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EDUC 872

Curriculum Design Project Assignment Instructions

The candidate will design a unit of instruction that follows the Understanding by Design (UbD) template which incorporates the three stages of Desired Results, Assessment Evidence, and Learning Plan. This should be a robust assignment that incorporates what you have learned throughout the course.

To complete this project, use the Curriculum Design Project Template. This assignment should be a minimum of six pages, single-spaced utilizing Times New Roman size 12 font. The page requirement does not include assignment instructions, assessments, or grading rubrics that the candidate must include within either Stage 3: Learning Plan or as an appendix.

The candidate is welcome to create this project from scratch or utilize a unit they have personally developed, as long as it meets the criteria of the template/UbD model. A Curriculum Design Project Example has been provided for your reference. Do not take or use a unit or lesson plans from the example or any another source to complete this assignment.

Complete the template in its entirety and include the following:

·       Stage 1: Desired Results (1-2 pages)

o   Unit Title

o   Established Goals

o   KUD Objectives: Know, Understanding, Do

o   Essential Questions

·       Stage 2: Assessment Evidence (2-3 pages)

o   Performance Tasks and Assessments

o   Key Criteria

o   Other Evidences

·       Stage 3: Learning Plan (3-4 pages)

o   Summary of Learning Activities (this should be a detailed list with directions)

·       Additional required items to include within Stages 1-3 or as an appendix where the candidate deems appropriate:

o   Context of Instruction

o   State or Professional Standards

o   List of Resources

o   Assignment Instructions (a minimum of 3 learning activities from Stage 3)

o   Assessment/Grading Rubrics (a minimum of 3 learning activities from Stage 3)

Samples of a completed and condensed UbD model through our course readings:

