Creating Thematic Units Using Inquiry - BCTELA October 23, 2013

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A presentation given and created with English teachers at BCTELA Conference in Ladner, BC on October 23, 2013. Topics were curriculum design, essential questions, and thematic units.

A presentation given and created with English teachers at BCTELA Conference in Ladner, BC on October 23, 2013. Topics were curriculum design, essential questions, and thematic units.

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  • JonathanLearning Intentions, Universal Designs for Learning, Backwards Design, Essential Questions, Enduring UnderstandingsWhatever way teachers choose to do it we are planning with the end mind.
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  • Nancy to talk about What is a Hero? Outsiders...
  • Nancy to talk about What is a Hero? Outsiders...
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  • JonathanLearning Intentions, Universal Designs for Learning, Backwards Design, Essential Questions, Enduring UnderstandingsWhatever way teachers choose to do it we are planning with the end mind.
  • JonathanLearning Intentions, Universal Designs for Learning, Backwards Design, Essential Questions, Enduring UnderstandingsWhatever way teachers choose to do it we are planning with the end mind.
  • JonathanLearning Intentions, Universal Designs for Learning, Backwards Design, Essential Questions, Enduring UnderstandingsWhatever way teachers choose to do it we are planning with the end mind.

Transcript

  • 1. “If students have not been told where they are going, it is unlikely that they will arrive.” – Shirley Clark
  • 2. The Plan Backwards Design planning. Enduring Understandings Essential Questions / Inquiry Theme vs Genre Based Summative Assessment Curriculum Mapping
  • 3. Understanding by Design (UbD) A framework for designing curriculum units, performance assessments, and instruction that lead your students to deep understanding of the content you teach. Wiggins and McTighe (2005)
  • 4. Understanding by Design (UbD): “The Shift” Instead of : • What book or texts will we read? •What activities and assignments will we do? • What will we discuss?
  • 5. Understanding by Design “The Shift” The questions become: • What should they walk out the door able to understand, regardless of what activities or texts we use? • What is the evidence of such ability? • What texts, activities and methods will best enable such a result? Wiggins and McTighe (2005)
  • 6. Deliberate use of Backward Design (UBD) for planning results in more clearly defined goals, more appropriate assessments and more purposeful teaching. Stages to Consider 1.Identify desired results. 2.Determine acceptable evidence. 3.Plan learning experiences and instruction.
  • 7. Characteristics of Good Design 2 1. Clear goals explicit performance requirements. 2. Many models and modeling provided. 3. A genuine challenge/problem frames work that stretches you - real, meaningful work, with meaningful purpose/audience/situation. 4. Transparency - clarity about the big picture and how current work relates to it. 5. A good mix of group/solo work and collaboration.
  • 8. Take a minute or two… What aspects of Backwards Design exists in your current classroom practice?
  • 9. Asking Questions What are the benefits of getting students to ask their own questions in your classes? How have you encouraged / taught students to ask their own questions? What have you noticed?
  • 10. Planning an Inquiry Unit Step 1: Essential Question Step 2: Conceptual and Procedural Knowledge Step 3: Culminating Project Step 4: Scaffolding Activities Step 5: Assessment (Wilhelm, Wilhelm and Boas, 2009)
  • 11. Enduring Understandings are the “big ideas” of the curriculum. They are more than goals for a unit or grade; they are the rationale for engaging in discipline.
  • 12. Enduring Understandings: From ELA Curriculum - A good thinker uses interpretations, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation to deepen and enhance understanding. - Meaning making is a constructive and creative process; the quest for meaning is never complete. - We need to reflect on, monitor, and regulate our own learning in order to improve.
  • 13. Essential Questions “The best questions serve not only to promote understanding of the content... they also spark connections and promote transfer of ideas.” - Wiggins and McTighe
  • 14. An Essential Question will be successful if it meets two criteria: If it is phrased in a way to be interesting or compelling to students. If it gets after enduring understandings from the discipline(s) being studied.
  • 15. Essential Questions increase the level of critical thinking by - Showing students there are multiple perspectives to an issue. - Content becomes an issue to be discussed rather than memorized.
  • 16. “Essential questions provide for richer teaching and lead to greater understanding because they point to a relationship between two or more things, as opposed to a topic that is one – dimensional.” - Damien Cooper
  • 17. When we organize our curriculum conceptually around enduring understandings and/or inquiry questions, we create a context for learning about ideas, concepts, and interpretive literacy processes students need to become accomplished readers, writers, and thinkers.
  • 18. What themes do you already introduce your students to in your English classes?
  • 19. • Some themes: • • Citizenship – • digital and • physical • • Community • What does it • mean to love? • Exclusion • Predjudice • • Poverty • • Storytelling • Joy of Learning • • Joy of language Progressing • Regressing • Fear Define yourself: who am I? Fiction and • non-fiction • connection • Integrity The nature of • evil • Parent child paradox The American dream Every action has an equal and opposite reaction Ethics Resiliency Social justice Footprint The meaning of life
  • 20. What essential questions could you ask students to help them begin to think about or engage in each of these themes?
  • 21. What elements of the story are revealing of life? How has conflict shaped my identity? What would happen if everybody cared? How can a moment of truth impact or change your life? What can happen when one is in denial of the truth? How do the choices we make impact others? To what extent are friendships related to one’s identity? Are people inherently judgemental? Can a person be hateful and caring all at the same time? Where do everyday people find the courage to do extraordinary things? How do people overcome suffering? Is fear the same around the world and through time? Is it cultural, age, or gender specific? What is the evidence of a successful life? What is fair? How do you progress in fear? How do you know what you know?
  • 22. Curriculum Mapping Learning Intentions – PLOs Big ideas / Enduring Understandings Essential Questions Concepts – Things to know Skills / Strategies Formative Assessments / Instructional Activities Summative Assessment(s) Resources
  • 23. Curriculum Map Unit of Study Learning Intentions – PLOs Big Ideas / Enduring Understandings Essential ?s Concepts (What students need to know) Speaking and Listening: Writing and Representing: Reading and Viewing: Skills & Strategies Metacognition: Formative Assessments / Instructional Activities Summative Assessments Resources Adapted from Pulling Together: Integrating Inquiry, Assessment, and Instruction in Today's English Classroom by Leyton Schnellert, Mehjabeen Datoo, Krista Ediger, Joanne Panas
  • 24. Curriculum Map Unit of Study Learning Intentions – PLOs Big Ideas / Enduring Understandings Essential ?s Concepts (What students need to know) Speaking and Listening: Writing and Representing: Reading and Viewing: Skills & Strategies Metacognition: Formative Assessments / Instructional Activities Summative Assessments Resources Adapted from Pulling Together: Integrating Inquiry, Assessment, and Instruction in Today's English Classroom by Leyton Schnellert, Mehjabeen Datoo, Krista Ediger, Joanne Panas
  • 25. Something I can take from this session today to support my current practice is…
  • 26. Something new I learned in this session I can see working in my practice is…
  • 27. Contact Information Jonathan Vervaet Email: jonathanvervaet@gmail.com Twitter: @jonathanvervaet Blog: jonathanvervaet.wordpress.com