Over the last lifetime, which has only been two weeks, my understanding of learning and teaching has been tugged this way and that such that much of what I used to know has fallen off.
I have taken my admittedly poor original lesson plan on Sir Francis Drake and scrutinized and revised it through three important models of teaching:
The final revision, lesson plan version 5.0 is a very different animal from the original version 1.0. A glance at the final revision shows changes in structure and a marked change in emphasis. The lesson plan, version 1.0 followed by version 5.0, can be found here.
Structurally, I have:
Added prior technical knowledge as a separate heading
“Flipped” the introductory part of the content into the previous night’s homework
Been able to include more standards and more objectives in the same period of time by replacing instruction with higher level analysis and evaluation activites.
Replaced all activities with new ones that are more engaging
Replaced an obstructive technology with a BYOD model
Leveraged students’ own learning modalities and learning networks
I love the fact that the only item on the list of materials that has not been replaced is the pencil!
Pedagogically, I have:
Moved from direct instruction to an inquiry-based lesson.
Moved the students’ work up Bloom’s taxonomy, with higher level analysis and evaluation skills like compare and contrast and cause and effect.
Freed up most of the lesson for the teacher, who is no longer instructing. The teacher can now provide individual instruction where needed and base her assessments in part on her observations of student’s processes, instead of only on the work turned in. The teacher can also observe how the class is coping with teamwork and other social skills.
Provided students with a wider, and personal, range of modalities for demonstrating their mastery.
Allowed for later reflection by students which requires deeper thinking about causes and effects.
Given students responsibility for creating their own notes, rather than giving them the task of recording the same information and handing it in for grade. This simultaneously frees the teacher from being the repository of knowledge in the classroom.
In short, there is more learning and less grading in the revised lesson plan. The process of these revisions has definitely changed the way I think about teaching. The UDL and Networked Learning revisions meshed very well – my ideas for accommodations inherently involved what I later learned was called a Bring Your Own Device model. I am particularly pleased to have discovered, through this process, a new mindset about evaluating student work. I am delighted that this plan focusses on students taking responsibility for their own learning, instead of them just getting assignments done. The technology, the activities, and the freeing of the teacher to act as mentor instead of repository of knowledge all serve to mould this lesson plan into one that I would be excited and proud to teach.
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