Understanding by Design Gaining Clarity on Our Goals
How to Use Backward Design –Stage 1 Use national, state, or provincial content standards as a starting point. “Unpack” the nouns and verbs in the standards to point to the “big ideas” Use the template as a tool for developing a coherent, purposeful, and efficient design for learning.
Big Ideas… It’s the central and organizing notion. It’s the core idea in a subject It has lasting value and transfers to other inquiries and requires uncovering because it is not obvious.
Essential Questions… Have no simple ‘right answer; they are meant to be argued and discussed (discovered, uncovered) Designed to provoke and sustain inquiry Often address the foundational or historical issues of a subject Lead to more questions Naturally come back again when learning Encourage ongoing re-thinking of big ideas, assumptions, prior learning (transference…) Could be overarching or topical
Understandings… Frame the desired understanding as a full-sentence generalization in response to the phrase, “Students will understand that…” Beware of stating an understanding as a truism or vague generality. (Triangles have 3 sides – truism or vague generality?- The U.S. is a complex country – truism or vague generality?) – Check to see your stated understandings don’t end with an adjective (i.e. fractions are important) Avoid the phrase, “Students will understand how to…” “Understanding is the ability to transfer learning to new, different, and unique experiences” - Wiggins
Big Ideas, Understandings, andEssential Questions Big Idea Topic or Content Standard Essential EssentialUnderstandingUnderstanding Question Question
Knowledge…What we want students to know Vocabulary Terminology Definitions Key factual information Formulas Critical details Important events and people Sequence and timeline
Skills…What we want students to be able to do Basic skills – decoding, arithmetic computation Communication skills – listening, speaking, writing Thinking skills – compare, infer, analyze, interpret Research, inquiry, investigation skills Study skills – notetaking Interpersonal group skills
Unpacking Goals – Method 1 Established Goals: 1. Creativity and Innovation Students demonstrate creative thinking, construct knowledge, and develop innovative products and processes using technology. Stated or Implied BIG IDEAS Stated or Implied real-world In the NOUNS and ADJECTIVES: Performances in the VERBS: Understandings: Essential Questions: Students will understand that…Knowledge: Skills:What we want students to know… What we want students to do… Performance Task Ideas:
Applying Differentiation to the UbD Framework Stage 1 – Desired Results Establish Goal (Content Standards) Should not be differentiated Understandings Essential Questions Knowledge Skill May be differentiated Stage 2 – Assessment EvidencePerformance Tasks Other Evidence Key Criteria Stage 3 – Learning Plan Should be differentiated
The argument for performance assessmentas a necessity, not a luxury……“Students must perform effectively with knowledge to convince us that they really understand what quizzes and short-answer tests only suggest they get”
Transfer: the linkThe six facets link the stages Use the six facets as the test of whether you are truly measuring “understanding” of the big ideas/essential questions
ExplanationInsightful connections and illustrationsRequire students to explain what they know and good reasons in support of itExplain “why” it is correct
Interpretation: what does itmean?Show significanceReveal importanceRecognize relevance
Application: use knowledgeeffectively“show understanding by using it, adapting it, customizing it”New situations, realistic context
Perspective: critical andinsightful points of viewCasting familiar ideas in a new lightExpose questionable and unexamined assumptions
Empathy: walk in another’sshoesAbility to get inside another person’s feelings and viewpointDiffers from perspectiveInside versus outside view
Self-knowledge: Wisdom toknow one’s ignoranceHow thoughts and actions inform as well as prejudice understandingMust first understand ourselves before we understand the world
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