Understanding by Design - Chapters 1-5

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CHAPTER 1 – EXPLORES GOOD DESIGN IN GENERAL AND WHAT THE TEMPLATE SPECIFICALLY CALLS FOR Page 14 2nd paragraph under Why “backward” is best: “Our lessons, units, and courses should be logically inferred from the results sought, not derived from the methods, books, and activities with which we are most comfortable.” Twin sins: 1) Hands on without being minds-on 2) Coverage Three stages of backward design:

1. Identify desired results
2. Determine Acceptable Evidence
3. Plan learning experiences and instruction
Backward design may seem awkward and time consuming at first. * Page 22 provides a one page template for UbD (understanding by design). This includes descriptions of the 3 Stages of UbD: 1. Stage 1 – Desired Results = what relevant goals will this design address? 2. Stage 2 – Assessment Evidence= Performance Tasks and Other Evidence 3. Stage 3 – Learning Plan= What learning experiences and instruction will enable students to achieve the desired results? * Page 24, 25, 26 completed sample template for lesson on nutrition. UbD design standards on page 28 - Design Standards with accompanying indicators: 1. Stage 1 – To what extent does the design focus on the big ideas of targeted content? 2. Stage 2 – To what extent do the assessments provide fair, valid, reliable, and sufficient measures of the desired results? 3. Stage 3 – To what extent is the learning plan effective and engaging? 4. Overall Design – To what extent is the entire unit coherent, with the elements of all three stages aligned? * Page 34 The UbD design Matrix: includes description of “WHERETO” acronym mentioned during our last session.

Understanding vs. Knowledge Page 38 Difference between the two in a chart: KnowledgeUnderstanding
*The facts*The meaning of the facts
*A body of coherent facts*The “theory” that provides coherence and
meaning to those facts
*Verifiable claims*Fallible, in-process theories
*Right or Wrong*A matter of degree or sophistication
*I know something to be true*I understand why it is, what makes it knowledge
*I respond on cue with what I know*I judge when to and when not to use what
I know

Transfer must be the aim of all teaching in school. It allows students to learn far more than we will ever have time to teach. Understanding is about making meaning of facts and transferring knowledge to other problems, tasks and domains.

Pg. 51-87
Student Misunderstanding and What We Can Learn From It
* Misunderstanding is not ignorance
* Misunderstanding is incredibly valuable to teachers, not a mere mistake to be corrected * For attentive students not to “get it” is to show us that what we thought was clear was really not so * Students do not view the equal sign of equations as a symbol of equivalence but rather interpret is as sign to begin calculating-the right side should show the “answer”. * Consider this:Why is it colder in winter and warmer in summer? * Every student in the U.S. has been taught the earth travels around the sun, that the orbit is elliptical, and the earth tilts at about 20 degrees off its north-south axis. * When graduating Harvard seniors were asked this question, few could explain why. They gave generic answers such as the earth is closer or further away from the sun * One common misunderstanding for an important idea is that history is about the facts. However a historian is a storyteller not a gatherer or purveyor of facts.


The Standards Movement
* In theory, clearly written standards provide a focus for curriculum, assessment, and instruction. * There are three common problems when attempting to use the standards for educational planning 1. The “overload” problem-the sheer number of listed content standards...
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