Basics of Backwards Design Step 1: Identify the Desired Results Step 2: Determine Acceptable Evidence Step 3: Plan Learning Experiences and Instruction
STEP 1: Identifying the Desired Results List the standards you wish to teach Unpack the standard(s) Determine the Essential Questions Determine the Topical Questions Determine the Key Understandings
Unpacking the Standard Grade 6 Science- SOL 6.6c The student will investigate and understand the properties of air and the structures and dynamics of the Earth’s atmosphere. Key concepts include: C- how the atmosphere changes with altitude. Stated or implied ideas in Nouns & Adjectives: Structure and dynamics of Earth’s atmosphere Changes with altitude Stated or implied real- world performance in the verbs: Investigate the structures and dynamics of the atmosphere Understand how the atmosphere changes with altitude
What is an Essential Question? Broad in scope Not easily answered in one sentence- meant to be discussed Might be controversial or pose a dilemma Requires reasoning and justification Sparks more questions Important questions that recur throughout all our lives- K-12 and beyond
DOE Website Did you know that the DOE website has already created essential questions for you? http://www.pen.k12.va.us/VDOE/Ins truction/sol.html#general
Essential Questions What are the structures and dynamics of the earth’s atmosphere? How do the layers of the atmosphere impact our lives?
What is a Topical Question? What exactly do I want my students to know about this topic? Can be answered by uncovering the SOL content Can be answered as a result of in- depth inquiry into a single topic Can be answered in 1-2 sentences
Topical Questions What are the 5 layers on the atmosphere? What are the general characteristics of each layer?
Comparing Types of Questions Essential Question How do the various body system interact? What are the factors influencing the rise and fall of powerful nations? In what ways does art reflect, as well as shape, culture? How do authors use different story elements to establish mood? Topical Question How does food turn into energy? Why did the Roman Empire collapse? What do ceremonial masks reveal about Inca culture? How does Ernest Hemingway use language to establish a mood?
Knowledge versus Understanding Knowledge- Topical Questions The facts Verifiable claims Right or wrong I know something to be true I respond on cue with what I know
Knowledge versus Understanding Understanding- Essential Questions The meaning of the facts The theory that provides coherence and meaning to the facts Fallible, in-process theories A matter of degree or sophistication I understand why it is, what makes it knowledge I judge when and when not to use what I know
Determining Key Understandings Key Understandings The 4 layers of the atmosphere- Thermosphere, Mesosphere, Stratosphere, and Troposphere The high and low temperature of each layer The height of each layer The relationship of the layer to the ground The characteristics of each layer
Step 2- Determine Acceptable Evidence Performance Tasks and Projects Traditional Evidence Informal Checks/Observations Quizzes and Tests Homework Reflections Self-assessment
Planning Assessments 1.What kinds of evidence do we need? 2.What specific characteristics in student responses, products, or performance should we examine? 3. Does the proposed evidence enable us to infer a student ’ s knowledge, skill, or understanding?
How Can Technology Help in Planning Assessments? Online quizzes and tests Differentiation Portfolios Rubrics How will these assessments be converted to data to answer questions about student learning?
Planning for Learning Plan engaging lessons that will: Accomplish learning Result in good performance on assessments Be engaging and effective
How can technology be used to build engaging lessons? Project based/student centered learning Collaboration Communication Programs and online resources Creativity As a differentiation tool
What can you do to help teachers plan effective lessons using the Backwards Design methods?
What can you do to help teachers plan effective lessons using the Backwards Design Method?
References Covey, S.R. (1989). The seven habits of highly effective people: Powerful lessons in personal change. New York: Free Press. Wiggins, G. and McTighe, J. (2005). Understanding by Design. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education Inc. McCollum, S. L. (1994) Performance Assessment in the Social Studies Classroom: A How-To Book for Teachers. Poplin, MO: Chalk Dust Press. McTighe, J. and Wiggins, G. (1999) The Understanding by Design Handbook. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. Social Studies Center for Educator Development. (1999) Texas Social Studies Framework, Kindergarten- Grade 12: Research and Resources for Designing a Social Studies Curriculum. Austin, TX: Texas Education Agency. Wiggins, G. and McTighe, J. (1998) Understanding by Design. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
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