For this course, you will be designing an inquiry based project using the backwards design. This unit project will be focused around the essential questions from the curriculum and require students to build a base of knowledge that they then use to create something new/novel. In this way, the unit will reflect the philosophy of a constructivist classroom…. where you help students acquire knowledge and skills at a basic and simple level of understanding and then you facilitate them taking that basic knowledge and transforming it into something that answers a big overarching question that is central to the curriculum. As their teacher, you will move from being the “sage on the stage” into being the “facilitator” of their learning as they engage in “sense-making” of this new knowledge…. moving students from a fact-based learning experience to an idea-based emphases.
An example of this might be one from a first grade teacher studying economics. They were struggling with the concept of want versus need. To help them grapple with these ideas, the students built homes for two imaginary pets, Chalk Mouse and Pencil Mouse. Chalk Mouse kept eating the teacher’s chalk, and Pencil Mouse chewed on the pencils. They lost their homes in a natural disaster (the custodian accidentally disposed of them). The charge for students was to decide what Chalk Mouse and Pencil Mouse would “need” and “want” in a home. The Culminating Performance of the unit was for students to take the materials they had gathered and build the house. They had chalk and pencils for them to eat, water to drink, ladders to climb up and down from desks, and soft straws to lie on. This was the expression of critical and creative thinking at its finest. Students were highly engaged in discussions of what was need versus wants. (Erickson, 2001)
One of the biggest emphases of 21st century learning is creating something new, and collaborating with others during the process. The NETS-S Standard #1 calls for students to be able to demonstrate creative thinking, construct knowledge, and develop learning, communication and life skills. The creativity and innovation standard requires students have learning experiences where they construct knowledge and develop innovative products using technology. As the designer of this unit, you will want to include components of creativity and innovation…the complex, authentic, open-ended task of a CP will be well matched for these attributes.
As prescribed by the Backward Design strategy, you begin the ending in mind. The teacher must clearly define what the learners will know, what they will understanding and what they will be able to do at the end of the unit. “…it is intended to be an opportunity for learners to conclude the learning unit with a demonstration of knowledge and skill….it provides learners with an experience to apply and build their understanding.” (p93)
According to researchers, interdisciplinary thinking often follows a sequence of mental actions: relationships between ideas within a discipline are recognized->the relationships are recognized as forming pattern(s)->thepattern(s) are decontextualized/generalized->examples of the same pattern(s) are recognized in other disciplines->ideas from one discipline “overlay” with another, generating new ideas.3
Clearly this is a time where the main focus is assessmentCP can also be a learning time. “…the most powerful culminating performance requires students to generalize what they’ve learned and apply it to a new situation, particularly situations in the real world.” (p94)The CP should be something significant, worthy of investment of time… a longer term, sustained kind of learning experience Teachers guide students to making their own generalizations by framing them inside essential questions…. questions that are open-ended, drive to the heart of the curriculum, are timeless and enduringThe CP is not the only assessment in the unit. Throughout the unit you are using formative assessments to measure how students are learning all the LTs.
Such analogies are products of “thinking in the seams,” thinking that merges ideas from different disciplines to generate something novel and beneficial. Researchers use varying terms for such thinking—cross-disciplinary thinking, multi-disciplinary thinking, and interdisciplinary thinking—and define it as the use of frameworks from one discipline as “points of departure for discovering or confirming similar structures and relations in other disciplines.”1 It stitches together perspectives or modes of inquiry from two or more disciplines to explore ideas. It is thinking “in the seams.”
Remember it is measuring the learning targets, using the essential question to frame the context for thinking deeply about the problem. Writing questions in this way will enable your student to do deep disciplinary understanding which can foster interdisciplinary thinking if the understanding includes the recognition of patterns within the discipline. Patterns play a critical role in enabling interdisciplinary thinking. While we may not do lots of this while we are in school, it is the heart of how everyone functions once they graduate or finish their schooling.
Authentic assessment include tasks similar to those student might find in life outside the school. Often these assessments are modeled on real life jobs.
(Solomon, p 168
teachers can use the bookmarking as an authentic formative assessment.
; the teacher then determines how well the students go from the lower level thinking skills of counting to the higher level thinking skills of analysis.
