+ CCSS Implementation: Designing Significant Learning Experiences Les Bois

CCSS Implementation:
Designing Significant Learning Experiences
Les Bois
March 5, 2013
Boise State Writing Project
Designing significant learning
experiences using inquiry
Why Inquiry?
Being told is the opposite of finding out –Jimmy Britton
Correspondence Concept – student thinking matches expert
Relevant – motivating!
Works for deep understanding AND application—transfer to
new and authentic situations
Allows for differentiation
Meeting the Common Core State Standards
Authentic collaboration
(SMITH AND WILHELM, 2002; 2006)
Step 1: Select your standards
Step 1: Select a rich, complex standard that could
serve as the focus of a unit.
Then select one or two standards from each of the
strands that logically fit with your central standard.
Pull those cards.
These standards will serve as the foundation of your unit
Coding of the standards
Type of text
Grade level
Standard number
R=Reading (writing, speaking/listening, language)
L=Literature (Informational, historical, science/technical)
8=8th grade
1= standard #
Step 2: Draft the inquiry
question that will frame your
Essential questions invite students into
disciplinary conversations and drive their
learning throughout the unit.
Characteristics of essential
Engaging. That is, it offers potential for intriguing students and
motivating student learning
Enduring. That is, it leads to learning big ideas that have value beyond
the classroom
At the heart of a discipline. That is, it is used by practitioners to do the
subject, and solve problems and create knowledge in that subject area
In need of discovery. That is, it involves a background of foundational
principles, rich concepts, theories and procedures that require
Elements of good essential
•center on major issues, problems, concerns, interests
relevant to students' lives and to their communities
 meaningful and purposeful
emotive force and intellectual bite
invite an exploration of ideas
encourage collaboration among students, teachers, and
the community
Essential questions are not…
 Answerable
through information retrieval; they
require operating on information to see
patterns and implications, and often requires
developing new sets of data through critical
inquiry on the part of students
 Understood
 Easily
in one day or even one week
agreed upon
Examples of good essential
In what ways does art reflect culture as well as shape it?
What are the costs and benefits of genetic engineering?
Is it ever acceptable to resist an established government?
What are the pros and cons of technological progress?
What determines value?
What makes a good relationship?
What geometry concepts would be essential to build a new
gymnasium, including the ordering of materials?
How does our culture shape and limit our beliefs and actions?
Common problems with
essential questions
•Merely information retrieval; question does not
require creating data or constructing new
•Too generic
•Too narrow and specific
•Not intriguing
Revising essential questions
Topic: Relationships
Question: Where do our marriage questions come from? (info retrieval)
Revision: What makes a good relationship?
Topic: Civil Rights
Question: How did we win the fight for civil rights? (begs the question)
Revision: What are basic human rights and how can they be secured and
Topic: Survival
Question: Why is it bad that animals are going extinct? (leading)
Revision: Who survives?
Topic: Identity
Question: Who am I? (generic)
Revision: Where do I belong? What shapes our view of the world?
+Step 2: Draft an Essential Question
Which essential question is the most powerful?
A) How can we be leaders?
B) What makes a great leader?
C) Was President Lincoln a good leader?
+Step 2: Draft an Essential Question
Which essential question is the most powerful?
A) What is a story?
B) How do stories change us?
C) What makes a story memorable?
+Step #2: Draft an Essential Question
Which essential question is the most powerful?
A) What needs to be changed in the world?
B) Should people change the world?
C) How can people change the world?
+Step #2: Draft an Essential Question
Which essential question is the most powerful?
A) Who should have access to the American dream?
B) Does everyone have an opportunity to achieve the
American dream?
C) What is the American dream?
Step 3: Design the performance
Performance Task
 Summative
Assessment – Allow students to
demonstrate (and deepen!) their understanding of
concepts and processes.
 Create
an immediate venue for application of learning.
 Establish
a goal students are working towards
throughout the unit
Step 3: Design the
performance task
Components of a Performance Task
Video clips
Essay, report,
story, script
Audio clips
Graphs, charts,
other visuals
Simulated Internet
graphics, other
Responses to
 for
etc.high school.
Use 1-2 stimuli for Grade 3. Use up to 5 stimuli
Emphasis on stimuli related to science history and social studies
Step 3: Design the
performance task
Specifics of Task
Topic: Food production
Product/Performance: Argument
Audience: Idaho Statesman readers
Purpose: Argue for or against current system of food
Speaker/Role: Concerned citizen whose future is impacted
Performance task template
Step 4: Select a frontloading
activity to activate students’
prior knowledge
Why frontload?
