10 discussions due in 36 hours






Standards and Learning [CLO: 1]

Hansen, Buczynski, and Puckett state that, “In addition to helping students become competent with 21st century skills and tools, teachers are responsible for their students’ mastery of core subject-matter standards, or grade-level subject-matter criteria that identify what students need to know, understand, and be able to do (KUD).” (Hansen et al, 2015).

After reviewing Chapter 1 in your text, 10 Things you should know about the Common CorePreview the document, and Common Core State Standards (Links to an external site.):

· Explain how state standards came into existence. Discuss the impact of the standards movement on classroom instruction.

· How do the Common Core Standards intend to affect instruction in schools to meet both learner and societal goals?

· What are some pros and cons of the Common Core Standards from your own point of view?

Refer to Chapter 1 of your text, additional resources and your own insights/experiences.


Backward Design [CLOs: 1, 2, 3]

After reading Chapter 4, respond to the following questions:

· What is the purpose of backward planning or backward design (Wiggins & McTighe, 2005)?

· Describe the stages of the backward design process.

· How would you evaluate this approach to curriculum? How does it affect student learning?

Refer to Chapter 4 of your text, additional resources and your own insights/experiences.


CCSS to Instructional Objectives [CLOs:   1, 4]

In order to ensure your lesson is aligned to the CCSS framework, you may have to view exemplar text from the grade band in which your instruction is going to take place.  Appendix B of the Common Core provides exemplar texts for ELA or Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects. Select one exemplar text from a grade band of your choosing. Unpack one standard from that grade level, and write an instructional objective that includes a reference to the selected exemplar text. Use the following resources:

· Appendix B: Text Exemplars and Sample Performance Tasks (Links to an external site.)

· Unpacking a Standard (Links to an external site.)

Refer to Chapter 3 of your text, additional resources and your own insights/experiences.


Common Core Standards in Reading [CLOs: 2, 3]

The Common Core Standards reading standards focus on a holistic view of comprehension as an evolving skill and emphasize developing meaning from the beginning stages of reading development.  These standards are presented in grade level bands that are designed to facilitate critical reading and thinking skills.   

Choose one grade-level band, and read the reading standards presented in the Common Core Standards (Links to an external site.). How do the reading standards at this level support the development of critical reading and thinking skills? Give at least one example.

Refer to Chapter 3 of your text, additional resources and your own insights/experiences.


Research-based Strategies [CLOs: 1, 3, 4, 5]

As you read through Chapter 6 in your text, you will be exposed to many best practice strategies that educators can use to facilitate instruction in their classrooms. Some of the strategies are more effective than others. There are many variables that factor into the effectiveness of a teaching strategy, types of schools, social factors, size of classrooms, culture of the school, and many others. In order to ensure educators can choose and implement the most valuable strategies in their classrooms that have the probability to yield the most favorable results. Research has been done to show the increase or decrease of experimental groups using these effective strategies.

Compare Bizar and Daniels “7 best practices” to Marzano’s “9 best practices.”

· Which do you feel is more relevant to today’s classroom, why?

· Choose a researcher, whose best practices will work best in the classroom you plan on teaching, why?

· Which of Marzano’s best practices do you feel will enhance instruction in your classroom, based on your own style and personality.    

Refer to Chapter 6 of your text, additional resources and your own insights/experiences.


Teacher Directed Instruction [CLOs: 2, 4]

Direct instruction is the most widely used strategy by practitioners in classrooms today. It consists of five elements that guide instruction from beginning to end. However, the direct instruction model also receives a great deal of criticism in the progressive classrooms of today’s school system. In Chapter 6 the authors highlight two main components of the Direct Instruction Model. 

· Identify those two main components and describe the elements of each of them.

· After reading the advantages and disadvantages of lecturing, take a stance on lecturing and defend whether you feel it is an effective strategy.

· Questioning is complex, summarize what the author is stating about questioning as an instructional tool.

· Explain why educators need to ask questions that require students to use higher order thinking skills.  

Refer to Chapter 6 of your text, additional resources and your own insights/experiences.


