Instructional Planning

To teach for understanding is to provide the sort of intellectual diet that yields thoughtful, capable, confident learners—and citizens. Said another way, the more powerful the curriculum, the greater the possibilities for the classroom, the teacher, and the students. Even in the presence of high-quality curriculum, however, the job of the teacher is far from complete. If we see ourselves predominantly as teachers of curriculum—even exemplary curriculum—we have forgotten half of our professional role. We are also teachers of human beings. The essence of our job is making sure that the curriculum serves as a catalyst for powerful learning for students who, with our guidance and support, become skilled in and committed to the process of learning.
Carol Ann Tomlinson and Jay McTighe

Big Ideas

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Fisher, Frey, and Hite (2016) state, "Expert educators have learned that careful planning is key to advancing student learning… Without a clear plan, teachers and students may get somewhere, but it may not be where they needed to go." Hattie (2012) suggests the most powerful type of planning involves teams creating their lessons together. As architects planning monumental buildings, teachers are creating the foundations and structures for continual learning opportunities through differentiated instructional experiences. We can think of differentiation as a bridge connecting our students to where they need to go. Without it, students are left behind on the island of uncertainty.

In this unit, we will explore and examine:

  • Planning: Backwards Design / Understanding by Design
  • Planning for Differentiation
  • Planning Formal and Informal Assessments
  • Analyzing Assessments

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Planning

Overview

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Wiggins and McTighe (2005) developed process by which the end is examined before instruction was planned out. Their suggestion of three basic steps formed the backbone of Understanding by Design:
  • Identifying desired results.
  • Determining acceptable evidence
  • Planning learning experiences and instruction

In this unit, we will explore the works of Wiggins and McTighe and how UbD® design works with the G.R.R. framework. Click on the different tabs above to view videos and download information, strategies, and ideas.

Downloads

The following documents are only available in PDF format and accessible to San Antonio ISD employees only. For inquiries on these documents, please email 21stcenturylearning@saisd.net.

Video

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Planning for Differentiation

Overview

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Carol Tomlinson’s framework for differentiation describes a process for considering the learning styles, abilities, and interests of learners in order to create educational experiences that balance challenge with success. Tomlinson (2009) suggests these experiences can be differentiated in one or more aspects of the curriculum: content, process, and product. Within the G.R.R. model, focused instruction provides time to introduce new concepts for all students and to ensure they are all exposed to grade-level thinking. It is in the guided instruction, collaborative learning, and independent learning phases of the framework that differentiation takes place.

With that in mind, differentiation must be purposeful, planned, and custom-tailored to meet the needs of students. In this section, we will examine what is meant by differentiation and how to plan for differentiation. Click on the different tabs above to view videos and download information, strategies, and ideas.

Downloads

The following documents are only available in PDF format and accessible to San Antonio ISD employees only. For inquiries on these documents, please email 21stcenturylearning@saisd.net.

Video

ASCD Short - Student Differentiation

What Does Rigor Look Like?

Getting Started with Differentiation

What is Differentiation?

Why Differentiate

Two Misconceptions about Differentiation

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Planning Formal and Informal Assessments

Overview

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Fisher and Frey (2011) suggest, "Good planning requires incorporating a variety of ways to check for understanding—and then implementing these checks as instruction is being given. Without this focus, the benefit of the instruction is diminished." Formative practices play a crucial role throughout the G.R.R. framework. However, they must be purposeful and planned out if effective formative data is to be generated.


If one of the instruments we are to use to gauge student progress are summative or formal assessments, then we must ensure that they are effective measuring tools. McTighe and O'Connor (2005) support the idea that, "well-designed classroom assessment and grading practices can provide the kind of specific, personalized, and timely information needed to guide both learning and teaching." Guskey (2003) suggests that the approach to using assessment are based on three components:

  • Assessments have to useful for students and teachers
  • Assessments should be followed with corrective, individualized instruction once the data has been analyzed
  • Students should have another opportunity to demonstrated a new level of mastery

In this section, we will analyze the role of formal and informal assessments, how to plan them out, and how to ensure that the assessments we create are aligned to the depth and complexity of our standards. Click on the different tabs above to view videos and download information, strategies, and ideas.

Downloads

The following documents are only available in PDF format and accessible to San Antonio ISD employees only. For inquiries on these documents, please email 21stcenturylearning@saisd.net.

Video

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Analyzing Data

Overview

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Bambrick-Santoyo (2010) suggests "If assessments define the ultimate goals, analysis identifies the strategy and tactics needed to get there." It is important when looking at data to fully understand what it is saying about each individual child. Commonly, we hold conversations about "Traditionally Weak TEKS" and fully implement a wide-spread intervention plan for all students assuming if some are struggling, then all must be. Formative Assessment includes looking into the data and discovering what specifically individual students are struggling with, thus allowing us to create effective, individualized scaffolds to help correct misunderstandings.

In this section, we are going to examine:

  • How to determine if the gap is a skill, the content, a concept, or a combination
  • How to examine data thoughtfully
  • How to use assessment data to plan ahead

Downloads

The following documents are only available in PDF format and accessible to San Antonio ISD employees only. For inquiries on these documents, please email 21stcenturylearning@saisd.net.

Video

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