Understanding by Design’s (UbD)

As I continue on my journey in graduate school, I am actually learning although at times I am overwhelmed.  My mom has been diagnosed with cancer for months and its taking its toll on our family. In spite of I will continue my master’s program because her strength and courage is pushing me to succeed.  This week’s assignment was creating a learning plan using the Understanding by Design (UbD) Model by Wiggins and McTighe. This is a backwards design model, and in my opinion is very similar to Fink’s 3 Column table.  When using an UbD model, it starts with identifying the desired results and skills. Next, you will determine what a performing task is. Finally, you will plan your learning experiences and instruction.

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With this assignment I was able to use the learning goals ( Foundational, Integration, and Application, etc.) and input them in my Established Goals.  Everything flowed and kept me on track. The UbD model  is more detailed, and asks essential questions that will foster inquiry and understanding for learning.  I have gained a deeper understanding of effective planning using both the UbD Model and Fink’s 3 Column Table. I think the UbD model will be most valuable to my innovation plans. It will also be beneficial to teachers in developing goals for their classrooms. Below you will see my UbD:

Stage 1—Desired Results
Established Goals:

·        Students will analyze the roles and functions of individuals within a group.

·        Students will work together to analyze a given problem or question.

·        Students will work together to brainstorm and pre-plan a method of research for finding the solution or answer.

Understandings:

Students will understand that

·        Everyone in the  group has an important role to play

·        A problem or question consists of a variety of components to be investigated

·        A pre-plan and plan must be in place when investigating

Essential Questions:

·        How can a group function successfully and competently?

·        What approach or approaches can be taken when analyzing a problem or question?

·        What steps can be taken to begin conducting and organizing for their research?

Students will know

·        Group roles and names;  know that collaboration is key

·        Problems or questions consist of various components and are perceived differently

·        Pre-planning and planning are a vital part of organizing research

Students will be able to

·        Collaborate to identify, define, and assign group roles

·        Analyze a problem or question and consider other perspectives

·        Pre-plan and plan for a long-term research project

Stage 2—Assessment Evidence
Performance Tasks:

·        Groups—Students will identify, define, and assign group roles within their group.

·        Problem or question—Students will analyze a given problem or question by breaking it down into various components and record each individual’s perspective of what the problem or question means to them.

·        Pre-planning and planning—Students will come up with and pre-plan the steps to begin conducting and organizing their so they can find a solution or answer and then create a draft of an outline of their plan.

Other Evidence:

·        K-W-L Chart—Students will identify what they know, what they want to know, and what they’ve learned by using a K-W-L chart online.

·        Individual Reflection—Students will reflect on their individual roles with the project by using an online journal.

·        Group Reflection—Students will reflect on the group’s progression by using an online journal

Stage 3—Learning Plan
Learning Activities:

1.     Begin by telling students established goals. Students will think-pair-share about the meaning of the established goals. Clarify any misconceptions and explain established goals in detail. W, R

2.     Create groups randomly and students will sit with their group. T, O

3.     Have groups define and discuss the words “group” and “role” and present their findings. E, R

4.     As a whole group, discuss the essential question: How can a group function successfully and competently? W, H

5.     Have students identify, define, and assign group roles within their group. They will create an agreement specifying each individual’s role and responsibilities. E, T

6.     Introduce problem or question to each group. As a whole group, discuss the essential question: What approach or approaches can be taken when analyzing a problem or question? Have groups define and record each individual’s viewpoint of what the problem or question means to them. Then, have groups analyze the given problem or question by breaking it down into various components. W, H, E, O

7.     Have students begin to fill in their K-W-L chart using an electronic format such as Google Docs and Google Apps. Students will identify what they know, what they want to know, and what they have learned about their given problem or question. R, E-2, T, O

8.     As a whole group, discuss the essential question: What steps can be taken to begin conducting and organizing research? W, H

9.     Have groups think and pre-plan the steps to begin conducting and organizing research in order to find a solution or answer to their given problem or question. They will create a draft of an outline of their plan using an electronic format. R, T

10.  Have students reflect on their individual role during the project using an online journal entry. R, E-2, T

11.  Have groups reflect on the group’s progress during the project using an online journal entry.. R, E-2

Wiggins and McTighe’s (2005) WHERETO is an acronym that highlights the key elements and considerations for instructional planning (p. 197).

W = Ensure that students understand WHERE the unit is headed, and WHY.

H = HOOK students in the beginning and HOLD their attention throughout.

E = EQUIP students with necessary experiences, tools, knowledge, and know-how to meet performance goals.

R = Provide students with numerous opportunities to RETHINK big ideas, REFLECT on progress, and REVISE their work.

E = Build in opportunities for students to EVALUATE progress and self-assess.

T = Be TAILORED to reflect individual talents, interests, styles, and needs.

O = Be ORGANIZED to optimize deep understanding as opposed to superficial coverage.

References:

Wiggins, G. P., & McTighe, J. (2006). Understanding by design [2nd Edition].  Upper Saddle River, New Jersy: Pearson Education, Inc.

 

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