Formative and Summative Assessments [CLOs: 2,   3, 4, 5]

Assessment is the process of collecting information to find out what students are learning. As we have examined different instructional models throughout this course we have learned about evaluating instructional objectives. Read the observation notes from Dr. Zwijac located in section 5.5 in your textbook and answer questions 2, 5, and 6 (bulleted below). Keep in mind you will need to read the entire chapter to be able to apply the principles therein to end of chapter discussion questions.

· Help Ingrid to understand how the district’s CFA can assist her instructional efforts. Given her current second-quarter goals, offer one suggestion for an appropriate formative assessment strategy in Language Arts and in Math.

· What advice would you give Melanie for developing assessments for learning that encourage and bring smiles to her kindergartners?

· Discuss how and why formative assessment is considered assessment for learning, and why summative assessments are considered assessment of learning. What advice would you give these teachers to help them consider the advantages of each?

Refer to Chapter 4, and 5 of your text, additional resources and your own


Student-Centered Instructional Models   [CLOs: 2, 3 ,4 ,5]

For students to gain the foundational skills of self-reliance, they will need to negotiate the Common Core Standards, educators will have to include more student-centered strategies in their instructional delivery. As you read Chapter 6, you will be introduced to several powerful student-centered strategies. Answer the following questions and tell how considering these questions helps you to connect with each of the student-centered instructional models and why.



Student-Centered Model


Can you name any projects or inquiries that you participated   in as a student?  Did they teach you any other skills besides the   particular content area?


Create a list of several projects, problems, or inquiries that   could be used at the grade levels or content areas in which you are preparing   to teach.


Do you have any recollection of plays, simulations, debates,   or mock trials that you participated in as a student?  What were some   learning benefits you received from these experiences?

 Refer to Chapter 6 of your text, additional resources and your own insights/experiences.


Long Term Planning [CLOs: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5]

In Chapter 7 of your text, although Thematic and PBL units are featured, six other types of instructional units are introduced. For this discussion post, you will perform two tasks.

· Of the eight types of instructional unit introduced in this chapter, choose one, describe it, and tell why it is your preferred choice.

· Using the formatting for a PBL unit plan provided in table 7.1 in your textbook, outline your own PBL unit. 

Refer to Chapter 7 of your text, additional resources and your own insights/experiences.


Daily Lesson Planning [CLOs: 2, 4]

An educator’s daily lesson plan is the most detailed and updated guide that they have to facilitate learning in their classroom. In essence, lesson planning is the educator’s opportunity to decide, in advance what curriculum to introduce, the instructional delivery method they will use, and how intended objectives will be assessed. After reading Chapter 8, perform these two tasks.

· Jones, Jones, and Vermette (2011) did a three year study of novice educators’ lesson planning practices to determine if patterns of common blunders may exist in their design process.

o Discuss the six most common pitfalls that research uncovered that novice educators make when planning lessons.

· Read Valerie’s case from the classroom found in section 8.6 in your textbook.

o Answer question number three: “Valerie claims to use three different planning models: direct instruction, inquiry based (specifically, the 5E model), and social interaction, depending on the day, the objective, and the activity. Critique her match of models with the lesson purpose. Offer your own examples of each of these models for a curricular area of your choice.”  (Hansen et al., 2015)

Refer to Chapter 8 in your text, additional resources and your own insights/experiences.


Hansen, C.B., Buczynski, S., & Puckett, K.S.  (2015). Curriculum and instruction for the 21st century [Electronic Version]. Retrieved from https://content.ashford.edu/

· This text is a Constellation™ course digital materials (CDM) title.


· Walker, T. (2013). 10 Things you should know about the Common Core. Retrieved from http://neatoday.org/2013/10/16/10-things-you-should-know-about-the-common-core/


· Bill Gates. (2014). Common Core State Standards (Links to an external site.) [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z4MEkS3wZxQ

· Sfbaytraffic. (2010, Nov 18). Intro to the Socratic seminar (Links to an external site.) [Video file]. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eLBMORyce7k&feature=related

Supplemental Material

· KUD Lesson Planning Template

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