In order to accomplish these kinds of CP, students will need to use lots of creativity and use innovative thinking. These qualities are perfect for helping to match technology to the CP and they are addressed by ISTE in this manner.Apply existing knowledge to generate new ideas, products, or processesCreate original works as a means of personal or group expressionUse models and simulations to explore complex systems and issuesIdentify trends and forecast possibilities
http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/ken_robinson_says_schools_kill_creativity.html There’s lots to do this in this unit. But if you have time or are interested, take a look at this lecture. It’s funny and informative.
these ideas related? ICT experiences give students the chance to merge divergent thought and work in different ways---set of experiences that foster self directed learning as they move through…. (Wheeler, 2002)social interactionproblem solvingcreative cognition
Creativity and CP merged as digital tools have enabled more open-ended tasks to be set by teacher and then completed using a variety of learning styles based activities. Combination of open-ended tasks, making students responsible for their own learning---work on same task differentiate by product/outcome http://eduscapes.com/tap/topic69.htm offers many insights and resources for integrating technology and creativity
Unit 3 powerpoint
The Backwards Design Process<br />Unit 3<br />
Unit 3 Objectives<br />Deconstruct the 1st step of the backwards design---creating a culminating performance.<br />Incorporating elements of constructivist learning into unit design<br />Writing essential questions for unit design<br />Defining creativity and innovation<br />Integrating technology so that unit activities and assessments are seamlessly utilized and so that technology amplifies learning<br />
Collaboration, creativity and innovative thinking<br />Integral part of the ISTE NETS-S; students construct knowledge and develop innovative products while using digital tools<br />
Read Chapter 6 from Integrating Technology into Teaching. <br />
What does a culminating performance look like?<br />Begin with end in mind<br />
Culminating performance allow you to make final assessment on how well students relate to content to transferable conceptual ideas AND how well they are able to perform with their knowledge.<br />
Assess students over one or two major ideas for the unit<br />Includes critical knowledge and skills<br />Demonstrated through a complex, authentic performance<br />
Attributes of a culminating performance<br />Should be a learning time as well as a final measure<br />Should be something significant, worthy of the investment of time…a longer term, sustained kind of learning experience<br />Teachers guide students to make their own generalizations by framing them inside essential questions<br />Part of a series of assessments from throughout the unit<br />
4 Steps for designingaCulminating Performance<br />
Step 1: Align learning targets with curriculum standards<br />Formulate essential questions that pairs two or more concepts into a question that focuses the learning targets<br />Essential questions created from learning targets convey an important idea that will transfer through time and across cultures<br />
Step 2: Create assessments that match learning target types<br />Assessments should provide reliable and valid data<br />Measures if students learned the standard<br />Incorporates the essential questions of your unit<br />http://www.flickr.com/photos/marcobellucci<br />
Step 3: Select instructional strategies most appropriate for learning targets<br />Match strategy to target<br />
Step 4: Choose technologies that support instruction and learning based on the intent of the target<br />
Writing essential questions<br />Essential questions ask about conceptual relationships<br />Falls on the synthesis level of thinking because questions ask about deeper, transferrable ideas that arise from fact-based studies.<br />Example: If the LT was to identify famous figures in American history, the question might be…. What does it mean to be a leader? Or… How did John Adams shape the future of America? …. Why do we remember leaders long after their lives have ended?<br />
Writing a Culminating Task<br />Ask yourself “What do you want students to do?” Begin with a cognitive verb such as investigate and then tie it into the big idea of your unit.<br />Next ask “why?”. Use words like “to understand that….”. Complete the statement by thinking beyond the topic to the importance or significance of what they’ve been studying. What is the transferable lesson to be taken away from this unit? <br />Lastly answer “how?” Begin a new sentence that frames up how students will demonstrate their understanding from the “why” step.<br />
Suppose you were teaching about man’s inhumanity through studying the Holocaust<br />Step #1: Investigate the Holocaust<br />Step #2: To understand that leaders may abuse political or social power<br />Step #3: You are a prosecutor with the War Crimes Tribunal. Prepare a case trying Adolph Hitler for his alleged war crimes against the Jewish people in Germany during the Holocaust. Research primary and secondary documents and build your case around the themes of “crimes against humanity” and “abuse of power”. Use digital tools to gather all your evidence and prepare clear and specific arguments, present your case to the court. (Erickson, p 89-97)<br />
