Curriculum Design Process

Lewis Central adheres to a backwards design process that merges Concept Based Instruction (Dr. Lynn Erickson) and Understanding by Design (Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe) using state mandated content as well as local standards developed from state, national and industry standards.

Units of instruction are built on important concepts, and relationships among those concepts, that transfer learning in the form of Enduring Understandings and Essential Questions developed to provoke continuous inquiry. We begin with Stage One of Understanding by Design (UbD): Desired Results. In addition to Enduring Understandings and Essential Questions Transfer Goals are developed, standards identified, and the knowledge and skills students must possess to successfully transfer their learning conceptually are outlined. Once this has been established the next stage is Determining the Evidence. We ask the question: How will we know when our students have reached the Desired Results? Many times this will come in the form of a Performance Task, with additional summative assessments along the way.

After we establish, conceptually, where we want students to be and have outlined the knowledge and skills of a unit that will scaffold learning to reach the conceptual level; developed the summative assessments that will determine student success, we then turn to Stage Three of UbD: Learning Experiences and formative assessments to guide daily instruction within the unit.

This planning occurs within grade or course level collaborative teams of teachers, whenever possible. Targeted instructional strategies are identified, but overall these strategies assist our instructors in teaching for understanding, categorized into three areas: transfer, make meaning, and acquire knowledge and/or skill. Effective instruction to facilitate each of these is essential in all our classrooms.

Teaching for Understanding

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