Today I put some final touches on a draft lesson plan, and it was more of a struggle than I’m used to. I like planning learning experiences and writing curriculum. Something about organizing my thoughts and ideas into a structured format resonates with my personality. That, however, isn’t the case when I’m not thoroughly versed in the topic. The learning experience I was planning today incorporated a new technology that I’m not an “expert” in yet, so it was harder to write. Without knowing all of the possible hiccups, it is hard to plan for all eventualities.
The planning started by thinking about what I wanted the students to be able to do at the end of the lesson. I’m well versed in the “Understanding by Design,” or UbD, approach. In UbD there are three stages of design: Stage 1 Identifying Desired Results, Stage 2 Determining Acceptable Evidence, Stage 3 Planning Learning Experiences, and Instruction (Wiggins & McTighe, p. 18). Stage 1 was relatively easy to identify. I want the students to be able to decorate a cake with fondant and successfully use circuit stickers to make their cake light up. Stage 2 wasn’t too difficult either. The cake must have colorful 3D fondant objects, and at least one light must illuminate using the circuit stickers. Stage 3, however, was challenging. Since I haven’t used this technology in the classroom before I don’t have a clear idea of how this will go. To overcome this problem I will ask my independent study student to complete the project ahead of the full class so we can see what trouble he runs into. That will allow me to be slightly more prepared.
The lesson plan draft is called “Can we make a cake light up?” . Please share your thoughts in the form of a comment.
Wiggins, G., & McTighe, J. (2005). Understanding by design. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.