Every time I looked at my final project, I had a different idea, and the more I thought about it, the more questions popped in my head. What Topic should I choose? What planning format will be the best? What unit should I choose: a familiar, previously taught, or a new one? What experiences am I looking for? What changes am I experiencing? What changes am I hoping to see? Many questions and some answers, not all the answers yet.
In the course of my teaching career, I have tried many planners and planning formats and have found a few very effective ones (for me).
The 1st one which I really like is DOK ( Depth of Knowledge) with 4 levels: Recall and Reproduction; Skills and Concepts; Strategic Thinking and Extended Thinking. It helps generate ideas for different levels/ steps and relevant activities and assessments.
The UDL format ( Universal Design for Learning) format comes as one of my favorites as it has the 3 most important questions with corresponding activities: Why? ( Engagement) What? ( Representation) How? ( Action and Expression)
Through the course 1 content, I have been also introduced to ISTE standards and new planning formats that give lots of ideas for broadening experiences, encouraging growth, and empowering learners. Simultaneously, I have revisited Bloom’s Taxonomy and discovered the Revised Digital Bloom’s Taxonomy and how it can be effectively combined with SAMR Model to create the Pedagogy Wheel.
After careful consideration, I have decided to try using the COETAIL UbD planner.
Which one is the best fit for me and my school? Which elements are the most useful and effective? I am still in the process of discovering that. I use the Lesson Flow Planning framework with any planning format I choose as it helps me to align the steps in my planning with the relevant IT tools, tools, and activities that grab attention; tools and activities connected to prior knowledge; tools that enhance learning experiences and activities, redefined by the use of Technology. To plan my lessons/ units I follow 5 Part lesson Plan: 1. Hook; 2. Directed Instruction; 3. Guided Practice; 4. Independent Practice; 5. Wrap-Up; and then decide HOW, WHERE, and WHEN to integrate IT to help to achieve the goals set.
I have chosen the topic I haven’t taught previously for many reasons. First of all, I wanted a completely new experience. I also wanted to have an opportunity to work on it later, possibly with my Technology Coach ( we have started our collaboration last month). The Topic I chose is related to innovations and, obviously, technology, which attracted me too ( I guess I am just fascinated by how technology is taking over the classrooms and the ways we live our lives).
Throughout the planning process, I have realized how my thinking and planning are gradually changing to include various newly discovered ideas and methodologies. I have mixed and matched various formats and ideas in the process of discovering the perfect fit for me and my current school. With ideas from the Course 1 materials and ideas and sources shared by COETAILers, I was able to start creating a unit planner from the scratch, integrating IT and an interdisciplinary approach.
Here is my final project. Not really final, still work in progress, as I am looking forward to collaborating with my Grade 5 team and Technology Coach, starting it with my class and considering the students’ voices and ideas, as well as getting more ideas from my next COETAIL course. Detailed weekly plans will follow.