Or teaching about transportation in a kindergarten class<br />Step #1: Investigate, observe and analyze three forms of transportation: land sea, air and determine how each mode of transportation moves<br />Step #2: …in order to prove that for something to move there must be a source of energy<br />Step #3: Create three moving vehicles: land, sea and air. Your vehicle designs must move from one place to another. Build and decorate your vehicle with materials found in the classroom. Demonstrate and explain how energy powers your vehicle. (Erickson, p109)<br />
Or teaching a photography unit<br />Step #1: Investigate the perspective that art, and specifically photography communicates.<br />Step #2…in order to understand that words, images and light combined, create powerful communications and affects image.<br />Step #3: Analyze and evaluate your own photographs to understand that a body of work in art communicates a clear style, message or both. Create and present a portfolio of eight digital images that communicate your style, message and both.<br />As an art jurist, draw another artist’s (student’s) name and present a 3-minute enhanced podcast summary and critique of the message and style. Be sure to sync the images for the listener to see as you give your critique. (adapted from Erickson, p 127)<br />
Culminating performances must include elements of authentic assessment<br />
Stiggens defines “Performance assessment call upon the examinee to demonstrate specific skills and competencies, that is, to apply the skills and knowledge they have mastered” <br />
The most obvious use of Web 2.0 tools for assessment would be for students to be use a wide variety of media. “If we consider the state standards for any particular subject area, it is easy for educators to plan interesting instruction around that standard, using a balanced approach that includes a variety of technological activities.”)<br />
Examples of authentic, technology integrated culminating performances <br />
Social studies students work in small groups to create their own social bookmarks that not only identify critical Web sites about a topic but also demonstrate their deep understanding of the topic through their tags;<br />
Art students prepare art projects using a certain artist’s style and then, through videoconferencing, have that artist critique their work in real time. The artist can see all the subtle details because of the high quality streaming video.<br />
Elementary math students record the clothing that people wear in different countries with real time Web 2.0 webcam and then analyze the country’s culture through a graph of the clothing<br />
Middle-school science students can add to a class wiki about stream life; the teacher can assess the students’ unique contributions about the part of the stream they analyzed with their use of probe ware (collecting data directly to their laptop or handheld data collection device) and the students’ ability to synthesize the information about the diverse elements of the stream ecosystem.<br />
Students can use an e-portfolio materials online so that distant reviewers can quickly download the e-portfolio files and assess their standards-based skills development.<br />
Students can engage in multinational conversations about school life to demonstrate their ability to communicate to diverse audiences through verbal and visual modes as their teachers assess those skills in authentic real-time situations<br />
Creativity and innovation is target for NETS-S #1<br />A culminating performance must be complex so students must be involved in deep thinking, using ideas in new ways and applying the knowledge they’ve acquired.<br />Students must develop new ways to approach problems, propose solutions, test out ideas by collaborating with others or designing something that puts a new twist on existing ideas<br />
Watch Sir Ken Robinson’s TED talk about creativity<br />
What’s the definition of creativity?<br />Ability to come up with new ideas that are surprising yet intelligible and also valuable in some way (Boden, 2001)<br />A rare and unique talent in a particular field of endeavour (Ausubel, 1963)<br />An act that produces effective surprises (Bruner, 1965)<br />A cognitive process in which several intelligences are working in harmony (Gardner, 1999)<br />
Why is important to think about about technology and creative thinking when designing a culminating performance?<br />
Gateways <br />Technology can more effective infuse the qualities of social interaction, problem solving and creative cognition.<br />Technology enhance the learning experience<br />Enables the learner to have more of an authentic experience<br />
Assignments and Activities<br />Practice writing essential questions for the CP. Since this is not an easy task, you will post your ideas and get feedback from your classmates using the Online Forums.<br />Post this week’s discovery about Classroom 2.0 on your blog.<br />Post your essential questions when they are completed on your wiki page<br />Write and post the rubric that you will use to judge the Culminating Project’s product or performance on your wiki page<br />