Monday, May 5, 2014

UbD - Putting it All Together

I completed my online class Design for Understanding Meets the 21st Century Librarian, and I cannot recommend it highly enough.  It has been both exciting and humbling to learn so much at this point in my career, but I must say it has transformed my teaching.  I am now seeing the kind of learning I have always aspired to inspire.  

The fourth (and final) step was to look at the Big Ideas I had identified at the beginning, the evidence that will prove the Big Ideas were learned (step 3), and then - finally - after identifying the skills and knowledge students will need to complete the performance task, design the lessons. I had to evaluate what my students already know how to do and think, decide what they still need to learn, and determine how they will learn it.  This was a fun step, yet also more challenging than I anticipated. I brainstormed a list and pared it down into the number of lessons time allowed.

Here is my final product:

There were a couple of things I hated to cut, but they fell more under the "fun" activity category. My time with students is so limited that I feel a lot of pressure to be effective and efficient - no time to waste!  Yet, I recognized that I do occasionally do things just for fun.... because I want students to know that reading and learning are enjoyable activities.  However, for this unit, I chose to plan through a lens of efficiency.  It sounds terribly sterile, but it was actually delightful.

The big fun came at the end through the performance task. Students pretended they were designing a library.  They had the power.  They made the decisions.  They explained their rationale.... with no wrong answers.

This whole unit was something I had never covered before, and I now see it as essential.  Ironically, I had all the books and resources I needed to support it.  I had just never figured out how to make them relevant or appealing.

Now the world has three classes of students running around with the Big Idea that libraries are a need and the resources in the library are reflective of their needs.  

What could be more rewarding?

Friday, May 2, 2014

Appy Friday - GLOSSI

Create an interactive online magazine that can be viewed on any device.  Take a look at the Glossi site and Glossi App.