·      Understanding by Design: The Design Process

·      Ensuring High-Quality Curriculum: Appendix A

EDUC 872 Curriculum Design Project Assignment Instructions The candidate will design a unit of instruction that follows the Understanding by Design (UbD) template which incorporates the three stages o
Curriculum Design Project Template Design Topic ____________________________ Subject(s) ______________________ Grade(s) _______ Designer(s) ___________________________ STAGE 1 – DESIRED RESULTS Unit Title: ___________________________________________________ Established Goals: Understandings: Students will understand that… • Essential Questions: • Students will know: • Students will be able to: • STAGE 2 – ASSESSMENT EVIDENCE Performance Tasks: Other Evidence: Key Criteria: STAGE 3 – LEARNING PLAN Summary of Learning Activities: Source: Understanding by Design, Unit Design Planning Template (Wiggins/McTighe 2005)
EDUC 872 Curriculum Design Project Assignment Instructions The candidate will design a unit of instruction that follows the Understanding by Design (UbD) template which incorporates the three stages o
EDUC 872 Curriculum Design Project Assignment Instructions The candidate will design a unit of instruction that follows the Understanding by Design (UbD) template which incorporates the three stages of Desired Results, Assessment Evidence, and Learning Plan. This should be a robust assignment that incorporates what you have learned throughout the course. To complete this project, use the Curriculum Design Project Template. This assignment should be a minimum of six pages, single-spaced utilizing Times New Roman size 12 font. The page requirement does not include assignment instructions, assessments, or grading rubrics that the candidate must include within either Stage 3: Learning Plan or as an appendix. The candidate is welcome to create this project from scratch or utilize a unit they have personally developed, as long as it meets the criteria of the template/UbD model. A Curriculum Design Project Example has been provided for your reference. Do not take or use a unit or lesson plans from the example or any another source to complete this assignment. Complete the template in its entirety and include the following: Stage 1: Desired Results (1-2 pages) Unit Title Established Goals KUD Objectives: Know, Understanding, Do Essential Questions Stage 2: Assessment Evidence (2-3 pages) Performance Tasks and Assessments Key Criteria Other Evidences Stage 3: Learning Plan (3-4 pages) Summary of Learning Activities (this should be a detailed list with directions) Additional required items to include within Stages 1-3 or as an appendix where the candidate deems appropriate: Context of Instruction State or Professional Standards List of Resources Assignment Instructions (a minimum of 3 learning activities from Stage 3) Assessment/Grading Rubrics (a minimum of 3 learning activities from Stage 3) Samples of a completed and condensed UbD model through our course readings: Understanding by Design: The Design Process Ensuring High-Quality Curriculum: Appendix A
EDUC 872 Curriculum Design Project Assignment Instructions The candidate will design a unit of instruction that follows the Understanding by Design (UbD) template which incorporates the three stages o
EDUC 872 Curriculum Design Project Grading Rubric Criteria Levels of Achievement Content Advanced Proficient Developing Not present Stage 1:Desired Results 24 to 25 points The stage follows the UbD template and includes a cohesive and well-developed unit title, established goals, KUD objectives, and essential questions. The stage includes the context in which the UbD template will be used and provides a strong basis for which the remaining stages will be developed. The stage is feasible and appropriate for the context in which it was designed. 22 to 23 points The stage primarily follows the UbD template and mostly includes a unit title, established goals, KUD objectives, and essential questions. The stage includes the context in which the UbD template will be used and provides the basis for which the remaining stages will be developed. The stage is feasible and appropriate for the context in which it was designed. 1 to 21 points The stage does not follow the UbD template and/or is missing a unit title, established goals, KUD objectives, and essential questions. The stage does not include the context in which the UbD template will be used or does not provide the basis for which the remaining stages will be developed. The stage is not feasible and/or appropriate for the context in which it was designed. 0 points Stage 2: Assessment Evidence 47 to 50 points The stage follows the UbD template and includes cohesive and well-developed performance tasks and assessments, key criteria, and other evidence. The stage includes assessment evidences that offer real-world application, showcase candidate understanding, and are aligned with state or professional standards. 44 to 46 points The stage primarily follows the UbD template and mostly includes cohesive and well-developed performance tasks and assessments, key criteria, and other evidence. The stage includes some assessment evidences that offer real-world application, showcase candidate understanding, and/or are aligned with state or professional standards. 1 to 43 points The stage does not follow the UbD template and/or is missing performance tasks and assessments, key criteria, and other evidence. The stage does not include some assessment evidences that offer real-world application, showcase candidate understanding, and/or are aligned with state or professional standards. 0 points Stage 3: Learning Plan 47 to 50 points The stage follows the UbD template and includes a cohesive and well-developed summary of learning activities. This stage provides a learning plan that meets the learning objectives, includes a list of resources, and provides lesson plan direction. The stage describes why students are learning materials or completing tasks as a result of instruction. 44 to 46 points The stage primarily follows the UbD template and mostly includes a cohesive and well-developed summary of learning activities. This stage provides a learning plan that meets some of the learning objectives, includes a list of resources, and/or provides lesson plan direction. The stage discussed why students are learning materials or completing tasks as a result of instruction. 1 to 43 points The stage does not follow the UbD template and/or is missing a cohesive and well-developed summary of learning activities. This stage does not provide a learning plan that meets some of the learning objectives, includes a list of resources, and/or provides lesson plan direction. The stage does not discuss why students are learning materials or completing tasks as a result of instruction. 0 points Instructions and Rubrics 47 to 50 points A minimum of 3 assignment instructions and corresponding grading rubrics or assessments are included that align with learning activities discussed in Stage 3. 44 to 46 points A minimum of 2 assignment instructions and corresponding grading rubrics or assessments are included that align with learning activities discussed in Stage 3. 1 to 43 points A minimum of 1 assignment instruction and corresponding grading rubric or assessment are included that align with learning activities discussed in Stage 3. 0 points Structure Advanced Proficient Developing Not present Writing Style 28 to 30 points The template is well-developed with clear sentences and supporting sentences; thorough editing is evident through the use of precise language and sentence structure; overall, the assignment is appropriate for a graduate writing level. 26 to 27 points The template is developed with clear sentences and supporting sentences; thorough editing is evident through the use of precise language and sentence structure; overall, the assignment is appropriate for a graduate writing level. 1 to 25 points The template is not developed with sentences and supporting sentences; editing is not evident through the use of precise language and sentence structure; overall, areas of the assignment lack appropriate for a graduate writing level. 0 points Format and Mechanics 24 to 25 points The UbD template is followed. The assignment is single-spaced with consistent third person perspective is used throughout. The assignment is free of grammar, spelling, and/or punctuation errors. 22 to 23 points Most of the UbD template is followed. The assignment is single-spaced with consistent third person perspective is used throughout. The assignment has more than one grammar, spelling, and/or punctuation errors. 1 to 21points The UbD template is not followed. The assignment is not single-spaced with some third person perspective is used throughout the paper. The paper has multiple grammar, spelling, and/or punctuation errors. 0 points Page Count 19 to 20 points The completed UbD template is a minimum of 6-pages, not including instructions and rubrics. 17 to 18 points The completed UbD template is a minimum of 5-pages, not including instructions and rubrics. 1 to 16 points The UbD template is a minimum of 1–4-pages, not including instructions and rubrics. 0 points Page 4 of 4
EDUC 872 Curriculum Design Project Assignment Instructions The candidate will design a unit of instruction that follows the Understanding by Design (UbD) template which incorporates the three stages o
DESIGN PROJECT 0 Curriculum Design Project Liberty Student School of Education, Liberty University Author Note Liberty Student I have no known conflict of interest to disclose. Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Liberty Student. Email: [email protected] STAGE 1 – DESIRED RESULTS Unit Title: Scientists discover, Engineers create Established Goals: Students understand that learning about the special methods scientists and engineers use will help them develop scientific knowledge. Day 1 Understandings: Students will understand that… Scientists learn by observing, asking questions doing experiments, drawing conclusions, and sharing their results. Engineers solve problems that affect people. Engineers ask questions, plan, design, create, test, and improve their designs to make the things people use every day. Day 2 Understandings: Students will understand that… Day 3 Understandings: Students will understand that… Day 1 Essential Questions: How do scientists make discoveries about our world? How do engineers identify a problem? How do engineers create solutions for problems that occur in our world? Day 2 Essential Questions: Day 3 Essential Questions: Day 1 Students will know: • the meaning of prediction, hypothesis, organizing, process, and design. Day 2 Students will know: scientists ask questions about the world. • scientists make predictions and test them. • how to make predictions and observations. Day 3 how scientists share their learning. • what engineers do. • how to find and understand a problem. • how to gather information about a problem. • engineers follow a process to solve a problem. Day 1 Students will be able to: • make predictions, investigate, and share results of unit experiments. • use models to solve a problem Day 2 Students will be able to: • design a tool to solve a real-world problem Day 3 Students will be able to: • use each step of the engineering design process (ask, imagine, plan, create, test, improve, share) to solve a real-world problem) This section will be 1-2 pages as this is just a sample. STAGE 2 – ASSESSMENT EVIDENCE Day 1 Performance Tasks: • Students will use the scientific method to complete unit experiments. • Students will learn how to use the engineering design process by creating an improved design for a toothbrush. • Students