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Layered Curriculum - Professional Development for teachers
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Layered Curriculum - Professional Development for teachers

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As we have now fully entered the digital age and students and indeed society are becoming digitally literate and digital native's there is more pressure on teachers to make their modes of presentation …

As we have now fully entered the digital age and students and indeed society are becoming digitally literate and digital native's there is more pressure on teachers to make their modes of presentation "entertaining".

We, the teachers of tomorrow's leaders must approach teaching with enthusiasm, zest and with a wide variety or teaching methodologies.

This presentation will briefly cover what options layered curriculum can offer the everyday classroom teacher.

In addition to what it can offer, various other influencing factors such as Educational Psychology and Bloom's Taxonomy will also be covered.

From all of us at UNSW School of Education.

Keep Teaching & Keep teaching well!

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  • Hi this is Matt, and Adia and Rita.
    Thankyou for your interest in layered curriculum.
    This presentation will detail how you, the everyday classroom teacher can take teaching to the next level. To the extraordinary.
    Remember the difference between ordinary and extraordinary is just that little bit extra!
  • What is layered curriculum?
    Layered curriculum is going beyond the dinosaur method of chalk and talk. It involves a variety of instructional manipulation which enhances the learning experience.
    If we want our students to share out excitement, passion and awe of our subject we must capture their attention and interest.
    In any class you are teaching you will always have those who are inherently keen to learn, to soak up the fountain of knowledge laid out in black and white, in chalk and dust before them. However layered curriculum allows the teachers to reach all students by catering to different learning needs and improve their art of teaching.
  • - We may have our Craig Venter’s, our Carl Zimmer’s. Our Charles Darwins and our Peirre and Marie Curie in the class, who’s interest in subject matter is unparralleled. The students who hang off our everyword, but reaching the so called golden child is a given.
  • Anyone can teach the golden child who wants to learn but the art in teaching comes from being able to teach a class.
    Teaching is an art!
  • Ellen Part once said that; “The cure boredom is curiosity.... There is no cure for curiosity”
    Thus we must light the spark of curiosity inside our students.
    This can be achieved through the use of layered curriculum.
  • Layered curriculum in its most empirical form is variety.
    A variety of tasks, or teaching styles and methods of presentation that take into account
    blooms taxonomy,
    educational psychology
    and available resources
  • Thus we must remember that when we teach we are not teaching a class of 30 Alpha’s o 30 Gamma’s.
    We are teaching a class of individuals, who have different learning needs and different learning styles.
  • This means that we need a plethora of teaching methods at our disposal.
    The examples here are a good starting point.
    We have the ICT lesson where students are engaged in using technology.
    The classical lecture style Q & A, which never goes out of fashion and is a great way to introduce a new topic.
    The tacticle experience based lesson where students are actively using their senses, thus creating an experience they can link with the knowledge.
    The expression lesson where students are able to use and demonstrate their artistic ability in a variety of creative tasks.
    The old school style debate which gets students working together to explore different viewpoints on an issue.
    And last but not least the ever popular crossword where students can reaffirm their knowledge whilst trying to complete the puzzle.

    All these methods work together to obtain and keep the students interest in the lesson and more importantly in the subject, day in day out.
  • It should be noted that expanding your teaching modes takes time and should not be rushed as intoducing a new method takes time for the students to grasp the new activities you are using so that the activities you are introducing can be adjusted & optimized.

    The smallest atom of professional development is self reflection.
    “this worked really well.... Why?” “this didnt work well.... Why is it so?”
    Only when we ask ourselves these simple questions can we expect to improve daily in our teaching methods.
  • Layered curriculum breaks down the learning process using blooms taxonomy into three layers; A, B & C.
    Students begin at the lowest level of this pyramid level C and then progress through to level B and then onwards to level A.

  • To apply what we have learnt about layered curriculum, we shall now look at one example.
    The outcomes listed here are from the 7 to 10 science syllabus page 34.
    4.8.2 classification
    It should be noted that points 3 to 6 are listed as additional content in the syllabus but have been included for the contextual basis that they offer and the scope which they present.
  • We shall focus on this syllabus dot point, although you will notice that we will cover many others in the process
  • Right now we are focusing on educational psychology. We find that students and teachers alike have an extremely limited working memory and can only process 7, plus or minus 2 pieces of novel information.
    This number is severely decreased when the student attempts to interact with these elements.
    Thus we must always begin at the most basic level of content....the knowledge and understanding.
    Only when these elements have been encoded into the long term memory through elaborate rehearsal can we attempt to interact with these elements.

    This 7 plus or minus 2 limit to the working memory is the bottleneck, if you will, that information must pass through.
    Information and stimulus must be elaborately rehearsed in order for it to pass from the working memory to the long term memory.
  • Thus we can see that bloom’s taxonomy and the modal model work in synchronous harmony when it comes to the learning of new material.
    As we travel around bloom’s taxonomy wheel, from the start at the white sector of the pie, we begin at layer C
    If you look closely there is a huge amount of different methods which a teacher can use in this level of layered curriculum.
    Progressing around the bloom’s taxonomy wheel, we move to the next level of layered curriculum, which is level B.
  • Level C can be seen as the most important as you want all students to be able to engage and complete this level.
    The focus of level C is Content, that is remembering and understanding new and novel information.
    This level should always be the home base, the shire from where we begin our educational journey from.
    It must be mentioned that although this is the starting place, this tabula rasa, this blank slate must not always be drawn on in chalk but with a variety of simple interesting tasks that engage the students in meaningful learning activities.

