including “ big idea ” W r i t i n g

including “ big idea ” W r i t i n g

Discussion #2:

Based on your readings for this week in our three texts, we’re going to take a closer look at the idea of essential questions, which is an important starting point when mapping your own curriculum by month and / or unit.

Your task: Pick a month or unit (one at least a week in length) from your subject area / grade level (preferably one related to your current or most recent teaching post), and create essential questions (EQs) for it. List each of the following components in your initial posting:

1) unit name / title,

2) brief description of unit, including “big idea” / broad topic (4+ sentences)

3) length of unit (in hours / days),

4) grade level and subject(s) for unit

5) 3-5 essential questions that overarch the unit

6) which standards you will / would be using as your guideposts (Common Core, McREL, NAEYC, NGSS, MO GLE / CLEs, etc.). Include a link to a website listing the standards you are applying to your subject / grade level.

Looking for additional guidance in this process? . I’m listing a variety of additional online resources on EQs specifically and Understanding by Design in general (the theory / process used to develop EQs) for your reference in our Week 2 module, as well as the attached figure from Getting Results with Curriculum Mapping by Heidi Hayes Jacobs (p. 43, 2004, ASCD).

The purpose of this exercise: Start to consider what are your teaching priorities and why – thus taking an EQ approach as opposed to objectives-based approach. Remember that EQs are NOT content-based questions, and they usually don’t have quick, easy answers. Strive for truly open ended questions.

Initial posts are due by Th of week 2 at 11:55 PM. Don’t forget your weekly follow up question!

Response Guidelines:

Respond to the posts of at least two of your peers. Are you able to picture the unit that they have described? Do you feel that the questions are phrased as EQs, or are there ways that you might adjust them?

Response posts are due by Su of week 2 at 11:55 PM.

A reminder for your week 2 curriculum reflection assignment: Be sure to provide identifying / clarifying information about the source of your curriculum, including school, subject, grade levels involved, and the source of your standards.

A nudge for your week 5 assignment, which will require you to have a source in another school district: If you haven’t already, decide now and reach out to your resource(s) for this assignment, to ensure that the district you’re considering is going to be your best option for the assignment. Not sure what district to pick or who to contact? Think about friends or colleagues you know in other districts, MBU professors you’ve had who work in different districts, or ask someone in your building if they know an interesting district to research (and have a contact who would be willing to talk to you for 10-15 minutes). Or cold call a curriculum person in another district and see what happens! Remember that it can easily take 1-2 weeks to hear back from someone and get your resources finalized, ESPECIALLY during these unusual times, so move on this assignment now. You’ll be glad you did.


Requirements: 200 words or more | APA | Discussion |

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