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Hello Everyone! My name is Megan Dean. I graduated from the University of Northern Colorado in 2017... only a year ago. I left college feeling totally comfortable and ready to use Backwards Design. Then year one hit...
I had started my first year at Liberty Middle School and was ready to follow the second step of the UBD process for all of the units for the year. Then reality sank in. I was not totally prepared for all of the demands of teaching. I was prepared to be a great teacher on paper but when I was thrown in, I was just trying to do anything to survive.
Welcome Class to Algebra 1!
As the evaluation process began for my year I was reminded that I needed to accomplish all of the material to meet proficiency on my evaluation scores. I was needing to get all of the material covered and I lost sight of idea one of the UBD. I was so determined to get through all of the math that I wasn't spending enough time planning assessments that don't just test facts rather understanding. This is part of the UBD that I really need to focus on next year.
For my current instruction, I check in with students throughout the class period for knowledge. After the reading and watching the videos, I am not certain that my students really understood the material, but rather they had the knowledge of the material. I think that as I take the advice from the video, I will think big and start small when I start to look at planning for next year.
As for planning, my school has a very strong PLC model so I work very closely with my colleagues in 8th-grade math. We did an okay job of backwards planning at the start of the year. As the year progressed, we taught the material from the book and then when the unit was coming to an end, we wrote the assessment. Our backwards planning was a little rough and could use some work.
MATH 8 PLC Tuesday June 12, 2018 Task for the day: Look at our backwards planning
From the readings and videos about the UBD, I have learned that I really need to be conscious of my students understanding the material. I need to work more on planning from the end rather than writing the assessment part way through the unit. I also need to work on assessments that demonstrate understanding and transfer rather than just procedures. Lastly, I know there are so many benefits to backwards design and I need to just be more purposeful in my classroom.
My take away!
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