Supports students in the acquisition of new content
Provides motivation
Builds sense of purpose
Helps students make critical connections to content
Activates procedural knowledge
Makes material more personal and accessible
Helps prepare students for what’s to come
Step 4: Select a frontloading
activity to activate students’
prior knowledge
KWL chart
Ranking scenarios
Quick writes
Anticipation Guide
List, group. label
Silent discussion
Frontloading example: See, Think,
What do you See?
I see girls yelling.
What are you thinking?
Why are they yelling at the
girl in front?
What are you wondering about?
I wonder how the girl in front feels?
Frontloading example: Frayer
4 lines
4 sides
4 corners
Parallel lines
A shape with
4 sides and 4 lines
My bedroom wall
Table top
Sticky note
American cheese slices
Stop sign
Frontloading example:
The Smiths bought a new swing set for their children and put it near the back edge of their property. The Jones,
who lived in the lot behind them, installed a six-foot wooden fence along the back border so they would not have to see
the swingset or listen to the children. If they saw the Smiths walking in the street, however, the Jones would wave. Are
the Jones good members of the community?
Yes ___ No ___ Criterion: _____________________________________________________________________________________
Mrs. Kravitz is concerned. Her new neighbor – name unknown – has a motorcycle and wears all
black leather. He sports a beard, wears sunglasses on cloudy days as well as sunny ones and
sometimes roars home at odd hours of the night. Out of concern for herself and her other neighbors,
Mrs. Kravitz keeps a close eye on the motorcyclist by gazing out her window every chance she gets. Is
Mrs. Kravitz a good member of her comminity?
Yes ___ No ___ Criterion: _____________________________________________________________________
Opinionnaires are excellent frontloading devices because students are required to make and justify decisions
regarding the inquiry. This requires activating their background beliefs and experiences. They can return to
the opinionnaire through the unit to discuss the responses of various characters, authors, or experts. As they
do, they are practicing making inferences, seeing connections, justifying conclusions, and creating miniarguments using data and interpretive warrants – all necessary to develop informed positions and afford true
Frontloading: Opinionaire
Identify whether you agree (A) or disagree (D) with each
statement. Put a star next to the statements about which you
feel strongly.
1. _______ Other people define you by the people you hang out
2. _______ Physical appearance doesn’t matter among friends.
3. _______ I have many friends who are nothing like me.
4. _______ Kids who act “weird” deserve the treatment they get
from their peers.
5. _______ A person’s parents are his/her best friends.
6. _______ It’s better to have a large group of friends than just one
or two.
7. _______ Your status in your peer group affects how you feel
about yourself.
8. _______ It’s okay to change how you act in front of different
groups of peers.
+ Step 5: Plan instructional
Provide extended practice in miniature to help students gain practical expert
knowledge, especially through meaningful social activity. Principles of sequencing:
to Hard
to Home to Far From Home
to Imagined
to Unfamiliar
to Written
to Long
to Independent
and Socially Supported to Individual
to Abstract
Supported to Purely Textual
(Ideas for sequencing from Wilhelm, 2007; Smith and Wilhelm, 2003; Wilhelm, Baker and Hackett, 2001)
Instructional Strategy Bank
 The
instructional strategy bank can be
found on our wikispaces page. It has links,
descriptions and examples.
Romeo and Juliet Unit
Before the CCSS
9.LA.2.3.2 Determine characters’ traits by what the
characters say about themselves in narration, dialogue,
and soliloquy.
Introduce Shakespeare by viewing a biography of his life
Read selected sonnets
Using the sonnet template, write a sonnet of your own
Translate and mark iambic pentameter in sonnets
Read Romeo and Juliet.
Take quiz over Act I etc
Using Romeo’s soliloquy in Act III list the character
traits he reveals.
Write an essay and compare and contrast two themes
found in R & J (dark/light; love/hate; fate/free will;
secrets/public knowledge)
Review for EOC
Healthy Relationships Unit
After the CCSS
Essential Question: What defines a healthy relationship between
friends, parents girlfriends/boyfriends?
Frontload: Prioritize relationship assets in groups. Support your
groups’ decisions with specific examples.
Using only the Prologue to Act I, make inferences about the culture
and the time of the play. What can you expect from this piece?
What assumptions does the chorus make about the audience?
View Act I of Zeffereli’s version of Romeo and Juliet. In groups,
summarize. Compare this to Act I of the play.
Assess the quality of the relationship Romeo and Juliet have during
Act III.
Healthy Relationships Unit
After the CCSS
Justify Lord Capulet’s choice of Paris a a husband for Juliet in groups. Support
your justifications with inferences and evidence from the play.
