Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Lesson Plans will be Platforms - 21st Century Planning

I spent last week at ISTE and realize that there is a lot of talk about mindset, use of technology, student choice, creation, and a million other ideas all speaking to how we should think.  I struggled to find a lot of examples of what we should do.  Edubabble got in the way of steps to design lessons, which is what teachers, coaches, and admins really need.

This past year in Colonial with "Power of WE" meaning, admins, teachers, district office personnel, and Shawn Smith from Modern Teacher spent 4 separate days doing instructional rounds with a focus on tasks and how we can improve planning/feedback to make the classroom an environment that is centered on time, place, path, and pace.

We were learning together and this work continued with the coaches in my building as we try to refine this process and calibrate our thinking.  This work is going to continue as we try to expand our group to get teachers involved in this formative and important work.

Below is a simple powtoon as to what we settled on after these initial rounds. This work was then flushed out with +Tara Amsterdam +Tom Gavin +Laura Bossert +Peter Leida +Lori Duerr and +Shawn Smith.  It was a team approach with Laura being our conduit to put in content and deliver the lessons to her class.  Her role was most important and she lived up to and exceeded our expectations.  The powtoon will explain crudely the process.  The longer video is more comprehensive as it shows you the thinking and steps to go from standards to 21st century lesson/unit.  It is not project based learning, it is standards based learning with projects being the evidence of student understanding.


powtoon of the steps to 21st century lesson.

  • Create a lesson within framework of time, place, path, and pace. 
  • Start with a standard and work backwards.
  • Use blooms/cognitive growth targets to make sure tasks are rigorous and student thinking is pushed.
  • Deciding on the output to prove mastery of the standards.
  • Layer in scaffolding so students at all levels can access content and tasks where appropriate for them. 
  • Putting in tasks to make sure all students eventually have to show mastery of the standards.
  • Finally, giving students choice with help of technology to allow them to show this mastery. 
The video below is a recording of a meeting we had as a debrief to show the process that was used to get to this level of complexity in unit creation with student examples.  The video is 18 minutes long, but I wanted to make sure this explanation was really comprehensive as a roadmap for others to use.

If you want to see this all in action you can join us for a day on October 16th.  Site Link below with details:

Colonial Technology site visit October

This was definitely a team approach by +Laura Bossert and +Tara Amsterdam championing the work and deserve all the credit!  

To be clear we use +Schoology as our learning management system and this work could not have been done without this technology tool.  The students in her class all had access to devices, which is important for his level of work.  If you have any questions be sure to reach out.  We need to get past "why" we should do this work and try to figure out "how" to do this work.  This is an example of that process. 

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