Unpacking Benchmarks
Capstone  Big Idea
Benchmark Alignment
Project Based Units
Essential Questions
Mastery Learning Goals
Evidences of Mastery
Description of Assessment
Performance Criteria/Rubric
Learning Activities
Sequencing of Instruction


Phase 2 distills the Capstone Big Idea into essential questions which frame the student inquiry process.  Mastery Learning Goals are written when we take the benchmarks chosen in Phase 1 and make them connect to specific project-based experiences.



What Essential Questions/ Critical Problem encourages students to uncover/probe deeper into knowledge in all six disciplines?

How do we engage our students around the concept of ______________?

Essential Questions…

             Have no simple “right” answer; they are meant to be argued

             Are designed to provoke and sustain inquiry, while focusing learning and final performances

             Often address the conceptual or philosophical foundations of a discipline

             Raise other important questions

             Naturally and appropriately recur

             Simulate vital, ongoing rethinking of big ideas, assumptions and prior lessons

List of Learning Goals

List of what we want students to understand

Levels of inquiry and differentiation


The identified capstone benchmarks have been operationalized as capstone mastery learning goals that describe clearly the expected student performance aligned to the benchmarks. These Mastery Learning Goals will be plugged into project rubrics.

Learning Goals = What does it look like when students demonstrate mastery of the benchmarks?

Benchmarks: are the specific skill sets and proficiency levels that a student must meet in order to successfully earn a credit in subject. Each subject has a different number of benchmarks and students must master all benchmarks to earn their credit and advance to the next level.

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