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Compliance to a set curriculum is an important aspect in achieving the intended academic objectives in any unit. This entails proper development of the students’ ability to apply the knowledge they acquire in their career development. It also enhances good interaction of students and their teachers, which enhances development of a suitable learning environment with active participation of both the students and the teachers.
According to Mansilla, Duraisingh and Wolfe, a rubric is an essential requirement for any curriculum because besides being an assessment tool, it provides a basis for reflection and self-evaluation to both the teachers and students (2009, p.342). This paper explains the compliance of the unit, A Race with Grace: Sports Poetry in Motion, to a set rubric.
Compliance of the unit with the rubric
The lesson author has given the teacher a number of questions necessary in enhancing the students’ understanding of the unit. For instance, the teacher should ask the students to think about what they have seen in the websites and come up with words to use for the word wall. The lesson author also provides some questions that are essential for journal writing.
These questions act as guidelines in the unit since they prompt the students to think in line with the study topic. The lesson author also aligned the lesson to the NCTE/IRA National Standards for the English Language Arts for benchmarking purposes. The unit also entails a variety of instructional strategies. The teacher facilitates the most of the learning activities such as providing reference sources as well as the equipments required by the students as outlined in the ‘Resource and Preparation’ part of the lesson plan.
The teacher also encourages the students to work in groups to create an interactive environment between the students, which enhances further learning. The author also requires the teacher to work with the students to help them come up with ways of presenting their work.
The teacher has the obligation to answer the students’ questions. The lesson author has also given the teacher some guidelines of assessing the students which is a necessity in any academic curriculum.
At the beginning of every session, the lesson author requires the teacher to carry out an introductory activity. It is important for equipping the students with knowledge prior to the main lesson of the session (Goodrich, 1996, p.16). For instance, in the first session, the teacher is supposed to share website information with the students.
In the second and third session, the teacher divides the students into groups of four or three and sends them to collect pictures of bodies in motion in a variety of athletic activities. In the fourth session, the teacher is to engage the students in an activity aimed at helping them to make a good choice of words when writing poems.
As a requirement in the rubric, the unit contains more than three lesson plans with objectives, learning activities, teaching strategies as well as learning resources and products. The author has given a clear outline of the introductory activities in every session.
The learning activities in each session/lesson help in engaging students in the learning process besides helping them appreciate the unit. The activities for the first session are creation of a class word wall, writing and sharing journal prompts. The second and third sessions entail playing, taking photographs, collection of images and words, and presentation of the students’ findings in class.
However, the fourth and fifth sessions do not have the required number of learning activities. Most of the lessons lack technology based activities; actually, as photography is the sole technology based activity in the entire unit. In the learning activities, the teacher divides the students into groups hence complying with the rubric. These activities depend on the intellectual demand of the lesson/session.
The complexity of the activities increases as the unit progresses. The unit also requires the teacher to give the students assignments ranging from collection of information to the compiling of reports or even preparation of presentations. The unit employs several sources of learning materials including websites, books, magazines, newspapers and field activities as outlined by the author.
The lesson author also incorporated extension activities in the unit, which entails collection of sports poems and exploring of photographs of dancers of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, which complies with the requirements of the rubric. The author of the lesson has given a clear outline of the unit, giving proper descriptions of the activities and requirements of every session/lesson.
Most of the aspects of the unit comply with the rubric. These include the presence of essential study questions, a variety of instructional strategies, well-outlined assessment criteria and use of both study and introductory as well as learning activities among others.
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However, there is need to increase the use of technology-based learning activities to keep the students in line with the global technological advancements. The unit also needs to outline the period between assessment tests and the least mark that the students should attain in these tests.
Goodrich, H. (1996). Understanding Rubrics. Educational Leadership, 54(4), 14-18.
Mansilla, V., Duraisingh, E., & Wolfe, C. (2009). Targeted Assessment Rubric: An Empirically Grounded Rubric for Interdisciplinary Writing. Journal of Higher Education, 80(3), 334-353.