Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Collaborative Learning Design

Curriculum revision has been a main topic of discussion across disciplines this fall. Soon our PLC group which includes interventionists, coaches, special educators, classroom teachers, teaching assistants and administrators will meet to discuss a signature unit we facilitate at fourth grade, The Immigration/Family History Museum Project.

The project grew over the past few years in response to our multicultural student population, students' events related to holidays and other matters, and the social studies curriculum. This will be our first opportunity as a new team to discuss and possibly develop a curriculum unit together that embeds new standards and tools.

I'm wondering what shape the discussion will take, and I'm looking forward to the the collaboration.

As I think ahead, I believe some of the important considerations will include the following:
  • Do we want to continue teaching this unit?
  • What are the overarching objectives of the unit--why do we teach it?
  • What learning outcomes do we hope to achieve with this unit?
  • What tools and resources will we employ as we embark on the unit?
  • Where will there be room to embed essential skill development and differentiated learning?
  • What tech tools and projects are a good match for this unit.
  • What will the time line look like, and will the unit culminate with a final grade-level celebration?
As I think about the upcoming discussion, I think it might be best if we begin with some or all of these questions.  It will be interesting to hear what many with differing perspectives have to say, but if we keep the conversation and design centered on student learning, it's likely that we'll end up with effective, engaging learning design. This is one situation where the PLC model can be very effective.

Available Resources
Learning Design Template
Digital Kits for Student Projects
Project Details
Devlin Project Details
Coming to America Text for Reading Response Practice
(book/video available in the library)
Goodbye 382 Shin Dang Dong text for open response
(book available in library--takes place in Brighton, MA)
The Gold Threaded Dress background slide show