Analyze how Juliet develops over the course of the play using her interactions
with with other characters as well as specific soliloquies. How does her
character’s development advance themes of the play?
Judge the effectiveness of asides in character development in Acts II and III.
Argue for the validity or invalidity of teenage love using concepts about
relationships and ideas from Romeo and Juliet.
Prioritize your own healthy relationship requirements. What are your
must haves? Are they negotiable?
Culminating Project: Create a multi modal portfolio (video, art, writing)
which answers the essential question for you. What defines a healthy
relationship for you?
Africa Unit
Before the CCSS
Watch a video about ancient Timbuktu. Answer questions.
Read the textbook chapter about colonialism in Africa.
Listen to a lecture about colonialism in Africa.
Take a quiz.
Listen to a about the African slave trade.
Take a quiz in which students label a map with the slave
Take a multiple choice and short answer test.
Change Unit
After the CCSS
Essential Question: How does change happen?
Frontload: Participate in a land-grab activity.
See-Think-Wonder with the political cartoon “The Rhodes Colossus.”
Make connections between the land-grab and the cartoon.
Students engage in a Berlin Conference simulation. Compare the
results of our Berlin Conference with what really happened.
Compare a picture of Johannesburg in 1886 with a picture of
Johannesburg in 1896. Students create hypotheses about what
Jigsaw articles from different perspectives – Africans, miners,
colonizers. Students revise their earlier hypotheses.
Change Unit
After the CCSS
In small groups students collaboratively craft a speech that they will
present to fellow historians at an African history conference about why
they believe that the discovery of gold was a turning point in the history
of Africa.
Students read about the African slave trade and create maps to show
the countries involved and the movement of people and goods.
Culminating project: Students work in small groups to research
different countries in Africa. Each group creates a page on our class
wiki about their country with their analysis of how it has changed over
the course of history.
Adapted from Jeffrey Wilhelm’s texts Engaging Readers and Writers Through Inquiry & Inquiring Minds
Learn to Read and Write by Anna Daley, BSWP TC
Scaffold Conceptual and Procedural Skills
through Sequencing
Frame the Unit with an
Essential Question
Frontload Concepts, Procedures
and Prior Schema and Motivate
Sequenced, Cyclical, Engaging Instruction to
Practice Concepts and Procedures
Gradual Release of Responsibility as Students
Work Toward Culminating Project, Collecting
Assess Learning with a
Culminating Project that
represents the students’ answer
to the EQ
March 5th – Overview - Transforming a unit
March 12th – Draft essential question
Create performance task
March 19th – Plan frontloading activity
Plan instructional sequence
April 2nd – regular PLC
April 9th – Share units within PLC groups
April 16th – Share units within PLC groups
+ Check-In
How can we prepare students to successfully perform
the culminating task?
Learning Goals & Targets . . . . . . . . . . Culminating Performance Tasks
Daily Learning Experiences
+ Step #6: Design Learning
Experiences – Example
Primary Source Document Exploration:
The Context
Essential Question: How should we use our power?
Culminating Project: Poster presentation comparing
historical and contemporary human rights violations and
analyzing how we can use our power to promote and protect
human rights.
Lesson: Analyze primary source documents concerning the
Voyage of the St. Louis and develop a response to the
guiding question.
+ Overview
Essential Question:
How can we use the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) to
guide us in engaging students in significant learning experiences?
Learning Targets:
Define “significant learning experiences” and generate principles of
practice based on your definition.
Develop an instructional unit that is aligned with the CCSS and
engages your students in significant learning experiences.
Ccss cards
Ccss planner –on which they will list their standards ?
Claims list (math and reading)
Step by step cheat sheet
Performance task template
Performance task example (warnock & Paula)
Writing essential questions article
Example units – Africa and Romeo and Juliet
Instructional strategies bank
Performance assessment ideas
Brainstorming sheet ??
Math planning sheet (Ramey)
What do I want the kids to know
How are they going to know it
Where do they get the stuff
how do they get the stuff
Select your standard
Framing the xxx with an essential questions
Write your Performance assessment - genre sheet?
Fill in the middle
Before and after examples
Math will be a little different
There are a lot of resources out there – we don’t need to
reinvent the wheel. But it is important to go through the
process so when we come across those resources we know
what to look for and we know how to tweak in and make it our
own. Rarely is there something out there that I use exactly as
Think about how you currently design a unit. Most of plan
around specific content we want/need to teach – maybe a
book we want to read with the kids. Try something different
– start with one of the ccss standards.
Think about one of your own signigcan learning