will identify their own real-world problem and create a tool for solving the problem using the engineering design process. Day 2 Performance Tasks: Day 3 Performance Tasks: Day 1 Other Evidence: • Students will write about how scientists things scientists do. • Students will make and confirm their predictions during unit experiments. Day 2 Other Evidence: •Students will show their understanding of unit topics using exit tickets and reflection questions. • Students will participate in class discussions and brainstorming activities about unit topics. • Students will create tools/prototypes using the engineering design process. Day 3 Other Evidence: • Students will practice testing and improving their designs. • Students will evaluate their understanding using a self-assessment rubric. •Teacher check-ins with students will be used to determine and monitor student progress. Key Criteria: Students will be evaluated on the following criteria: asking questions and making predictions about observations (SOL 1.1a) testing predictions identifying a simple problem that can be solved by developing a new tool or an improved object (SOL 1.1a) participating in experiments (SOL 1.1b) using and sharing pictures, drawings, and/or writings about observations, experiments, and tools students have created (SOL 1.1c) making simple conclusions based on data or observations (SOL1.1d) creating models to demonstrate thinking testing, evaluating, and revising models (SOL1.1e) This section will be 2-3 pages as this is just a sample. STAGE 3 – LEARNING PLAN Summary of Learning Activities: Day 1: What is Science? Materials Needed: What is Science? by Rebecca Kai Dotlich & Sachiko Yoshikawa Chart paper to create an anchor chart iPads for pairs of students to complete the SeeSaw activity – What is Science? W: This is an introductory lesson. The purpose of this lesson is to get students thinking about ways to explore science. H: Anchor Chart: Science is __________. Students share their thoughts as the teacher adds responses to the anchor chart. E: Read aloud: What is Science? Students will complete the SeeSaw activity. R: What is Science? Students will draw and record a response to this prompt: In Science, I want to learn more about… E: Students will complete a Think-Pair-Share Activity. They will share their responses with a partner. T: Students can use an illustration to show their thinking. Students can write or record their responses. Students can use think-pair-share to brainstorm ideas before completing the seesaw activity. Students can write or record their responses. Students can use think-pair-share to brainstorm ideas before completing the seesaw activity. O: The next lesson is also an introductory lesson. It is called What is a Scientist? Day 2: What is a Scientist? Materials Needed: What is a Scientist? Barbara Lehn Community helper pictures and description cards Chart paper What is a scientist? mini booklet I am a Scientist writing activity W: This is the second introductory lesson for this unit. The purpose of this lesson is to get students thinking about how scientists learn and what scientists do. H: Show students a picture of a scientist (drawn on chart paper) – brainstorm clues that could be used to describe a scientist. Add student responses to the anchor chart. E: Read aloud: What is a Scientist? Add new ideas after students hear the story. R: Students complete What is a scientist? mini booklet and scientist craft (students will create a mini model of themselves as a scientist with a body and lab coat). Inside the lab coat students will complete this sentence: I am a scientist because __________. E: Teacher will hang completed I am a Scientist crafts – at the beginning of the next lesson. Students will do a gallery walk and look at the responses. Teacher will read a few examples aloud during the gallery walk. T: Teacher will provide extra copies of the story for students who need ideas for their writing. Students can also use information from their mini-book to complete the writing assignment. O: In the next lesson, students will learn about specific skills that scientists use. Day 3: Scientists use the scientific method to make discoveries. Materials Needed: Teacher computer and Elmo (overhead projector) for sharing BrainPOP movie BrainPOP. – Science Skills Draw About It activity sheet (note: this activity can also be completed using an iPad and upload for teacher to view) Experiment Sheet Experiment Materials – measuring cup, glass, water, salt, tablespoon Teacher Checklist (Appendix D) W: The learning objective for this lesson is: scientists use the scientific method to make discoveries. Scientists also make predictions and test them. H: Start lesson with gallery walk – students will look at students’ responses I am a scientist because _______________. Students talk to their elbow buddy about the responses they see on their classmates’ lab coats. E: After the gallery walk, the teacher will ask students to think about this question: How do you think scientists learn? Students brainstorm and share their answers. Show BrainPOP video: Science Skills https://jr.brainpop.com/science/beascientist/scienceskills/ Students will complete: Draw About It – as warm-up activity: Moby puts a dirty penny into a cup of vinegar. Draw what you think will happen to the penny. https://jr.brainpop.com/science/beascientist/scienceskills/drawaboutit/ Experiment # 2: What happens when you put salt in water? Tell students they should complete each step. What happens when you put salt in water? Make a prediction and do the experiment! https://jr.brainpop.com/science/beascientist/scienceskills/activity/Review steps for completing the experiment. R: Check-in with students after 10 minutes. Check for understanding and provide feedback. Teacher uses post-it notes to record questions students have and hangs the posts on the “parking lot” sheet hung in the classroom. The parking lot is a place for questions that the class will revisit and answer during another class. E: After the experiment collect student work. Students gather to share reflections or questions about the lesson. Teachers uses checklist to check student papers for understanding and provide feedback during the next science lesson. (See Appendix D). T: During the lesson, students will work in small groups. Teacher will rotate providing support to groups as they work on the experiment. Students should receive a minimum of 3 checks in the yes box. Teacher will review experiment with students who receive less than 3 checks in the yes box during extending learning time. O: In the next lesson, students will learn about conducting experiments and sharing their results. Day 4: Scientists use the scientific method to make discoveries. Materials Needed Dirty penny, cup, vinegar iPad (1 for each pair of students) Chart paper Exit tickets Earthworm experiment sheet (Appendix E) Earthworms Flashlight Paper towels Teacher Checklist (See Appendix D) W: The learning objective for this lesson is: scientists conduct experiments and share the information they collect with others. H: Ask a few students to share their predictions about what happens to a dirty penny when it is placed in vinegar. Teacher puts a penny in a cup of vinegar. Compare the results of the experiments with student predictions from previous class. Discuss how predictions and results do not always match, but it’s ok because learning is still happening. E: Teacher tells students that they will practice asking questions and making predictions again today at the beginning of science and then learn how scientists find and share information together. Students will watch the following short videos on an iPad with a partner: Asking Questions Pebblego video topics: Why do we ask questions? Curiosity is Important. Solve Problems. Learn about the world. Let’s Investigate (make a prediction) Pebblego video topics: What is an investigation? Finding Solutions. Observations. Steps in a science experiment. Evidence. R: Teacher will check in with students. Students will respond with a thumbs up if they do not have any questions and a thumbs down if they have questions about the lesson. E: During the second half of the lesson, the class will learn how scientists find and share information. Before the experiment, the class will watch one more group of short Pebblego videos. This will be a whole group activity. Finding and Sharing Information Pebblego topics: Share stories. Using drawing and pictures. Create a model. Be a Scientist. Experiment: Earthworm Investigation Review steps for completing experiment. Tell students they should complete each step. Students will trade their experiment sheets with a partner and look at his/her results. Students will then get their paper back and look at their own results before turning in their work. They will think about their results and their partner’s results. Students will turn in their experiment sheets at the end of class. Teacher will use checklist to check for understanding (Appendix D) T: Students can work individually, with a partner, or in small groups to complete the earthworm experiment. O: In the next lesson, students will learn about conducting experiments and sharing their results. Day 5: Scientists use different strategies to learn and problem-solve. Materials Needed: Slinky, model car, globe, and super soaker Whoosh! Lonnie Johnson’s Super-Soaking Stream of Inventions by Chris Barton The Marvelous Thing that came from a spring by Gilbert Ford Teacher computer and Elmo (overhead projector) for sharing Pebblego presentation iPads for students (1 per pair) to complete Seesaw activity Maker Materials (cardboard, glue, tape, etc.) to create toy prototype W: The learning objective of this lesson is: scientists learn by using models. H: Show students a classroom globe, a super soaker, a slinky, and a model car. Tell students these are all examples of models. Ask a few volunteers to share their definition of a model and tell why they think these objects are models. E: Show PebbleGo Using Models Topics: What is a model? Kinds of Models. Why we use models. Testing your ideas. Looking to the future. R: Show the slinky and super soaker and the following stories. Whoosh! Lonnie Johnson’s Super-Soaking Stream of Inventions by Chris Barton The Marvelous Thing that came from a spring by Gilbert Ford. Tell students that they will hear a story about how models help you learn and how they can help you solve a problem. Students pick which object they would like to learn more about. Once students pick, then teacher will read the story that tells about the object. Toy Design prototype activity. Students will work with partners to design a prototype of a toy. Students will pick another team (pair of students) and switch their prototypes. E: Students will use Seesaw to answer the following questions: What did the team design? What do you like and not like about it? How could the design be better for you? T: Students can work individually, with a partner, or in small groups. O: In the next lesson, students will learn about the engineering design process. Day 6: The Engineering Design Process W: The learning objective of this lesson is to learn the steps of the engineering design process. H: Let’s try to solve a problem together. Complete BrainPOP Draw About It activity. Review Expectations for Engineers chart before starting the design project. How would you improve the design of a toothbrush? Draw a picture of your idea and describe it to a partner. Groups of 4 students share their drawings and ideas for improving the toothbrush as teacher rotates to different groups. E: Show PebbleGo Using Models Topics: What is a model? Kinds of Models. Why we use models. Testing your ideas. Looking to