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Lesson Alignment to Standards

Lesson Alignment to Standards


In this lesson you will learn how to revise a lesson for alignment standards based outcomes and objectives

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Source: Map, Clker,; Globe, Clker,; Stick Figure, Clker,

Video Transcription

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Hi everyone, and welcome. Today, we're going to look at how to align lessons to standards. The main objective in this video will be to learn how to ask yourself some key questions that will help you to create the most effective learning experiences for your students. Let's get started.

We'll begin by selecting the standards that I will be addressing. I've decided to be a third grade teacher for this lesson today. And selected from the common core ELA, a speaking and listening standard. It reads, "Students will come to discussions prepared, having read or studied required material. Explicitly draw on that preparation and other information known about the topic to explore ideas under discussion."

I really like this one, because it has so many embedded performance standards within it, including reading informational texts. Since the outcome required students to draw upon information gathered, ISTE standard 3.D for research and information fluency is a great fit. Students apply digital tools to gather, evaluate, and use information, by processing data and reporting the results.

I'll begin by creating my proficiency scale. For the purpose of this lesson, I've decided to keep it simple and just go with the four-point scale. Depending on your specific needs, you may want to widen the scope of it. Either way, you will always want to begin by placing the standard as it's written in the proficiency range. I have bolded it here. I added depth and complexity to describe a four, and removed depth and complexity for a two and a one. I noted all changes I made in red.

I followed the same steps for the ISTE standards as well.

Then I combined the two proficiency descriptions to create a single meets the standards statement for this activity. And it reads, "Students apply digital tools to gather, evaluate, use information, process data, and report results during a class discussion where they come to prepared, by having read and studied required material and are able to explicitly draw the preparation and other information known about the topic."

With that all established, it's time to look at the lesson we will be using for this exercise. The class is made up of 24 third graders, four with individual learning plans, in a suburban setting. We'll spend three separate 45-minute blocks on this lesson. Materials include computers and books about states. The objective is for students to discuss which New England state they feel is the best to live in. And the lesson summary, students will be assigned one of the six New England states to research. Session one will take place in the library. With the help of teachers, they will locate and find information in books about their state. During session two, they will explore their state using a website called The culminating activity will be a class discussion using their evidence collected about which New England state is the best to live in.

So it's now time to use Richard DuFour's Five Essential Learning Questions to assess our lesson. Keep in mind that if you are using these questions often, they'll simply become ingrained in part of your regular practice.

Number one, is the objective clear? Yes, it is. The students will know that they are going to present their findings and opinions during a classroom discussion. Number two, do I indicate how I will get them there? I would have to answer this question with a no, because the lesson does not provide any specific criteria for what students should be taking into consideration when making an argument. For example, weather, family, entertainment options, economy? Question three, how will I know what the students know and are able to do? That's a yes. I will be listening intently as students make their case. Number four, what will I do if they're not? My lesson does not indicate what I will do if a student is not able to access the material to participate in the class discussion. And finally number five, what will I do if they already have mastered it? The lesson is very open ended, and the available materials and assignment can be naturally differentiated, so I would answer yes to this question.

Here's a summary of what we covered. We began by identifying the standards. Next, we created a proficiency scale. We then developed a lesson plan and checked for alignment using Mr. DuFour's five essential questions.

Now it's time for food for thought. Use the graphic with the five essential learning questions to check alignment for one of your lessons.

To dive a little deeper and learn how to apply this information, be sure to check out the additional resources section associated with this video. This is where you'll find links targeted toward helping you discover more ways to apply this course material. As always, thanks so much for watching. Have a great day.

Notes on "Lesson Alignment to Standards"

(00:00-00:17) Intro

(00:18-01:09) The Standards

(01:10-02:14) Proficiency Scales

(02:15-03:09) Lesson Plan

(03:10-04:27) Essential Questions

(04:28-04:46) Summary

(04:47-05:13) Food For Thought

Additional Resources EQuIP Rubrics

Equip Rubric for the review of CCSS lessons, resource and units aligned to the CCSS standards. Currently there are many resources available with a CCSS sticker attached, yet very few of these resources are actually aligned. As an educator it can be difficult to know if a resource is aligned. The Equip rubric provides an easy to use rubric for educators to use in selecting and developing resources and lessons aligned to the CCSS. Below is a link to the rubric as well as a how to video on using the rubric.
Rubric for ELA grades 3-12:
Rubric for ELA grades K-2:
Rubric for Math K-12:
Video - scroll to the bottom of page and click on tab labeled Equip Training Materials: 

5 Online Tools That Help You Align Lessons to Common Core Standards

In this  Free Tech For Teachers' Article by Richard Byrne you will find clickable links to five online lesson development tools. Byrne provides a brief description of each tool to help you select the one that is the best for you. If you are a Google Apps district and You Tube is not blocked, for example, you may find Teaching Object online lesson planner a good fit. If not, there are 4 other tools for you to explore.