a computer lab and using an interactive program like GeoGebra to have students practice application with an interactive digital tool. Step four would be discussing the understanding and questions as a class and asking students how they might use these ideas in real-life application scenarios.
Step five would be completing that last L section of the KWL chart and then presenting their ideas in a discussion. And the last of these six steps would be to have students work in pairs to create a presentation showing their findings and understanding of how these formulas might be used in real life.
So let's go through those WHERE TO elements, starting with a W or the Where. Where are the big ideas in this learning plan? And to find these, we really need to look at stages five and six, that L section of the KWL chart, as well as the presentation of their findings and understandings of these concepts and relationships to real life.
The H or the Hook I would consider the KWL-- the K and W sections of the KWL-- to be the hook. This is finding out what our students know and having them write down those ideas and also having them generate questions that they want to know so they're investing their learning right away. The E or the Equip/Experience, we are giving our students resources and tools like the actual formulas and time for discussion, lab time using the GeoGebra program, and group work time, so many different experiences and tools for them to learn this understanding of perimeter and area.
For the R section, the Rethink section of WHERE TO, we want our students to shift perspectives and challenge assumptions or maybe investigate new evidence and ideas. And by having them relate these ideas to real-life scenarios, this is just one part of the R section, as well as using some interactive tools to do some more hands-on visual learning. And then the presentation is allowing them to use different ways to address and show their understandings.
The E or the Evaluate section we are providing diagnostic and formative feedback to our students. The diagnostic would be our final assessment or step six, where we're having our students work in pairs to create a presentation, as well as that L section of the KWL chart. So they will be doing an independent as well as a group or paired presentation.
The T section is for Tailor, and here we want to make sure that we as teachers are meeting the needs of all of our diverse learners and differentiating assignments and assessments as needed. We use many forms of evaluation, as well as different activities, both independent, group work, working with partners, lab or computer work, and then a presentation that's showing their findings and understanding of all of these ideas. So we have many different activities in which our students can participate, no matter what their level of understanding.
The O section of WHERE TO, Organize, we want to make sure that we are sequencing the activities so that it makes sense to our students and also so that those desired outcomes are met for sure. And here I think that we've done a good job of presenting the ideas in a way that each step builds on the next, going from what do you know all the way to show me your findings and relate it to your real life. So many things to think about when you're creating a learning plan for your students. This WHERE TO acronym is really important for you to remember.
Let's talk about what we learned today. How do I evaluate my use of stage three of Understanding by Design's framework in my teaching? This is the question that we looked at as we went through all of this tutorial. We also discussed the WHERE TO elements that are extremely important when creating that learning plan.
I've enjoyed, as always, working through these ideas with you. And I'm sure you will be able to apply these ideas often in your own classrooms. So how can we apply these ideas? Let's reflect. What are the benefits to using WHERE TO in your lessons? What might the challenges be in self-evaluation regarding stage three of Understanding by Design?
As you reflect on how this new information can be applied, you might want to check out the Additional Resources section that accompanies this video presentation. This is where you'll find links to resources chosen to help you deepen your learning and explore ways to apply your newly acquired skill set.
North Middlesex School District: Assessment of Lesson Plans Using UbD and 21st Century Skills
This wiki includes many resources teachers can use, such as rubrics and checklists to evaluate their lesson plans. In particular, scroll to the bottom for a rubric to evaluate the effective use of WHERETO in lesson design.