In 250 words, please respond to the following questions with your perspective based on what you learned this week based on the assigned readings.
1) What specific insights about big ideas do we want students to leave with?
Read your peers answers and post a response
In Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Covey emphasizes the importance of “beginning with the end in mind” and always taking action with a clear vision in place. Utilizing the Understanding by Design model focuses on properly identifying what students should be able to do, what content standards should be achieved, and ultimately defining the skills we want our students to develop. One of the biggest insights we want our students to leave with is the concept of “big ideas” and understanding the enduring concepts from each unit of study. Through the effective use of graded and non-graded formative assessments, whether through informal checks, self-assessments, or authentic projects, teachers can ensure students will leave with an understanding of the big ideas.
Learning and retaining complex information can be difficult for students; in addition, with the sheer amount of content to be covered, the prospect of knowing all material can be daunting for both teachers and students. The concept of retaining just the “big ideas” of each unit is what makes the content manageable and enables students to master the desired skills. It is essential that students understand that comprehending and mastering the “big ideas” is the desired outcome and the vision for each unit. Through the acknowledgement of the unit’s enduring understandings and seeking to answer the essential questions, students will enter each unit with a clear understanding of the information they need to know, while leaving with a clear understanding of what skills they achieved and mastered.
What specific insights about big ideas do we want students to leave with?
I want my students to connect their knowledge with skills to a larger intellectual frame in the real world. Learning a language is not only learning grammar. It is much more than that. I want my students to connect their knowledge with their learning and be able to apply what they have learned in the real world beyond the classroom setting. For example, in a recent Spanish Unit “La comida”, the entire unit was to introduce students to the food and the different meals served in a day.
I had in mind to teach the curriculum in a way that at the end of the quarter, I could have exposed students to a Hispanic restaurant and would have them interact with the waiter who is a native Colombian for example. By exposing students to the real out of curriculum context in a real world conversation, they would learn the culture that revolves around the language, exposing them to a dialogue that they have not experienced, with expressions that are typical of a Colombian, including different words to name different items found in the menu, as well as different accents and expression that differ from what they have acquired during instruction at the classroom.
If given the opportunity to take the students (in middle school) to a restaurant to expose them to the cultural environment where they would have found a real waiter, would have exposed them to a context beyond their classroom setting and they could have been exposed to a broader content.
I would be pretty happy if I am able to teach my students beyond the classroom walls each day.