Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Developing a Unit, Part 1.1

"In the end, what should a learner eventually be able to do with this and similar content that really matters! . . . The point of education is to be able to learn in such a way that the learner 1) grasps the significance of what is learned and 2) can apply the learning wisely in the future--in other coursework and beyond the classroom" (Wiggins & McTigher, 2011, p. 48).
Whether you are working from a previously designed unit of study or have decided to begin from a sketch, the first thing you must consider is what students should know (K), understand (U), and be able to do (D) as a result having experience the learning in that unit.  All of our unit plans will begin with clearly stated KUDs.
The following sentence starters can be helpful:
Know (Acquire)
  • Students will know . . . (content)
  • Students will be skilled at . . . (process)
Understand (Make Meaning)
  • Students will understand that . . .
  • Students will keep considering these questions . . .
Do (Transfer)
  • Students will be able to use their learning independently to . . .
Click here to view a template for this stage of your unit plan.  You'll notice the following:
  1. A place for High Priority Standards and Essential Curriculum.  These are part of the established goals for the unit.  It is wise to code these so you know if the statement is from the GLEs, CCSS, WGSD Curriculum, or another source.*
  2. Another source* might be our mission statement or something our curriculum is missing that we might need to add. 
  3. The "Do" is at the top of the template.  This is because the "Do" represents the transfer goal: what students should be able to do as a result of the knowledge, skills, and understandings students will have mastered over the course of the unit.  Students will be able to "Do" in new situations with independence and confidence.
  4. Understanding is broken up into two sections, statements and questions.
  5. Know refers to both content and skills.
Department chairs met on Monday, 11/7, to practice.  If you are interested in seeing what they worked on, click here.  Unfortunately, there was not time for feedback or revision of these, but they are excellent beginnings.
I will share more about each of these sections in subsequent posts.

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