Learning Design


Preparing lessons focused on competencies allows teachers to design with the end in mind as they integrate content and process skills, develop student-centered learning targets, and frame assessments and follow up steps to guide the student learning process.

Key questions in backwards design and student centered learning include

  • What do we want students to know (skill, competency and standard)?

  • How will we know if they learn it?

  • What will we do if they do? or don't?


Work Samples

EXPERIMENTS IN THE FIELD OR LAB BUILD AGENGY WHEN STUDENTS:

  • PREDICT AND HYPOTHESIZE

  • CONNECT BIG IDEAS IN SYSTEMS

  • DETERMINE IMPORTANCE OF TASKS

  • QUESTION

  • IMAGINE

I designed this learning experience so that students could guide their own learning and connect real-life experience with classroom content and develop competencies such as learning interdependently, sustaining wellness for them and natural systems over time, and reasoning about connections.

PROJECT-BASED LEARNING BUILDS CONNECTIONS WHEN STUDENTS:

  • VISUALIZE PATTERNS

  • CONNECT AND RELATE

  • PREDICT AND HYPOTHESIZE

  • CONNECT BIG IDEAS IN SYSTEMS

  • DETERMINE IMPORTANCE OF TASKS


I designed this learning experience to help students expand their understanding of ocean systems and challenge their beliefs about sharks and recognize the impermanence of reefs without action. Providing multiple avenues of choice allowed students to select learning experiences that spoke to their interests.

SIMPLE TECHNIQUES LIKE CONCEPT MAPS BUILD UNDERSTANDING WHEN STUDENTS:

  • VISUALIZE PATTERNS

  • CONNECT AND RELATE

  • PLAN

  • ADJUST

I created these maps for each unit to help students ask big questions, make connections, and visualize the learning as they read and took notes. While this is traditional, it deepened the learning for many and built understanding of a tool for critical thinking about connections.



INTEGRATING SEL INTO ACADEMIC SETTINGS BUILDS AGENGY WHEN STUDENTS:

  • CONNECT AND RELATE

  • PLAN FOR THE FUTURE

  • REFLECT ON DAILY DECISIONS

  • BECOME MORE SELF AWARE

  • HANDLE CONFLICT

  • BUILD COMMUNITY

  • ADJUST

I developed a variety of lessons throughout the year to integrate the core SEL competencies from CASEL and to demonstrate a focus on connecting academics and learning to self-understanding and social interactions. Students must achieve a sense of belonging (safety and engagement) before academic success. The circle represents the areas of self-awareness vs social awareness and the resulting responsible decision making we hope all students develop over time.

Framework to Build Student Agency

Lesson Plate Template
Assessment of student learning
Learning Target Development
INSTRUCTIONAL FRAMEWORK COMPONENTS
Next Steps for Student Learning Development

"Perhaps the most important difference of all between standards-based learning and competency-based learning is the commitment to the student."

- Chris Sturgis of CompetencyWorks