4.2 Setting Instructional Outcomes–All the instructional outcomes are clear, written in the form of student learning. Most suggest viable methods of assessment.
Standards 4.2 means that one is able to write a coherent lesson plan that focuses on the needs of the student, with activities and assessments that are understood by the students, and which will maximize learning opportunities.
EDU 6150, General Inquiry, Teaching, and Assessment Methods, was a valuable course in my journey towards achieving my teaching certification and Master of Teaching. This course broke down the components of a distinguished lesson plan while concentrating on the elements of a technique called Backwards Design. Backwards Design focuses on beginning a lesson plan with the end in mind, and emphasizes the importance of starting with the desired results of the unit, then narrowing down the activities of the lesson based on those learning targets. Backwards Design (Figure 1) is a focal point that my school uses to create unit lessons, but still, I was quite unfamiliar with the method. With Backwards Design as a foundation to begin with, I was able to create a strong lesson for Third Grade Literacy that exhibited the necessary components: a Central Focus, a Learning Target, practice activities, informal assessments, and a closure assessment of student voice.
In EDU 6150, I learned many components of a lesson plan with which I was vaguely familiar.
One of them was Stage 2 of Backwards Design, which focuses on the part of designing a unit that looks at how to achieve evidence that students are understanding the material, and was able to use these elements in the form of formative assessments in my lesson plan (Figure 2). I think the biggest take-away from this course, however, was how to ensure that my lesson plans are student-friendly, in language that my students can understand. One of the ways I showed this was in the Learning Target (Figure 3).
My Learning Target is written with an action verb and measurable goal with the language, “I will” that allows students the opportunity to appropriately reflect on their learning after the lesson. Student voice allows students to rate their learning, understand what they are learning, and identify their weaknesses and strengths in their reflection at the end of the lesson (Figure 4).
Simply telling students the Learning Target can raise student achievement by 27 percent (Norton 2016), which was something I was not aware of prior to this class. Knowing this will help me focus my lessons and instruction to be more aware of this language, with the desired hope that I can maximize learning with my 3rd Grade students.
Norton, J. (2016). Module 3: Presenting New Information [Power Point Slides]. Retrieved from: https://spu.techsmithrelay.com/d2m9
Wiggins, G. and McTighe, J. (2005). Understanding by Design. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development.