Understanding by Design
Understanding by design includes two ideas:
Research on cognition highlights the centrality of teaching and assessing for understanding. It is a helpful and time honored process for curriculum writing. 
Effective Curriculum
Curriculum planned backwards
Understanding by design is a way of:
Thinking purposefully about curricular planning.
We want understanding by design opposed to:
Understanding by good fortune.
The three stages of of backward design in Understanding by design are:
1.) Identify desired results

2.) Determine acceptable evidence

3.) Plan learning experiences and instruction accordingly

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Two important things to do regulary for unit plans are:
1.) regularly engage in formal assessment

2.) regularly engage in peer review

The UbD standards for teachers functions like a what for students?
A rubric.

 

 

reflection: I really liked this metaphor. I had never thought of standards like this before.

What are the two purposes in standards?
1.) to guide self assessment and peer reviews to identify design strengths and areas that need improvement

2.) provide mechanisms for quality controls

 

reflection: I believe that if you asked this to a teacher, they would probably tell you what they teach or live by. I think teachers often get too caught up in teaching the standards.

The long term goal of education:
For students to be able to transfer information.

 

 

Reflection: I really liked this idea from the reading. I hope as a teacher I do not get caught up in a long term goal to just teach all the standards. I hope all my students can transfer information.

What is the short term goal for education:
Students to aquire skill and knowledge necessary for effective performance.
Standards are:
They have to be met, but are not the ultimate aim for design.

 

 

Two important concepts for plans:

 

1.) has to align with our goals

2.) plan should be flexible.

 

Reflection: I really think it is important for plans to be very flexible. Several teachers have shared that teachers have to be flexible. I think flexibility starts with the creation of flexible plans.

A technique for understanding:
Show examples and non-examples

 

Reflection: As a student, I love when teachers do this. This helps me to see the material and understand it clearer because I can think compare my understanding based on the examples provided.

Essential questions can’t…
Be answered in one single lesson or sentence.
Essential questions aim is…
to provoke thought and inquiry.
Essential questions should act like what for learners to better explore the key concepts within content?
A doorway

;

;

Reflection: This idea from the reading really helped me to understand what essential questions are suppose to do.

Why you ask a question what matters most?
How you phrase it.
The best essential questions are?
Alive
What do leading questions allow teachers to do?
Check for recollection and for locating specific information.
Understanding can be assessed by these 6 characteristics…
1.) Explain

2.) Interpret

3.) Apply

4.) Shift perspective

5.) Empathize

6.) Self assess

What are the 7 characteristics of an essential question:
1.) Open-ended

2.) Thought provoking and intellectually engaging

3.) Higher order thinking

4.) Important transferable ideas

5.) Raises additional questions

6.) Requires support and justification

7.) Reocurs

Reflection:
I really like the idea of understanding by design and essential questions. I am not sure that I really know the difference in essential questions and a powerful idea. I love that understanding by design is planning so that students really understand the material and can transfer it other than just knowing the standards. As a future teacher, I will strive to have students understand by design and essential questions.
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