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Lesson planning is one of the most important aspects of teacher’s work. The teacher should be able to conduct a lesson that meets all necessary standards and engages all students at the same time. As far as it can be rather a challenge, a teacher has to use lesson plans to define strategies and activities that have to be used to accomplish objectives. I have chosen Understanding by Design template as a central one. In the following paper, the UbD lesson plan will be evaluated according to the provided criteria.
|Criterion for comparison||Understanding by Design Template|
|Grade level content standard||English Language Arts Standards in Literature (Reading) for the sixth grade: |
|Appropriate ISTE Standards|| |
|Learning objective||Lesson objectives should be specific for the particular grade. For instance, the lesson objective may be: sixth-grade students determine the key idea of the text with the help of group discussion and tests. The plan also includes a detailed explanation of lesson objectives. Thus, students will develop the understanding of the problem raised in the text under analysis. Essential questions for lesson include open-ended questions that provoke students’ inquiry. At the end of the lesson, students will know the central idea of the topic and develop decoding skills.|
|Gradual Release of Responsibility||The first phase (focus lesson) is defined in the Instructional Input (teacher shows what has to be done) (Fisher, n.d.). |
Guided instruction and collaborative phases are combined in Guided Practice (We do it, You do it & I help).
The last stage is reflected in the Independent Practice section.
|Differentiated instruction||Differentiation is included as a separate part of the plan. The teacher has to optimize plan to make sure that all students are engaged in the process of studying without reducing or omitting objectives of the lesson. A lesson plan should be personalized. For instance, sixth-grade pupils prefer acting out dialogues. The teacher has to take into account while preparing the lesson plan. (Understanding by Design — Backwards Design Process, n.d.).|
|Evidence of purposeful rigor and student thinking||A Recall and Skills/Concepts levels are reflected in the instructional input and guided practice. During the independent practice, the teacher aims to develop the strategic and extended thinking (the third and fourth levels) (Webb, 2005).|
|Purposeful question||Questions are defined in the first part of the plan (Identify Desired Results or Stage 1). Essential questions may be provocative, open-ended, reflecting philosophical foundations of the discipline, hypothetical, stimulating, and urging to re-think some concepts and ideas.|
|Assessment for learning||Formative assessment is integral in this plan. It includes traditional quizzes, independent and group activities, observations, and tests. The teacher assesses students during the sequence of the lesson, especially at the Guided Practice and the Independent Practice stages.|
|Use of Technology||The usage of digital tools is not defined as a necessary part of the lesson template. Nevertheless, UbD lesson template sets appropriate ISTE standards. Consequently, the teacher has to include digital tools and technologies into the lesson plan.|
As far as the table limits the description of the Understanding by Design lesson template, it is necessary to evaluate particular parts of the template separately. The UbD lesson template aims at exact definition of the lesson’s objectives. It is of great importance that lesson’s goals are divided into sub-groups such as understanding, essential questions, knowledge, and skills. Thus, a sixth-grade student should be able to understand the main idea of the text. Key questions may address some controversies in the text under analysis. For instance, a student may be asked to express his or her opinion. Then, the teacher has to challenge that view and evoke discussion. It is the task of the teacher to define necessary knowledge. For example, the pupil should be aware of the events from the text and their sequence. The development of thinking skills is also a part of the plan. Students should be able to analyze the text, express, and support their positions.
Students will be assessed in different ways during the lesson. The teacher will evaluate students with the help of group activities. First, students will act out dialogues from the text. Then, they will be asked to write the description of characters without names on separate pieces of paper. Every student will receive somebody’s description. Teacher evaluates pupils’ understanding of characters during these tasks. Group discussion is another technique that will enhance thinking skills. In such a way, the teacher will employ the scaffolding method to make students able perform activities on their own and retain knowledge. The teacher will provide immediate feedback on the basis of the information provided.
The first level of Webb’s DOK will be achieved after the teacher shows how to retell the sequence of events in the text and describe characters. Students should repeat and try to memorize at least some events. The second stage will be reached with the help of activities described above. Strategic thinking will be promoted during the group discussion and other types of the formative assessment (Lefrancios, 2013). Students may be asked to participate in traditional quizzes, tests, or observations. Extended thinking will be enhanced via questions that will provoke students’ understanding of the text. Students will be asked to use laptops or other gadgets to find information that will help them to develop extended thinking. For example, the task will be to find texts of the same genre and theme written by authors from other countries.
Understanding by Design template is the most appropriate for the efficient lesson planning. The UbD template provides teachers with opportunities to define objectives of the lesson in details. This feature is not developed in other two types of plan. However, the template lacks the exact distinction between stages described in the Gradual Releases of Responsibility model. UbD template is a useful tool that assists teachers in both meeting objectives and engaging all students in the process of studying.
English Language Arts Standards, Reading: Literature (Grade 6). (n.d.). Web.
Fisher, D. (n.d.). Effective Use of the Gradual Release of Responsibility Model. Web.
ISTE Standards Students. (n.d.). Web.
Lefrancios, G. (2013). Of Learning and Assessment. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.
Understanding by Design — Backwards Design Process [Image]. (n.d.). Web.
Webb, N. (2005). Depth of Knowledge Levels. Web.