    Level B requires higher order thinking and gets students to analyse and apply the knowledge they have gained

    Level A is the pinnacle of layered curriculum, this is the highest level of Bloom’s taxonomy and requires students not just to know and understand, or apply and analyse, but now they must show creativity and evaluation skills.
  • Presented here are five different tasks which a teacher can employ to cater for the different learning styles of students. These tasks all attempt to teach the same general content and concepts however they each do it in a different way.
    This links back to the different types of learners which you can find on the outer circle of bloom’s taxonomy.
  • An example of a level C task is the Picture match.
    The picture match enables visual learners to identify with the various elements shown in place of words.
    In essence, the learning process is still occurring, but on a visual level.
  • Similar to level C, various higher order level B tasks are listed here.
  • An example of a level B task is the cloze passage.
    The cloze passage is a good method for learners to reaffirm their knowledge and work together in groups to produce their collective genius.
  • Level A is the highest level of bloom’s taxonomy.
    It is designed to challenge all students and get them to create and evaluate material related to the objective.
    The task shown here is an example of a multi-layer task, in which students are to complete each element in order to complete the task
  • One part of the layer A task is getting the students to create their own map of a zoo, using their knowledge of classification to influence their decisions.
    Once this has been achieved, students are encouraged to exchange and critique each other’s maps.
  • This is an example of a simple ruberick that can be used to mark and assess students productivity.
  • This is an example of a student contract which will be filled out by both student and teacher throughout the layered cirruculum process.
  • Transcript

    • 1. The difference between Ordinary and Extraordinary is just that little bit Extra.
    • 2. 1. Layered Curriculum involves instructional manipulation which enhances the learning experience. 2. Capture students attention with a variety of different tasks. 3. Allows teachers to reach all students by using different teaching modes to improve their art of teaching.
    • 3. Anyone can teach the Golden child who wants to learn but the art in teaching stems from being able to teach a class. Teaching is an ART!!!
    • 4. “ The cure for boredom is curiosity..... there is no cure for curiosity” Ellen Parr
    • 5. Layered curriculum is VARIETY!
    • 6. BLOOM’S TAXONOMY
    • 7. EDUCATIONAL PSYCHOLOGY The Information “bottleneck” occurs at the when going from the limited working memory into the seemingless limitless Long term memory
    • 8. RESOURCES
    • 9. We are not teaching 30 “Alpha’s” or 30 “Gammas” A class is made up of individuals who each have their own learning style
    • 10. Layered curriculum is VARIETY!
    • 11. The Beginning of Professional Development is Self-Reflection. Only When We Look Into The Mirror Do We Find Truth.
    • 12. INTRODUCTION TO LAYERED CURRICULUM • Evaluate and Create: Layer A focuses on students’ critical thinking. Tasks involved within this layer are generally higher order and appear at the top of the Bloom’s Taxonomy pyramid • Analyse and Apply: Layer B requires students to build upon their acquired content knowledge (from layer C) through the use of various skills such as analysing, applying, manipulating and comparing. •Remember / Understand: This layer involves teaching students key concepts and content knowledge pertaining to the outcome
    • 13. OUTCOMES Students learn to: 1. Classify living things according to structural features and identify that they have patterns of similarities and differences 2. Identify a range of plants and animals using simple keys 3. Identify that living things can be divided into a number of major kingdoms 4. Discuss the concept of a species 5. Design simple keys to identify a range of living things 6. Classify organisms as being autotrophic or heterotrophic
    • 14. FOCUS OUTCOME Classify living things according to structural features and identify that they have patterns of similarities and differences
    • 15. EDUCATIONAL PSYCHOLOGY The Information “bottleneck” occurs at the when going from the limited working memory into the seemingless limitless Long term memory
    • 16. BLOOM’S TAXONOMY WHEEL
    • 17. INTRODUCTION TO LAYERED CURRICULUM • Evaluate and Create: Layer A focuses on students’ critical thinking. Tasks involved within this layer are generally higher order and appear at the top of the Bloom’s Taxonomy pyramid • Analyse and Apply: Layer B requires students to build upon their acquired content knowledge (from layer C) through the use of various skills such as analysing, applying, manipulating and comparing. •Remember / Understand: This layer involves teaching students key concepts and content knowledge pertaining to the outcome
    • 18. LAYER C: Remember / Understand Task Name Description 1. Q &A Lecture-style presentation to introduce the topic of classification with class discussion and questions. 2. Read & Review Students read the historical development of classification and write a review / summary. 3. Fact Sheet Students discover the 5-Kingdom system and trace the classification of Humans from Kingdom to Species. 4. Picture Match Students are given images of various organisms which they have to categorise into the correct Kingdom. 5. Explain Benefits Students are asked “Why & how do we classify?” “What are the benefits of classification / why useful?”
    • 19. LAYER C - Example
    • 20. LAYER B: Apply & Analyse Task Name Description 1. Open ended Classification Students classify given objects (Variety of lollies, objects in pencil case, etc.) into categories using the dichotomous key they have created. 2. Attribute listing List features of and draw different samples of organisms that they have seen and handled in class. 3. Categorise Classification of organisms the drag and drop feature of the Smartboard, using the key given. 4. Movie Examination Students watch a video of under the sea and list the different organisms they can see to the Phyla level. 5. Close passage Students apply acquired knowledge to complete given close passage.
    • 21. LAYER B - Example
    • 22. LAYER A: Evaluate & Create Task Name Description 1. Research task. - Select - Create - Justify & Explain - Compare and critique Students use a scaffold to carry out an independent research task. Element 1: Students select 15 organisms from a list of organisms. Element 2: Students create a map of their own zoo based on the characteristics of their chosen organisms. Element 3: Students justify and explain the layout of their map. Element 4: Students compare their layout with those of another peer and critique it listing any improvements to be made.
    • 23. LAYER A - Example
    • 24. Marking Criteria
    • 25. Student Contract
    • 26. Thanks 