the future. R: Show BrainPOP video: Engineering and Design Process https://jr.brainpop.com/science/beascientist/engineeringanddesignprocess/ Show students engineering design process poster and tell students they will need to include the steps when they make their tool. Students groups will use the remaining steps to create, test, and improve to complete their toothbrush designs. E: Teacher will check in and tell students the amount of time they have for each stage and check in with groups during the lesson. Groups share their suggestions for improving the toothbrush and their creations at the end of the lesson. Students will complete exit ticket sharing what they learned, need more practice with, and have a question about (Appendix D) T: Students can work individually, with a partner, or in small groups. O: In the next lesson, students will learn to think like an engineer. This section will be 3-4 pages as this is just a sample. Appendix A Context of Instruction This unit is designed for first-grade students in the state of Virginia. The Science Standards of Learning (SOL) were updated in 2018 and now include standards about scientific practices (scientific method) and engineering practices (engineering design process). This unit is designed to develop foundational knowledge and skills that students will use in science and other content areas. The knowledge and skills students learn in this unit can be used beyond first grade and in other content areas. I will teach this unit to the 24 first-grade students in my class. These students have different scholastic abilities; one student is ELL, four students have IEPs, six students receive reading and math intervention and four students receive enrichment services. Eight students are from multicultural backgrounds. However, all the students in this class love doing experiments, building, and learning about different science topics. Appendix B State or Professional Standards Virginia Standards of Learning Science Grade 1 SOL 1.1 The student will demonstrate an understanding of scientific and engineering practices by asking questions and defining problems ask questions and make predictions based on observations identify a simple problem that can be solved through the development of a tool or improved object planning and carrying out investigations interpreting, analyzing, and evaluating data use shared pictures, drawings, and/or writings of observations constructing and critiquing conclusions and explanations make simple conclusions based on data or observations developing and using models obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information Appendix C List of Resources Books: What is Science? by Rebecca Kai Dotlich & Sachiko Yoshikawa What is a Scientist? Barbara Lehn Whoosh! Lonnie Johnson’s Super-Soaking Stream of Inventions by Chris Barton The Marvelous Thing that came from a spring by Gilbert Ford Rosie Revere, Engineer by Andrea Beaty Learning activity resources: What is a scientist? mini booklet I am a Scientist writing activity Community helper pictures and description cards Draw About It activity sheet (see lesson 3, 6) Experiment Sheets for salt and water and earthworm experiments Slinky, model car, globe, and super soaker Maker Materials (cardboard, glue, tape, etc.) to create toy prototype Expectations for Engineers chart Engineering Design Processing planning sheet Engineering Design Process grading rubric Seesaw reflection activities (lessons 8 – 10) Technology: iPads BrainPOP PebbleGo Seesaw Teacher Resources: Teacher computer and Elmo (overhead projector) Materials for each experiment (see lessons 3, 5) Teacher checklist for experiments Exit tickets Engineering Design Process Rubric Chart paper Who are engineers PowerPoint Appendix D Assessment/Grading Rubrics Teacher Checklist (experiments) Teacher Checklist (Unit Experiments) Put a check in the yes box for each skill the student uses during the experiment. If the student does not use the skill check the no box. Student Name _____________________________ Skills: Yes No Asks questions during an experiment Makes a hypothesis during an experiment Completes all parts of an experiment Records results from an experiment Draws conclusions from the data collected from an experiment Appendix D Assessment/Grading Rubrics Exit Ticket Appendix D Assessment/Grading Rubrics Engineering Design Planning Sheets Appendix D Assessment/Grading Rubrics Engineering Design Process Rubric Appendix D Assessment/Grading Rubrics Engineering Design Process Reflection Sheet (Seesaw activity parts 1 and 2) Appendix E Sample of Experiment Recording Sheet NAME________________________ EARTHWORM INVESTIGATION Do earthworms like light? Ask a Question Make a Hypothesis (what you think) If I shine a flashlight on my worm, then I think the worm will: stay in the light move out of the light Do an Experiment Lay your worm in the middle of a paper plate. Shine the flashlight directly on your worm. Do not move the flashlight or follow the worm with the light. Keep it in one spot. Observe your worm’s behavior. Record your results (what happened in your experiment) Draw a Conclusion (what you learned) Worms (do, do not) like light. Was your hypothesis right? Yes No Appendix F
EDUC 872 Curriculum Design Project Assignment Instructions The candidate will design a unit of instruction that follows the Understanding by Design (UbD) template which incorporates the three stages o
24 2 CONSIDERATION 2 Alignment to Standards Students sit in small groups reading diff erent versions of the story Stone Soup. At one table students are examining the 1947 version of Stone Soup by Marcia Brown. In this story, three hungry soldiers enter a village look- ing for something to eat. The villagers hide their food until the soldiers slowly convince them to share it as they create a soup from stones. At another table, students are examining the later version by Jon J. Muth, which tells the story of three monks in China who face a similar situation when passing through a small village. Simultaneously, students at the remaining tables work with other versions of the same tale. Regardless of the version, all the students are identifying and discussing key details of the text as those details unfold, and the lesson they learned as a result, in preparation for a class discussion on the central message of the story. Why are the students doing this? Their teacher has designed a learning experience to align to the Common Core standard for 3rd grade: RL.3.2 Recount stories, including fables, folktales, and myths from diverse cul- tures; determine the central message, lesson, or moral and explain how it is conveyed through key details in the text. Is the task, however, truly aligned to the standard? After determining whether the curriculum is structured using orga- nizing centers that refl ect school values or focuses (the topic of Chapter 1), the next step in evaluating or creating a curriculum is to ensure that it EnsuringHighQualityCurr.indd 24EnsuringHighQualityCurr.indd 24 10/4/16 2:46 PM10/4/16 2:46 PMLalor, A. D. M. (2016). Ensuring high-quality curriculum : How to design, revise, or adopt curriculum aligned to student success. Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development. Created from liberty on 2021-11-14 22:39:02. Copyright © 2016. Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development. All rights reserved. Alignment to Standards 2 5 is strongly aligned to the standards the district uses to communicate its values and focuses and to guide instruction. In the classroom described here, if the students were simply asked to identify the main characters in the story, we could easily say that the task was not aligned to the standard. In most cases, examples and nonexamples of alignment are readily distin- guishable from each other, making it easy to spot a curriculum that is not aligned. However, the evaluation of alignment is often not about whether a task is aligned or not but rather to what degree. In this case the question is, to what degree did the students’ examination of the text align to the standard related to recounting key details from stories to determine the central message of the story? The answer is that the learning experience is strongly aligned to the standard. Students are completing work using the skills embedded in the standard. The focus of this chapter is to explore alignment and how to evaluate or create a curriculum that is strongly aligned to standards. Degrees of Alignment When examining a task that sits inside a learning experience or an assess- ment for degree of alignment, I suggest using a scale of weak, moderate, and strong. Weak alignment is evident when a task addresses only part of a standard or the underlying skills subsumed by the standard. For exam- ple, consider the following Common Core standard for 7th grade: RL.7.5 Analyze how a drama’s or poem’s form or structure (e.g., soliloquy, sonnet) contributes to its meaning. An example of a weakly aligned task would be one in which the students are asked to identify the pattern for the sonnet “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways” by Elizabeth Barrett Browning. One could argue that knowing that a sonnet is a 14-line poem divided into two sections—an 8-line stanza (octave) rhyming ABBAABBA, and a 6-line stanza (sestet) rhyming CDCDCD or CDEEDE—is helpful in identifying one. However, EnsuringHighQualityCurr.indd 25EnsuringHighQualityCurr.indd 25 10/4/16 2:46 PM10/4/16 2:46 PMLalor, A. D. M. (2016). Ensuring high-quality curriculum : How to design, revise, or adopt curriculum aligned to student success. Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development. Created from liberty on 2021-11-14 22:39:02. Copyright © 2016. Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development. All rights reserved. 26 Ensuring High-Quality Curriculum the task certainly does not get to the heart of the standard, which is to analyze how structure contributes to meaning. It may serve as a stepping stone to arriving at the standard, but as a task by itself it does not accom- plish its goal. Consider a task in which students are asked to write the message of the sonnet in one sentence. In this case, the task moves closer to the standard because students are analyzing the poem for its meaning. The teacher who designed the task considered structure, in that a sonnet focuses on one thought or idea, hence the request that students write a sentence. However, the task only moderately aligns to the standard because the students are not asked to make the connection between the structure of a sonnet and its meaning. The teacher has done that for them. The task may be used as a learning experience to reinforce the idea that a sonnet focuses on one idea, but again, left as an isolated task it cannot be consid- ered strongly aligned to the standard. In a strongly aligned task, students are asked to examine several son- nets for their structure and uncover what distinguishes a sonnet from other types of poems. Their examination of the sonnets leads to the under- standing that a sonnet is a 14-line poem that focuses on a single thought or sentiment, and sonnets vary in that some are structured in two stanzas versus one and they may have diff erent rhyming patterns. Students use their criteria to then analyze “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.” They work in groups to discuss how the structure aff ects the poem’s message. Students consolidate their thinking in a written response that analyzes the impact of the structure on the meaning of the poem. In this example, the task is strongly aligned; it is diffi cult to separate the task from the standard itself. The following scale can be used to determine the degree of alignment between a task and a standard: Strong Alignment: The task clearly aligns to the standard; the task and the standard are almost one and the same; the task addresses all parts and honors the intent of the standard. EnsuringHighQualityCurr.indd 26EnsuringHighQualityCurr.indd 26 10/4/16 2:46 PM10/4/16 2:46 PMLalor, A. D. M. (2016). Ensuring high-quality curriculum : How to design, revise, or adopt curriculum aligned to student success. Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development. Created from liberty on 2021-11-14 22:39:02. Copyright © 2016. Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development. All rights reserved. Alignment to Standards 2 7 Moderate Alignment: The task addresses the standard; the stan- dard is part of the task but is not the primary focus. Weak Alignment: The task touches on the standard; the standard may occur but is not guaranteed to be part of the task. A helpful activity, one that is useful in unpacking the scale and under- standing alignment, is to rate the alignment of diff erent tasks to a selected standard. Use the preceding scale to rate the degree of alignment between each task in Figure 2.1 and the following standard: RI.11-12.7 Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., visually, quantitatively) as well as in words in order to address a question or solve a problem. The fi rst example in Figure 2.1, watching a video explaining the his- tory of fi lm, is weakly aligned to the standard; students are only viewing one source, without a specifi c purpose. The second example is a strongly Figure 2.1 DEGREE OF ALIGNMENT Task Description Degree of Alignment Students watch a video explaining the history of fi lm. Students read, watch, and analyze information and data to identify reasons for Latino immigration, challenges immigrants face, and immigrants’ quality of life after arrival in the United States. They critique the origin of their sources to determine their reliability. Students use this information to write the introduction to a student-selected collection of memoirs, short sto- ries, and poetry that illustrates the life of immigrants and answers the question Can history be told through a story ? Students use nonfi ction text, videos, and quantitative data as part of their research to complete a paper on an event recounted in a historical novel of their choice. EnsuringHighQualityCurr.indd 27EnsuringHighQualityCurr.indd 27 10/4/16 2:46 PM10/4/16 2:46 PMLalor, A. D. M. (2016). Ensuring high-quality curriculum : How to design, revise, or adopt curriculum aligned to student success. Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development. Created from liberty on 2021-11-14 22:39:02. Copyright © 2016. Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development. All rights reserved. 28 Ensuring High-Quality Curriculum aligned task. Here students are reading, watching, and analyzing data, indicating the use of diverse media and formats—text, video, and charts and graphs. They evaluate the credibility of their sources as a means of determining the accuracy of their information. Students then use the information to answer the question Can history be told through a story? The last example is moderately aligned to the standard. It focuses on using a variety of sources, but it is unclear as to whether students are respond- ing to a specifi c question or problem. The goal is to ensure that the curriculum contains strongly aligned tasks. If we rely on the use of weakly aligned or moderately aligned tasks, students may not have the opportunity to engage in meaningful, relevant, and cognitively demanding tasks required by the school or district stan- dards. A recent study by the Education Trust illustrates this situation. The study found that only 4 in 10 assignments (38 percent) were aligned with a grade-appropriate Common Core standard. As a result, students were often given short, less challenging tasks with a great deal of support that undermined the intention of the standards and lessened the required thinking (Brookins, Santelises, & Dabrowski, 2015). All students should have the opportunity to engage in cognitively demanding texts with scaf- folds and supports dependent on need. A curriculum designed with this belief in mind allows teachers to make instructional decisions based on the needs of the students they are teaching. A quality curriculum designed with high-quality, strongly aligned tasks takes the fi rst step in ensuring that this happens. A task that is strongly aligned to a standard meets the following criteria: 1. The standard and the task are diffi cult to separate from each other. 2. The task requires students to fully engage in activities that align to all the skills embedded within the standard, usually requiring multiple steps. 3. The task refl ects the intent of the standard. Examine the standards and corresponding tasks in Figure 2.2. As you read through the tasks in Column 2, underline the part of the task description EnsuringHighQualityCurr.indd 28EnsuringHighQualityCurr.indd 28 10/4/16 2:46 PM10/4/16 2:46 PMLalor, A. D. M. (2016). Ensuring high-quality curriculum : How to design, revise, or adopt curriculum aligned to student success. Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development. Created from liberty on 2021-11-14 22:39:02. Copyright © 2016. Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development. All rights reserved. Alignment to Standards 2 9 Figure 2.2 TASK ALIGNMENT Standard Task Disposition of Practice: Commitment to Refl ection • Willingness to devote time and energy to think about decisions, learning, and work in ways that promote thoughtful- ness (Martin-Kniep, 2008).Students investigate different ways in which young people can “make a difference.” They fi nd examples of community service, fundrais- ers, and organizations that have been led by young people and have made a difference in the lives of others. Students write a summary of each example they fi nd and record their thoughts, questions, and connections. They work in small groups to determine a way they can make a difference. Students implement their plan and collect data during implemen- tation, altering their plan as necessary. Stu- dents write a refl ection on their experience and modify their plan in order to implement it again in the future. • Students make connections by relating ideas within the content or among content areas and select or devise one approach among many alternatives on how a situation can be solved (Webb’s Depth of Knowledge; Webb et al., 2005).Students pursue the questi on How healthy is the United States? by documenting their own nutrition and exercise habits over a six-week period using a health-journal app. After documenting their own health, they conduct research that pursues questions such as these: • What are the nutritional and exercise hab- its of Americans in different age groups? • Are all the research fi ndings regarding American health habits the same? How do they compare? • How does society refl ect these health habits? • How do American health habits affect other areas of American life, such as economics and government? Students use their own experience to analyze the current state of American health. They write an evaluation of their own health in light of their fi ndings, and prepare an action plan for pursuing a healthy life. EnsuringHighQualityCurr.indd 29EnsuringHighQualityCurr.indd 29 10/4/16 2:46 PM10/4/16 2:46 PMLalor, A. D. M. (2016). Ensuring high-quality curriculum : How to design, revise, or adopt curriculum aligned to student success. Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development. Created from liberty on 2021-11-14 22:39:02. Copyright © 2016. Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development. All rights reserved. 30 Ensuring High-Quality Curriculum that refl ects the standard in Column 1. By underlining the task in the exam- ples, you can determine if the task meets the criteria for strong alignment. In the fi rst example, the multistep process of fi nding examples of community service, fundraisers, and organizations; writing a summary and recording thoughts, ideas, and questions; and creating, implement- ing, revising, and refl ecting on a plan is evidence of the willingness to devote time and energy to thinking about decisions, learning, and work in ways that promote thoughtfulness. The alignment can therefore be considered strong. In the second example, students document their own nutrition and exercise habits, conduct research, analyze the current state of American health, write an evaluation of their own health, and prepare an action plan for pursuing a healthy life. The task seamlessly intertwines health content with literacy skills, and it provides students with a personalized problem that could be solved in multiple ways, once again showing that when the task and standard are the same, alignment is strong. Once you can recognize the degree of alignment between a task and a standard, it becomes possible to revise a task so it strongly aligns to a standard. Returning to Figure 2.1, we can revise the weakly aligned task (students watch a video explaining the history of fi lm) to make it strong by expanding on the resources and focusing the research on a specifi c question. Now instead of watching a video explaining the history of fi lm, students read and analyze multimedia resources, articles, and commen- taries on the role of fi lm in society, and they examine data regarding fi lm development and usage. They consider the origin of the materials, not- ing the authors and website creators to determine the credibility of their sources. Students use this information to create a multimedia presenta- tion in which they analyze a fi lm of their choice and answer the question Does fi lm form or follow the norms and values of a society? We can also revise the moderately aligned task from Figure 2.1 for stronger alignment by adding a question to guide the reading of the diff er- ent sources. In the original task, students are using nonfi ction text, vid- eos, and quantitative data to complete a paper on an event recounted in EnsuringHighQualityCurr.indd 30EnsuringHighQualityCurr.indd 30 10/4/16 2:46 PM10/4/16 2:46 PMLalor, A. D. M. (2016). Ensuring high-quality curriculum : How to design, revise, or adopt curriculum aligned to student success. Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development. Created from liberty on 2021-11-14 22:39:02. Copyright © 2016. Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development. All rights reserved. Alignment to Standards 3 1 a historical novel of their choice. By adding the question Does literature refl ect life? the research and the resulting paper have a specifi c purpose. Content-Area Alignment The same criteria apply to alignment in the content areas. However, align- ment in the content areas often includes alignment to standards with dif- ferent focuses. For example, consider the following task. Students read three articles to learn about diff erent explanations of climate change, how it is caused, and the resulting impact of climate change on biodiversity. Students are asked to engage in this task in order to understand content identifi ed in the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and apply lit- eracy skills to access the content, including those identifi ed in Common Core standard RST.9-10.6: Analyze the author’s purpose in providing an explanation, describing a procedure, or discussing an experiment in a text, defi ning the question the author seeks to address. The task strongly aligns to the reading standard because it requires stu- dents to analyze the author’s explanation of climate change. However, when we examine the task for alignment to the science standard, we see that it is actually weakly aligned. The Next Generation Science Standards contain information about performance, science and engineering practices, disciplinary core ideas, and crosscutting concepts. For the sake of this example, let’s work with one of the NGSS’s performance expectations and a corresponding core idea related to the topic of Interdependent Relationships in the Ecosystem. HS-LS4-6 Create or revise a simulation to test a solution to mitigate adverse impacts of human activity on biodiversity. [Clarifi cation Statement: Emphasis is on designing solutions for a proposed problem related to threatened or endangered species, or to genetic variation of organisms for multiple species.] EnsuringHighQualityCurr.indd 31EnsuringHighQualityCurr.indd 31 10/4/16 2:46 PM10/4/16 2:46 PMLalor, A. D. M. (2016). Ensuring high-quality curriculum : How to design, revise, or adopt curriculum aligned to student success. Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development. Created from liberty on 2021-11-14 22:39:02. Copyright © 2016. Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development. All rights reserved. 32 Ensuring High-Quality Curriculum LS4.D: Biodiversity and Humans Humans depend on the living world for the resources and other benefi ts provided by biodiversity. But human activity is also having adverse impacts on biodiversity through overpopulation, overexploitation, habitat destruction, pollution, introduction of invasive species, and climate change. . . . Thus sustaining bio- diversity so that ecosystem functioning and productivity are maintained is essential to supporting and enhancing life on Earth. Sustaining biodiversity also aids humanity by preserving landscapes of recreational or inspirational value. Exploring the diff erent views on climate change is only one part of the core idea LS4.D: Biodiversity and Humans, which is why the task is weakly aligned. To strongly align to the core idea, students would also need to examine • Speciation and extinction. • Adverse impacts of human behavior, including overpopulation, overexploitation, habitat destruction, pollution, introduction of invasive species, and climate change. • Biological extinction, because many species are unable to sur- vive in changed environments and die out. • The eff ects of biological extinction. • The importance of sustaining biodiversity. • Ways to sustain biodiversity. One of the challenges related to strong alignment to content stan- dards is making sure that all of the content included in the standard is also included in the curriculum, which may require more than one task. Addressing only one aspect of the content does not constitute alignment. For strong alignment to occur, the curriculum must include all the con- tent in the standards. By itself, the science core idea does not communicate how the students will acquire the information. This is why content standards are paired with literacy standards, as shown in the original example. Students are EnsuringHighQualityCurr.indd 32EnsuringHighQualityCurr.indd 32 10/4/16 2:46 PM10/4/16 2:46 PMLalor, A. D. M. (2016). Ensuring high-quality curriculum : How to design, revise, or adopt curriculum aligned to student success. Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development. Created from liberty on 2021-11-14 22:39:02. Copyright © 2016. Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development. All rights reserved. Alignment to Standards 3 3 learning about climate change through reading. Their next learning expe- rience may include a task that has them listening to a multimedia presen- tation to learn about the eff ects of biological distinction. Alignment becomes even more complex as more standards are added. In this extension of the example, the core idea is presented with a perfor- mance expectation. Now for strong alignment to occur, students would need to formulate and test a possible solution for addressing the negative human impact on biodiversity. This undertaking could include • Choosing an area of focus. • Creating or revising a simulation that includes mathematical and computational thinking. • Developing or evaluating a solution, taking into consideration cost, safety, reliability, and social, cultural, and environmental impacts. • Using physical models and computers. • Using empirical evidence to diff erentiate between cause and correlation and to make claims about specifi c causes and eff ects. Now the original reading task serves a small role in a big picture. Regardless of scope, however, the concept of alignment remains the same. In the content areas, it means examining alignment in terms of content to be taught, content-specifi ed skills such as the performance expectation, and the role of literacy in accessing and communicating the content. Implications for Evaluating, Creating, or Revising Curriculum Understanding that alignment occurs by degree rather than extremes is important to ensuring that students have opportunities to truly learn and practice the skills embedded in the standards. When evaluating curricu- lum, one way to check for strong alignment is to choose sample tasks from various units and determine the degree of alignment between the task and the standard identifi ed using the scale of weak, moderate, and strong, as previously described. The tasks you choose to evaluate should represent EnsuringHighQualityCurr.indd 33EnsuringHighQualityCurr.indd 33 10/4/16 2:46 PM10/4/16 2:46 PMLalor, A. D. M. (2016). Ensuring high-quality curriculum : How to design, revise, or adopt curriculum aligned to student success. Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development. Created from liberty on 2021-11-14 22:39:02. Copyright © 2016. Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development. All rights reserved. 34 Ensuring High-Quality Curriculum those found in daily lessons, extended activities, and assessments. The chart in Figure 2.3 is a helpful tool for gathering and evaluating this infor- mation. An example at the top of the chart illustrates the process. You can add additional rows to the chart based on the number of tasks you are examining. It is advantageous to analyze multiple tasks of diff erent lengths and purposes. Determining the degree of alignment is particularly important when examining published curriculum and instructional materials. A report from the Brown Center on Education Figure 2.3 DETERMINING ALIGNMENT IN A CURRICULUM Task Description Standard Degree of AlignmentNotes for Revision Students read several documents related to the events that occurred in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1963, including Dr. Martin Luther King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail” and a reprinted newspaper article from the New York Times in 1963. As they read the texts, they work with different-colored highlighters to show how the texts address the event in a similar fashion and any disconnect among the texts. RI.9-10.9 Analyze seminal U.S. docu- ments of historical and literary signifi – cance (e.g., Wash- ington’s Farewell Address, the Gettys- burg Address, Roos- evelt’s Four Freedoms speech, King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail”), including how they address related themes and concepts.Moderate • Include an additional reading such as “Ballad of Birmingham” by Dudley Randall. • Provide opportu- nity for discussion on the ways the texts describe the same event, the reasons for the differences in their descriptions, and the impact on student under- standing of the events of Birming- ham as a result of reading the different accounts. Task 1: Task 2: EnsuringHighQualityCurr.indd 34EnsuringHighQualityCurr.indd 34 10/4/16 2:46 PM10/4/16 2:46 PMLalor, A. D. M. (2016). Ensuring high-quality curriculum : How to design, revise, or adopt curriculum aligned to student success. Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development. Created from liberty on 2021-11-14 22:39:02. Copyright © 2016. Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development. All rights reserved. Alignment to Standards 3 5 Policy at Brookings included this observation about publishing compa- nies’ initial responses to the Common Core State Standards: “Publishers of instructional materials are lining up to declare the alignment of their materials with the Common Core standards using the most superfi cial of defi nitions” (Chingos & Whitehurst, 2012, p. 1). Although publishers have made some improvements, those have not been enough; nor have they been consistent. Some companies have simply done a better job than others of aligning their materials, and with such inconsistencies, checking the degree of alignment is important. Addressed, Taught, and Assessed: Three Ways to Look at Standards When examining curriculum, we are looking for tasks that are strongly aligned to the standards. What will help or hamper this determination is the way in which the curriculum communicates information about the standards and their value or emphasis. We can view standards in diff erent ways: those that are addressed, those that are taught, and those that are taught and assessed. Standards that are addressed are those that are touched upon but not necessarily the primary focus of a unit within a curriculum. Standards that are taught are those that involve students engaging in activities that practice the skills embedded within the standards. Standards that are taught and assessed are the standards that are the focus of instruction and are evaluated during the unit of study. Let’s examine a 4th grade unit to determine the diff erence between standards that are addressed and those that are taught and assessed. In this unit, students are examining the essential question Is there more than one way to tell a story? They are reading collections of texts that are connected by theme and that include stories from cultures other than the United States, nonfi ction text, and dramas and stories that have been made into fi lms. As they read, they take note of how the texts approach similar themes, and the similarities and diff erences between texts and EnsuringHighQualityCurr.indd 35EnsuringHighQualityCurr.indd 35 10/4/16 2:46 PM10/4/16 2:46 PMLalor, A. D. M. (2016). Ensuring high-quality curriculum : How to design, revise, or adopt curriculum aligned to student success. Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development. Created from liberty on 2021-11-14 22:39:02. Copyright © 2016. Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development. All rights reserved. 36 Ensuring High-Quality Curriculum their visual presentations. As a result of their examination, students write a proposal for a new movie based on a book of their choice. The Common Core reading literature standards for this unit include the following: RL.4.1 Refer to details and examples in a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing infer- ences from the text. RL.4.2 Determine a theme of a story, drama, or poem from details in the text; summarize the text. RL.4.3 Describe in depth a character, setting, or event in a story or drama, drawing on specifi c details in the text (e.g., a character’s thoughts, words, or actions). RL.4.5 Explain major differences between poems, drama, and prose, and refer to the structural elements of poems (e.g., verse, rhythm, meter) and drama (e.g., casts of characters, settings, descriptions, dialogue, stage direc- tions) when writing or speaking about a text. RL.4.6 Compare and contrast the point of view from which different stories are narrated, including the difference between fi rst- and third-person narrations. RL.4.7 Make connections between the text of a story or drama and a visual or oral presentation of the text, identifying where each version refl ects specifi c descriptions and directions in the text. RL.4.9 Compare and contrast the treatment of similar themes and topics (e.g., opposition of good and evil) and pat- terns of events (e.g., the quest) in stories, myths, and traditional literature from different cultures. At fi rst glance, it is easy to see why these standards were chosen; it is possible for students to use the skills that are embedded in all of these standards. However, potential does not mean the task is aligned, nor that the standard should be listed as a unit outcome. The question goes back to EnsuringHighQualityCurr.indd 36EnsuringHighQualityCurr.indd 36 10/4/16 2:46 PM10/4/16 2:46 PMLalor, A. D. M. (2016). Ensuring high-quality curriculum : How to design, revise, or adopt curriculum aligned to student success. Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development. Created from liberty on 2021-11-14 22:39:02. Copyright © 2016. Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development. All rights reserved. Alignment to Standards 3 7 alignment and to what degree the tasks within the unit align to the stan- dards. Based on this understanding, some of these standards are really just being addressed in the unit. The students are using the skills, but those skills are not the central focus of the unit. Further examination will reveal which standards are being addressed and which are being taught and assessed. Throughout the unit, students read a variety of diff erent text and fi lm collections that may include the following: • The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick, the fi lm of the same title, and Toys! Amazing Stories Behind Some Great Inventions by Don Wulff son • The Lorax by Dr. Seuss, the fi lm of the same title, a nonfi ction text on protecting the environment, and a folktale • The poem “Little Red Riding Hood and the Wolf ” by Roald Dahl, a picture book of Little Red Riding Hood, and Lon Po Po: A Red-Riding Hood Story from China by Ed Young Students complete various activities and participate in discussions about the texts and fi lms, referring to details and examples that support their thinking. These activities allow students to identify and examine com- mon themes within the collections of texts, and to examine the unique structures of the diff erent types of texts. They also provide students with the opportunity to generate criteria to use when comparing texts and their fi lm versions. At diff erent points in the unit, students complete written responses in which they summarize the text and respond to the following questions, using specifi c evidence from the text: • What is the theme of the story? How do the details in the text reveal the theme? • How is the text structured? How does the structure aff ect the story? • In what ways does the fi lm refl ect the descriptions and direc- tions in the text? EnsuringHighQualityCurr.indd 37EnsuringHighQualityCurr.indd 37 10/4/16 2:46 PM10/4/16 2:46 PMLalor, A. D. M. (2016). Ensuring high-quality curriculum : How to design, revise, or adopt curriculum aligned to student success. Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development. Created from liberty on 2021-11-14 22:39:02. Copyright © 2016. Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development. All rights reserved. 38 Ensuring High-Quality Curriculum • How do the text and the fi lm diff er? How do these diff erences aff ect the story? • How do the texts and fi lms treat the same theme? Given what we know about strong alignment, we can identify the stan- dards that are taught and assessed when the task directions and the stan- dards are placed next to each other, as in Figure 2.4. The standards that strongly align with the tasks—meaning the tasks and standard are diffi – cult to separate from each other, and the intent of the standard remains intact—fall into either the category of “taught” or “taught and assessed.” What is the diff erence? When a standard is taught, the task occurs during instruction. We see this in the 4th grade unit when students complete activities and participate in discussions. Students have the opportunity to practice the skills embedded in the standard with teacher guidance and feedback. When standards are taught and assessed, this still occurs, but there is also an assessment opportunity that allows the teacher to check and monitor student understanding. The reader-response journals serve this purpose in the 4th grade example. Figure 2.4 shows which tasks and standards are aligned and also reveals that two of the standards identifi ed are not aligned to a specifi c task in the unit: • RL.4.3 Describe in depth a character, setting, or event in a story or drama, drawing on specifi c details in the text (e.g., a character’s thoughts, words, or actions). • RL.4.6 Compare and contrast the point of view from which diff erent stories are narrated, including the diff erence between fi rst- and third-person narrations. Some may argue that students will need to describe the characters, set- ting, and events of the story when they use key details from the text to identify the theme. It is also possible for students to compare and contrast the point of view from which diff erent stories are narrated by examining point of view in the diff erent collections of stories. However, although these things may occur, the unit has not been designed with the explicit intent to allow students to practice these skills and the teacher to assess EnsuringHighQualityCurr.indd 38EnsuringHighQualityCurr.indd 38 10/4/16 2:46 PM10/4/16 2:46 PMLalor, A. D. M. (2016). Ensuring high-quality curriculum : How to design, revise, or adopt curriculum aligned to student success. Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development. Created from liberty on 2021-11-14 22:39:02. Copyright © 2016. Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development. All rights reserved. Alignment to Standards 3 9 Figure 2.4 ANALYZING TASKS Standard Tasks RL.4.1 Refer to details and examples in a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.Students complete activities, participate in discussions, and respond to questions using details, examples, and evidence from text. RL.4.2 Determine a theme of a story, drama, or poem from details in the text; summarize the text.Students identify common themes. Students summarize the text. Reader Response: What is the theme of the story? How do the details in the text reveal the theme? RL.4.3 Describe in depth a character, setting, or event in a story or drama, drawing on specifi c details in the text (e.g., a character’s thoughts, words, or actions). RL.4.5 Explain major differences between poems, drama, and prose, and refer to the structural elements of poems (e.g., verse, rhythm, meter) and drama (e.g., casts of characters, settings, descriptions, dialogue, stage directions) when writing or speaking about a text.Students examine the unique structure of the different type of texts. Reader Response: How is the text structured? How does the structure affect the story? RL.4.6 Compare and contrast the point of view from which different stories are narrated, including the difference between fi rst- and third-person narrations. RL.4.7 Make connections between the text of a story or drama and a visual or oral presentation of the text, identifying where each version refl ects specifi c descriptions and directions in the text.Students identify criteria to use when com- paring text and fi lm. Reader Response: In what ways does the fi lm refl ect the descriptions and directions in the text? How does it differ? How do these differences affect the story? RL.4.9 Compare and contrast the treatment of similar themes and topics (e.g., opposition of good and evil) and patterns of events (e.g., the quest) in stories, myths, and traditional literature from different cultures.Students identify and examine common themes within the collections of texts. Reader Response: How do the texts in the collection treat the same theme? EnsuringHighQualityCurr.indd 39EnsuringHighQualityCurr.indd 39 10/4/16 2:46 PM10/4/16 2:46 PMLalor, A. D. M. (2016). Ensuring high-quality curriculum : How to design, revise, or adopt curriculum aligned to student success. Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development. Created from liberty on 2021-11-14 22:39:02. Copyright © 2016. Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development. All rights reserved. 40 Ensuring High-Quality Curriculum them. We can consider these standards to be addressed only. The teacher may ask students to draw upon these skills or the skills may inadvertently occur, but they are not explicitly at the center of instruction and assess- ment in this unit. Why is it important to distinguish between standards that are addressed, taught, and taught and assessed? Why not just include all the standards? One reason is practicality. The 4th grade example just presented describes in depth the reading literature portion of the unit. Students are also reading informational texts, writing, and speaking and listening within the unit. Including all standards from all areas would create a massive and unmanageable unit that could potentially go on for several months, therefore defeating the intent of organizing curriculum into units. The other reason is focus. Educational researchers such as Rick Stig- gins, W. James Popham, Robert Marzano, and Susan Brookhart have repeatedly discussed the impact of clear learning targets on students (Marzano, Pickering, & Pollock, 2001; Moss & Brookhart, 2012; Popham, 1999; Stiggins, 1997). Prioritizing the standards within units will help teachers to identify learning targets, share those targets with their stu- dents, and develop and use appropriate learning activities. Students will be aware of what they need to know and be able to do, have plenty of opportunities to practice the skills within the standards, and receive appropriate feedback and guidance from their teachers. Prioritizing a set of standards in one unit is not done at the expense of other standards. When standards are carefully organized throughout the year, students will have the opportunity to practice the skills related to all standards, which is the focus of Chapter 3. Taught and Assessed Standards in the Content Areas The same concept of taught and assessed standards applies to the content areas as well. The diff erence, however, will depend on the specifi city of the EnsuringHighQualityCurr.indd 40EnsuringHighQualityCurr.indd 40 10/4/16 2:46 PM10/4/16 2:46 PMLalor, A. D. M. (2016). Ensuring high-quality curriculum : How to design, revise, or adopt curriculum aligned to student success. Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development. Created from liberty on 2021-11-14 22:39:02. Copyright © 2016. Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development. All rights reserved. Alignment to Standards 4 1 content-area standards or content understandings. In many cases, these standards or content understandings are vague and open to interpretation. For example, consider the following content understandings from across the United States. According to the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for Social Studies, the student is expected to understand “the domestic and international impact of U.S. participation in World War II. The student is expected to identify reasons for U.S. involvement in World War II, including Italian, German, and Japanese dictatorships and their aggression, especially the attack on Pearl Harbor” (Texas Education Agency, 2010). In California, students are expected to “analyze Ameri- ca’s participation in World War II. They examine the origins of American involvement in the war, with an emphasis on the events that precipitated the attack on Pearl Harbor” (California Academic Content Standards Commission [CACSC], 2000). In New York State, the following concep- tual understandings describe what students need to know: 11.10 The United States participated in World War II as part of an Allied force to prevent military conquests by Ger- many, Italy, and Japan. United States policies during and immediately after World War II had a signifi cant impact on American political, economic, and social life. 11.10.a Multiple factors contributed to a rise in authoritarian forms of government and ideologies such as fascism, communism, and socialism after World War I. 11.10.b The United States and the international community did not respond with force to aggressive German and Japa- nese actions that violated international treaties agreed to following World War I. 11.10.c In the 1930s, public opinion slowly moved toward supporting a more active United States involvement in world affairs. 11.10.d United States involvement moved from a policy of neu- trality at the beginning of World War II and evolved into a pro-Allied position, culminating in direct and active United States involvement. (New York State, 2013) EnsuringHighQualityCurr.indd 41EnsuringHighQualityCurr.indd 41 10/4/16 2:46 PM10/4/16 2:46 PMLalor, A. D. M. (2016). Ensuring high-quality curriculum : How to design, revise, or adopt curriculum aligned to student success. Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development. Created from liberty on 2021-11-14 22:39:02. Copyright © 2016. Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development. All rights reserved. 42 Ensuring High-Quality Curriculum Each of these documents provides information about what students should know about the United States entry into World War II, but none of them—regardless of the length of the description—off er specifi cs as to exactly what needs to be taught, what students need to be able to do with that knowledge, or how they can demonstrate that knowledge. For the concept of taught and assessed to apply to these content stan- dards, teachers fi rst have to identify the “nonnegotiable.” What exactly will students need to know, for example, about German, Italian, and Japa- nese aggression before the start of World War II? What should they know about the attack on Pearl Harbor? I have sat through many conversations in which teachers have discussed what they teach and what they do not teach in a unit of study, and there is rarely unanimous agreement. It is through these conversations, however, that teachers unpack the curric- ulum documents and identify the specifi cs about what needs to be taught and assessed. Additional Implications for Evaluating, Creating, or Revising Curriculum Certain indicators show that all the standards identifi ed within the unit have been given equal weight. One is when all or most of the standards have been listed in a unit, as in the 4th grade example. Possibility does not indicate alignment. There need to be suffi cient and focused practice and assessment opportunities within the unit for a standard to be considered taught and assessed. Including all standards in one unit does not allow for the necessary time to practice the embedded skills. Even with the identi- fi cation of taught and assessed standards, standards will need to be revis- ited throughout the year to provide opportunities for reinforcement and attainment. A second indication that careful thought has not been given to the iden- tifi cation of standards is when the standards identifi ed in the overview or introduction to the unit are not the same as those identifi ed in individual lessons. This mismatch suggests that the standards being taught are not EnsuringHighQualityCurr.indd 42EnsuringHighQualityCurr.indd 42 10/4/16 2:46 PM10/4/16 2:46 PMLalor, A. D. M. (2016). Ensuring high-quality curriculum : How to design, revise, or adopt curriculum aligned to student success. Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development. Created from liberty on 2021-11-14 22:39:02. Copyright © 2016. Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development. All rights reserved. Alignment to Standards 4 3 necessarily those being assessed. Unfortunately, I have found this to be a common problem with textbooks and other learning materials. So the following question arises: What do you do if you are working with a curriculum in which it is diffi cult to determine the focus standards? The task then becomes to prioritize the standards by clearly identifying and labeling those that are taught and assessed, and distinguishing them from those that are addressed. For existing or published curriculums, this may mean reviewing existing tasks to determine which standards are truly being taught and assessed. Although this eff ort may take some time, it is time well spent. Without such distinction, the unit will not be cohe- sive, and it will be very diffi cult to ensure that all users of the curriculum will understand the focus of instruction and assessment. An additional strategy for ensuring that the standards identifi ed are those that are taught and assessed is to actually code the standard into the document and create a unit blueprint. For example, if the original 4th grade document were coded with the standards, it would look like this: Throughout the unit, students read a variety of different text and fi lm collections [RL.4.5, RL.4.9]. They complete different activities and participate in discussions about the texts and fi lms, refer- ring to details and examples that support their thinking [RL.4.1]. These activities allow students to identify and examine common themes [RL.4.2, RL.4.9] within the collections of texts, and exam- ine the unique structures of the different types of texts, including folktales, stories, nonfi ction, drama, and poems [RL.4.5]. They also provide students with the opportunity to identify criteria to use when comparing texts and their fi lm versions [RL.4.7]. At different points in the unit, students complete written responses in which they summarize the text [RL.4.2] and respond to the following questions, using specifi c evidence from the text [RL.4.1]: • What is the theme of the story? How do the details in the text reveal the theme? [RL.4.2] • How is the text structured? How does the structure affect the story? [RL.4.5] EnsuringHighQualityCurr.indd 43EnsuringHighQualityCurr.indd 43 10/4/16 2:46 PM10/4/16 2:46 PMLalor, A. D. M. (2016). Ensuring high-quality curriculum : How to design, revise, or adopt curriculum aligned to student success. Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development. Created from liberty on 2021-11-14 22:39:02. Copyright © 2016. Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development. All rights reserved. 44 Ensuring High-Quality Curriculum • In what ways does the fi lm refl ect the descriptions and direc- tions in the text? [RL.4.7] • How do the text and the fi lm differ? How do these differences affect the story? [RL.4.7] • How do the texts or fi lms treat the same theme? [RL.4.9] A benefi t to coding the standards as the unit is created is that it ensures that the tasks within the unit are strongly aligned and can be taught and assessed. Teachers can make decisions about the type of texts, activities, and assessments as they draft the unit. The process also reveals areas where alignment between a task and a standard is weak so that that area can be revised and made stronger, or when a standard selected for a unit early in the design process no longer makes sense and should be removed from the unit. Summary: Alignment to Standards Two critical areas to examine when evaluating or designing curriculum for standards alignment are (1) degree of alignment and (2) communi- cation of standards that are taught and assessed. Although curriculum documents may claim alignment, the degree to which the curriculum is aligned may vary. Tasks can be weakly, moderately, or strongly aligned to standards. A quality curriculum will ensure strong alignment, meaning the tasks and standard are diffi cult to distinguish from each other and the intent of the standard remains intact. Listing a standard in a unit of study is not enough to claim that it is suffi ciently emphasized throughout the unit. Standards that are addressed, taught, and taught and assessed may all be included in one unit. A high-quality curriculum document will communicate the diff er- ence between these standards or include only those that are taught and assessed, allowing teachers to make purposeful decisions about what to teach and how to teach it and to share learning targets with their students. Students should be given the opportunity to practice the skills embedded in the standards and receive guidance and feedback from their teachers before being assessed. EnsuringHighQualityCurr.indd 44EnsuringHighQualityCurr.indd 44 10/4/16 2:46 PM10/4/16 2:46 PMLalor, A. D. M. (2016). Ensuring high-quality curriculum : How to design, revise, or adopt curriculum aligned to student success. Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development. Created from liberty on 2021-11-14 22:39:02. Copyright © 2016. Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development. All rights reserved. Alignment to Standards 4 5 Understanding degree of alignment can help educators identify those tasks in need of revision and revise them to increase the degree of align- ment between the task and the standards. In addition, it can help them to analyze the standards to reveal those that are taught and assessed, as well as those that are simply addressed. The coding of standards will ensure both alignment and the inclusion of standards that are taught and assessed in a unit of study. Tools and Activities for Evaluation, Design, and Revision • Degree of Alignment—This activity is helpful in establishing a common understanding of the degree of alignment between tasks and standards (see Figure 2.1 for an example). With this understanding, edu- cators can evaluate tasks in an existing curriculum to determine their degree of alignment and, when necessary, revise them so they strongly align to the standards. Educators can also use this understanding to design strongly aligned tasks. • Analyzing Tasks for Strong Alignment—This activity allows educators to see the connection between what students are asked to do and the standard itself (see Figure 2.2 for an example). It is helpful in clarifying the criteria for a strongly aligned task. • Determining Alignment in a Curriculum—A chart like the one in Figure 2.3 can be used for sampling tasks within a curriculum to ensure that they are strongly aligned and revise those that are not. • Coding Standards—Coding of standards into tasks ensures strong alignment and identifi es weakly or moderately aligned tasks in need of revision (see example on pp. 43–44). Checklist for Evaluation, Design, and Revision The tasks are strongly aligned to the standards. It is diffi cult to distinguish between the task and the standard, all skills identifi ed in the standard are included in the task, and the task honors the intent of the standard. The standards that are taught and assessed are clearly identifi ed and distinguished from those that are addressed. EnsuringHighQualityCurr.indd 45EnsuringHighQualityCurr.indd 45 10/4/16 2:46 PM10/4/16 2:46 PMLalor, A. D. M. (2016). Ensuring high-quality curriculum : How to design, revise, or adopt curriculum aligned to student success. Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development. Created from liberty on 2021-11-14 22:39:02. Copyright © 2016. Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development. All rights reserved.