LESSON DEVELOPMENT

The learning objectives format and the Understanding by Design approach are both approaches to lesson planning. These forms of lesson planning both organize 3 elements: teachers’ goals, methods, and procedures to structure learning for students. Student learning objectives use “goals for what students will know or will be able to do after instruction by teachers,” according to Maloy in the textbook, Transforming Learning with New Technologies. These do not include the activities themselves, but the intended outcome of the instructional activities. With Understanding by Design, teachers come up with understandings and essential questions to base teaching, learning, and assessments. I think the advantage to the UBD, or Understanding by Design) is that it provides a more detailed guide by addressing desired results like the objectives format does, but also further discusses teaching methods and crafts the way the lesson will be taught. However, objectives are really easy to understand and give a clear goal to instruction while UBD is not so clear on the finished product. With a 3 week plan for math, you could say, using a student learning objective: In week one, the student will be able to identify if the slope of a line is negative or positive given a graphed line. In week 2, the student will be able to find the slope of a line given a formula and the coordinates of two points on the line. In week 3, students will be able to find the slope of the line without being given the formula.

Lesson Planning Resource Links:  http://www.educationoasis.com/curriculum/LP/LP_resources/lesson_objectives.htm

http://www.ascd.org/research-a-topic/understanding-by-design-resources.aspx

PERFORMANCE ASSESSMENTS

Performance assessments are used in many places, in sports, music, and in the work force. However, in the classroom, they are less common since assessments are most often in the form of exams. The forms of assessment that I found most helpful in my learning, however, were those that were performance based. When I had to use what I had learned to do something, like come up with a presentation, publish a brochure, or participate in a debate, I think I came to understand the material much more deeply. Tests were often very unhelpful, because they would cause me to memorize facts and concepts for the test, but soon after I would forget the information, and it had no effect on me. However, I think that as a teacher I will still use test assessments for things in my elementary classroom such as multiplication and division and spelling tests. Knowledge that needs to be memorized such as multiplication or the spelling of words, I think, are best assessed by a test as students need to be able to produce this information in a quick and easy manner. However, the understanding of things like understanding literature, artistic concepts, and scientific research is best assessed through performance, portfolios, and presentations as they are not so objective to be able to be measured on a test.

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